Search found 127 matches

by crumbgrabber
Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else decided not to finish med school?
Replies: 55
Views: 8874

Re: Anyone else decided not to finish med school?

My brother finished med school but bailed on residency. He is now working for a pharma company, absolutely loves it, and makes very good money. 3 years out and he's already paid off his debt. So there are options for those who finish school but don't want continued pain...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physician using Turbotax, owing 30K so far already...
Replies: 65
Views: 7900

Re: Physician using Turbotax, owing 30K so far already...

Yep, unfortunately dual earners tend to not have enough pulled from paychecks. My wife makes about $200k and I make $100k, and even with several kids, maxing out all deferred accounts, and itemizing we still need to withhold an additional sum from each paycheck (something like $200, you will be more...
by crumbgrabber
Wed Oct 26, 2016 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone choose a nanny over daycare?
Replies: 34
Views: 3394

Re: Anyone choose a nanny over daycare?

We used daycare for our first child until our second came along. We were ALWAYS sick. I racked it because it was so ridiculous, I was personally sick about 20 times in two years. My daughter was even worse and needed ear tubes due to 9 ear infections in about 4 months. My wife and I used 80% of our ...
by crumbgrabber
Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to grow grass in hard-to-grow conditions?
Replies: 17
Views: 1466

Re: How to grow grass in hard-to-grow conditions?

I've been told by landscapers here in Colorado (pretty dry area) to water less often and more deeply to promote deep root growth. We water 3 times a week, about 0.5 inches each time (20+ minutes with our sprinkers). It's been working for us.
by crumbgrabber
Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to best afford IVF [In Vitro Fertilization]
Replies: 55
Views: 6536

Re: How to best afford IVF

We used IVF successfully for two kids. It was expensive. There are large differences in success rates between clinics, and our philosophy was to use one of the best (i.e. Not cheapest) clinics because we didn't want to wonder if another clinic might be more successful in the event we needed multiple...
by crumbgrabber
Tue Mar 15, 2016 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physics major question
Replies: 53
Views: 5921

Re: Physics major question

I have a BA (!) in physics and an MS in mechanical engineering. It wasn't a problem getting accepted to MS programs in engineering so I doubt he needs another bachelors degree. I have found the physics degree to be very useful in my 10 year engineering career but I too found little interest from emp...
by crumbgrabber
Sun Mar 06, 2016 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DSLR recommendations for photos of young kids
Replies: 32
Views: 2358

Re: DSLR recommendations for photos of young kids

I have several small children and use a 6D. I previously had a 60D and couldn't be happier with the upgrade. Think of the 6D as a 60D with a larger sensor; it has the same size and shape body with nearly identical ergonomics. I also use the 50 1.4 and 85 1.8 for shooting the kids, but I've learned a...
by crumbgrabber
Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do Nanny taxes affect pay
Replies: 11
Views: 1804

Re: How much do Nanny taxes affect pay

We started using a nanny this year and my grand plan was to handle all payroll myself. I came to my senses and realized that we're hiring a nanny partially to save time, and it was not a good use of my time to deal with payroll and taxes. We've been using NannyChex and I've been quite happy with the...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Feb 19, 2016 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I've had it with USAA insurance
Replies: 26
Views: 3895

Re: I've had it with USAA insurance

So I have USAA for all my insurance needs. They are definitely more expensive but I have had 2 claims this year. In fact, after these claims I have noticed my rates increasing. Despite this I am sticking with USAA. Auto claim: Hail storm hit the work parking lot. Everybody in the lot had significant...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What was your biggest unexpected home expense?
Replies: 87
Views: 10858

Re: What was your biggest unexpected home expense?

1) water in basement after heavy rain. Occurred about 3 months after move-in. Previous owner says they never noticed any problems. About $10k to install perimeter drain and repair basement. 2) water in closet under kitchen. A previous homeowner had drilled a hole accidentally in the sink drain--it o...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Jan 22, 2016 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is Your Plan B if Quicken dies? [Intuit selling Quicken unit]
Replies: 105
Views: 17344

Re: What is Your Plan B if Quicken dies? [Intuit selling Quicken unit]

I ditched Quicken for iBank about 7 years ago and haven't looked back. It has its issues but it's light years ahead of Quicken. My bigger concern is that banks will start killing off transaction downloading in the form of qfx or ofx files--I imagine Quicken was lobbying/negotiating hard for this wit...
by crumbgrabber
Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: "Roth conversions are not eligible for cross platform transactions."
Replies: 17
Views: 2646

Re: "Roth conversions are not eligible for cross platform transactions."

I'm running into the same message. I suspect it's because I upgraded my Roth account last year but not my traditional IRA. I went ahead and upgraded the traditional; when that completes I'll try the Roth conversion again.
by crumbgrabber
Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LLC for nanny?
Replies: 43
Views: 4315

Re: LLC for nanny?

