Search found 5438 matches

by Mudpuppy
Sun Dec 10, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: detergent without non-recyclable packaging?
Replies: 24
Views: 1050

Re: detergent without non-recyclable packaging?

Have you considered a DIY approach? http://livesimply.me/2014/02/11/homemade-liquid-laundry-soap-all-natural-detergent/ One of the ingredients appears to come in a plastic bottle. You can replace the Dr. Bronner's Castille soap in that recipe with any laundry soap, even solid bar soaps (although yo...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do indoor cats need flea/tick/heartworm prevention year round?
Replies: 15
Views: 930

Re: Do indoor cats need flea/tick/heartworm prevention year round?

FYI: I would not use Frontline for dogs on cats. It’s my understanding that the doses are different. Anecdotally, in a small town ER I once took care of a nurses cat in status epilepticus (continuous seizures) that occurred when frontline for dogs was used instead of cat formulation It's generally ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI
Replies: 34
Views: 1922

Re: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI

Be sure to read the rental agreement. They usually specify that you cannot take the vehicle off of paved roads. If you cannot take the rental off road then there is little need for 4WD. Among other problems if you take then off a paved road and are in an accident then your insurance may not cover y...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do indoor cats need flea/tick/heartworm prevention year round?
Replies: 15
Views: 930

Re: Do indoor cats need flea/tick/heartworm prevention year round?

You can track in the eggs of pet pests in from the outdoors on your clothing and shoes. Any bugs that get in and become cat "treats" can also carry in pests. The pets can also pick up pests from a vet visit if other pets with an infestation have been through recently. I've had a couple of cats come ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: work 457b
Replies: 10
Views: 551

Re: work 457b

Valic is the only provider. This changed a year ago as we had like 5 or more different options and they found that only about 10 percent of teachers were investing. The districts got together and negotiated with the different providers and valic was chosen. The advisor was very clear that he is not...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying contractors for incomplete work
Replies: 12
Views: 789

Re: Paying contractors for incomplete work

The toilet flapper needed to be replaced. Water was leaking into the bowl. It is an older toilet and we had the same issue repaired a few years ago. I guess I thought that was something that could be repaired. A toilet flapper is definitely not a "contractor". That is squarely in the realm of "serv...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suddenly have money! Now what?
Replies: 8
Views: 1876

Re: Suddenly have money! Now what?

Okay, sounds like the consensus is I’m getting ahead of myself and should max out the Roths in January but keep things static until baby arrives. Post-baby, assuming no unexpected chaos, would the logical next steps be 1) keep Roths maxed out, 2) contribute to 457(b), then 3) consider investing wit...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying contractors for incomplete work
Replies: 12
Views: 789

Re: Paying contractors for incomplete work

A plumber who is fixing a toilet is more of a service provider than a contractor, so you might want to modify your Google searches appropriately. A service provider typically has an hourly fee, diagnostic fee, visit fee, or some other such fee (i.e. the "service fee") that is paid regardless of the ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: work 457b
Replies: 10
Views: 551

Re: work 457b

The R-6 class of American Balanced Fund is at least better than some of the other classes of that fund, but, as the others have said, I don't think there is any advantage to the American fund over the Vanguard Target Retirement fund. The American fund is a fixed mix of 70-75% stocks and 25-30% bonds...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Investor - Add to company 457(b) or begin a Roth?
Replies: 6
Views: 365

Re: Young Investor - Add to company 457(b) or begin a Roth?

Is this a governmental 457(b) or a non-governmental 457(b)? It is a government 457(b). Also, contributions are pre tax. For a traditional governmental 457(b), you should first consider how close you are to the edge of a tax bracket. You may want to prioritize the 457(b) over the Roth IRA if the con...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Young Investor - Add to company 457(b) or begin a Roth?
Replies: 6
Views: 365

Re: Young Investor - Add to company 457(b) or begin a Roth?

Is this a governmental 457(b) or a non-governmental 457(b)?
by Mudpuppy
Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2317
Views: 420232

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I write a big rent check every month. My apartment management accepts credit cards @ 2.25% for Visa, 3% for Amex. I'm not angling for any bonuses right now, but trying to think of a scenario where it might be a net gain to pay by credit card. I have Amex Blue Business, but that would a loss I think...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Card declined - blocked country
Replies: 49
Views: 3141

Re: Card declined - blocked country

So is this really a "credit union thing" and, if so, why? If I were to hazard a guess I'd say this: Smaller businesses do not have the resources to run complex, real-time behavioral modeling algorithms to flag fraudulent transactions like the big banks do. Blocking entire regions where there has be...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moto G5 Plus: Software updates?
Replies: 66
Views: 3282

Re: Moto G5 Plus: Software updates?

Thank you