Don't forget about unemployment insurance paid to the state and fed. This isn't much $$ but it is required.
by crumbgrabber
Wed Dec 02, 2015 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What am I missing ? ... Smart Phones $100 vs. $600
Replies: 65
Views: 8977

Re: What am I missing ? ... Smart Phones $100 vs. $600

Keep in mind that the more expensive phones hold their value much better than the cheap ones (assuming you don't drop it in the toilet). I traded in my last $600 smartphone for $300.
by crumbgrabber
Thu Nov 19, 2015 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended Snow Tires
Replies: 42
Views: 4255

Re: Recommended Snow Tires

Blizzaks on on our Subaru Outback make it pretty much unstoppable in Rocky Mountain ice and snow. I've had Michelin X-Ice and Dunlop winter sports on my Acura sedan--the Michelins were actually terrible. So bad that I no longer trust Consumer Reports. All snow tires are mounted on separate wheels. A...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switch from Quicken (Windows) to iBank5/Moneydance on Mac?
Replies: 7
Views: 1604

Re: Switch from Quicken (Windows) to iBank5/Moneydance on Mac?

I switched about 6 years ago and that was a fantastic decision. iBank is far more polished and less buggy than PC Quicken. I haven't run into any missing features, and I would consider myself a power user--we probably have 25 accounts tracked in iBank. I will say that the iggsoft's iPhone/iPad apps ...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bill Gross moving from PIMCO to Janus, Monday
Replies: 119
Views: 15230

Re: Bill Gross moving from PIMCO to Janus, Monday

PTTRX is the only "bond" fund option in my 401k aside from a stable value fund. Should I bail on PIMCO or stick with them? Obviously if I had other bond choices this would be an easy decision. I'm currently running 70/30 and very happy with that allocation.
by crumbgrabber
Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Novaform Mattresses at Costco
Replies: 14
Views: 3920

Re: Novaform Mattresses at Costco

I recently bought the Novaform Serafina mattress (about a month ago) based on a great price as well as very positive reviews on costco.com. I am very happy with it so far--it's very firm though, and took me a few nights to get used to it (came from a very soft innerspring pillow top mattress). I hav...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Drastic pay cut-Crack CD (w/penalty) to payoff mortgage?
Replies: 26
Views: 1882

Re: Drastic pay cut-Crack CD (w/penalty) to payoff mortgage?

Huh? I'm confused. Why don't you just use your $140k in savings to cover the budget gap until the CD matures? Looks like you have plenty saved up...
by crumbgrabber
Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Breastfeeding and baby formula
Replies: 24
Views: 2216

Re: Breastfeeding and baby formula

We've found Amazon subscribe and save to be the lowest cost option, if you can manage to get 5 items per month. It really depends on which specific formula you end up with though. We also bought quite a bit at Walmart for awhile. Powdered stuff really isn't that big a deal--and it's much cheaper tha...
by crumbgrabber
Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a grocery app with certain (basic) features iphone/PC
Replies: 7
Views: 514

Re: Need a grocery app with certain (basic) features iphone/

GroceryIQ is great. My wife and I add things to our iPhones, which syncs with the GroceryIQ web app. You can set up multiple store, favorite items. Its free, although I think they make money by suggesting brand name stuff and coupons but it really hasn't been annoying and we haven't used these featu...
by crumbgrabber
Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anti-virus for Mac?
Replies: 80
Views: 6215

Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

I uninstalled Flash and Java on my Mac about a year ago and haven't really run into any websites I can't load. Once in awhile something will need Flash, at which point I simply load the Chrome browser, which has Flash support built in. I've used Macs since about 2000 and have never installed any ant...
by crumbgrabber
Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax 10% Amazon Credit on refund
Replies: 19
Views: 3538

Re: TurboTax 10% Amazon Credit on refund

I wonder if it'd be worth it (for large refunds) to simply sell the Amazon gift cards on eBay/craigslist, etc? For some strange reason Amazon gift cards appear to be selling at face value on eBay. You'd have to recover the eBay fees, of course, which probably are more than the 10% bonus (I haven't s...
by crumbgrabber
Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need a new all in one printer
Replies: 55
Views: 5865

Re: Need a new all in one printer

Another vote for Brother. Bought a 7820N (B&W later all-in-one) about 6 years ago, refurbished. It's been great--I've only replaced the toner cartridge once in that time (!) and probably printed about 10 reams. Use it for scanning everything (we're paperless) and it works great connected to my M...
by crumbgrabber
Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax 10% Amazon Credit on refund
Replies: 19
Views: 3538

Re: TurboTax 10% Amazon Credit on refund

Were there any catches with this? Hidden fees? How long will it take to get the gift cards/refunds (any longer than usual)? I plan on taking advantage of this in a big way this year--we're due a huge refund due to many life events and we do about 50% of our shopping at Amazon.
by crumbgrabber
Tue Jan 14, 2014 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: pay health bill from HSA or from checking?
Replies: 70
Views: 5149

Re: pay health bill from HSA or from checking?

I personally vote for paying from HSA. I really wouldn't want to store receipts for 20+ years. HSA investments will never be as flexible and as good as taxable or IRA. I know as someone that has jumped from HSA to HSA (remember Adirondack?) Yes, you do potentially have some tax cost from taxable in...
by crumbgrabber
Thu Dec 19, 2013 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expenses?
Replies: 84
Views: 8149

Re: POLL: Do you use your HSA funds to pay for medical expen

My wife and I both have HSAs that get some employer match. Mine is at Fidelity and has excellent investment options (basically anything), hers is much more limited (just basic savings account). I keep track of all medical bills paid in a spreadsheet, scan the receipts and also keep them in a folder....
by crumbgrabber
Sat Nov 30, 2013 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco AMEX Rewards Check Error
Replies: 25
Views: 6391

Re: Costco AMEX Rewards Check Error

Can someone post the phone number they received on their letter? I got one last week too but didn't realize there was a check attached to it. I promptly threw mine away so I'm wondering how much mine was and whether I can get a check (if it's worth it). I did as well. I figured the refund would jus...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gmail alternative recommendations?
Replies: 81
Views: 21476

Re: Gmail alternative recommendations?

I too am growing uncomfortable with Gmail. I created a Fastmail account and I have been extremely happy with the service so far. I even configured my iPhone and Mac email clients to use an "archive" folder and corresponding button in Fastmail similar to Gmail's. If you use client software ...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA to Geico for auto insurance?
Replies: 19
Views: 6263

Re: USAA to Geico for auto insurance?

I switched from USAA to GEICO about 5 years ago because GEICO was about $600/year cheaper for two drivers/two cars. I still have a number of other accounts/services with USAA, but I couldn't justify that much difference to stick with them. I call and have USAA requote every year or so, but they can ...
by crumbgrabber
Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interest rates and home prices
Replies: 9
Views: 1439

Re: Interest rates and home prices

The Calculated Risk blog has had a few articles on this recently, and his conclusion was that there is not much correlation between rates and home prices. This is pretty counter-intuitive to me though.
by crumbgrabber
Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year vs. 30 year for starter home
Replies: 23
Views: 2683

Re: 15 year vs. 30 year for starter home

With a 30 year loan for 5 years in a starter home, you are effectively renting your house from a bank (ie you will not be building much equity). Why not just keep actually renting and not be on the hook for repairs, transaction costs, etc? Save more money and in 5 years buy a better "permanent...
by crumbgrabber
Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15 year vs. 30 year for starter home
Replies: 23
Views: 2683

Re: 15 year vs. 30 year for starter home

With a 30 year loan for 5 years in a starter home, you are effectively renting your house from a bank (ie you will not be building much equity). Why not just keep actually renting and not be on the hook for repairs, transaction costs, etc? Save more money and in 5 years buy a better "permanent&...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone add a personal property rider to renter's insurance?
Replies: 1
Views: 353

Re: Anyone add a personal property rider to renter's insuran

We have had a rider for some of my wife's jewelry with USAA, on top of renter's insurance. About 4 years ago she lost one of her diamond earrings. USAA replaced it without much hassle, matching the new one to the old. I haven't noticed any significant increases in our rates. Also, we're buying a hou...
by crumbgrabber
Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do get payment from Craigslist if I need to ship.
Replies: 53
Views: 5089

Re: How do get payment from Craigslist if I need to ship.

Almost all of the requests to ship on Craigs List are scams. Read the posting rules and descriptions and the cautions posted on the very fist page. I have bought and sold many items on Craig's List but you have to use caution with every transaction. I only accept cash and carry now. Almost every ty...
by crumbgrabber
Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Deleted Our Mint Account
Replies: 73
Views: 11505

Re: Just Deleted Our Mint Account

Any suggestions for an iPad app for personal finance mgmt? I downloaded mint, but deleted it once it started asking for account details. I'd prefer something closer to spreadsheet where I enter and maintain financial data as opposed to providing access to all the accounts. What are Boglehead Mac us...
by crumbgrabber
Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanners/duplex scanners, OCR software?
Replies: 26
Views: 2766

Re: Scanners/duplex scanners, OCR software?

justus wrote:
crumbgrabber wrote:
I highly recommend the eBook "Paperless" if you have an iPad--the author has a lot of very useful suggestions if you're thinking of going paperless.


Who is the author of that ebook "paperless"?


David Sparks.
by crumbgrabber
Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scanners/duplex scanners, OCR software?
Replies: 26
Views: 2766

Re: Scanners/duplex scanners, OCR software?

We went paperless a few months ago. I purchased an app for my Mac from the App Store called "PDFScanner" --it's an improvement over the Mac's built in scanner app, as it can perform OCR and can do a form of automatic duplexing, where you run your stack of papers through the scanner twice, ...
by crumbgrabber
Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:49 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Max out Roth in Jan or dollar cost average
Replies: 33
Views: 3323

Re: Max out Roth in Jan or dollar cost average

If there is any chance your income will be too high to contribute directly to a Roth it is better to wait until the following year. You have until April of the following year to make current year contributions. As far as I know, I don't think it's a problem to proceed with the backdoor Roth convers...
by crumbgrabber
Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Back Door" Roth IRA Question
Replies: 23
Views: 3096

Re: "Back Door" Roth IRA Question

You need to pay prorated/adjusted taxes on any gains in the traditional IRA with $200k in it, even if you did not convert this money to a Roth IRA . This could be a large tax boo-boo, so you probably should look into whether this was handled properly in your tax returns for the last few years in whi...
by crumbgrabber
Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever itemized medical deductions?
Replies: 42
Views: 3037

Re: Have you ever itemized medical deductions?

Looking at the implications this year since my wife and I may need to undergo some fertility procedures. It appears that if you have an HDHP + HSA you should always use that rather than itemize, since you are allowed one or the other but not both, and the HSA route basically isn't limited to any per...
by crumbgrabber
Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Science PhD --> Engineering?
Replies: 62
Views: 6148

Re: Science PhD --> Engineering?

I have a bachelor's in physics and a MSME and I now work in the tech industry as a mechanical engineer. You are correct; mechanical engineering is a fantastic role. A couple things I learned along the way: 1) Large companies will typically only hire engineers with "engineer" on their resum...
by crumbgrabber
Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Agent NOT Letting Me To View a House!
Replies: 34
Views: 6616

Re: Real Estate Agent NOT Letting Me To View a House!

I agree that it is straight-forward and simple to get pre-approval, and it makes sense that sellers don't want to deal with looky-loos. However, I've struggled with the concept that as a buyer I basically have to "show my cards" and reveal my budget or available price range. What is a good...
by crumbgrabber
Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Scanning Software
Replies: 9
Views: 974

Re: Good Scanning Software

I second the comment about TurboScan for iPhone. For $1 it has replaced the flatbed scanner on my multi-function printer. You can reorder pdfs and rotate/crop them. When I use the desktop scanner I just use the "Image Capture" software built into my Mac. It works fine, but I don't usually ...
by crumbgrabber
Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Software
Replies: 24
Views: 1975

Re: Financial Software

Another possible downside to Mint is the concept of data migration. Not only is it impossible to import years' worth of financial data into Mint, it is impossible to export data as well. Most of the desktop programs (Quicken, iBank, MoneyDance, Money) allow import export, and while their implementa...
by crumbgrabber
Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Software
Replies: 24
Views: 1975

Re: Financial Software

Another possible downside to Mint is the concept of data migration. Not only is it impossible to import years' worth of financial data into Mint, it is impossible to export data as well. Most of the desktop programs (Quicken, iBank, MoneyDance, Money) allow import export, and while their implementat...
by crumbgrabber
Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Software
Replies: 24
Views: 1975

Re: Financial Software

The whole concept of Mint makes me nervous. I use iBank on my Mac and I really like it. Not quite as powerful as Quicken on a PC but much easier to use and WAY more stable/trustworthy.
by crumbgrabber
Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity users here?
Replies: 22
Views: 3806

Re: Fidelity users here?

I have Fidelity "premium services" in my Fidelity accounts, which includes my 401k, a taxable brokerage, an HSA, and an employer stock/RSU account. I can view all sorts of additional information, like personal rate of return, etc. I also have a "special" phone number for customer...
by crumbgrabber
Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing rented Comcast cable modem?
Replies: 58
Views: 21137

Re: Replacing rented Comcast cable modem?

Bought my own Comcast modem about 4 years ago for $25 online. At the time I was able to connect it and walk through the provisioning steps myself, through the websites that are served when you first connect it (it won't let you get to the "real" internet until you set it up); in other word...
by crumbgrabber
Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculated Risk calls bottom of US housing market
Replies: 40
Views: 3276

Re: Calculated Risk calls bottom of US housing market

Note that CR is calling the bottom in "nominal" prices, not real prices. He points out that these two are not coincidental, and thinks real prices could continue to drop for 5 years, like they did in 1987. That being said, most people only care about the nominal prices... There is a parti...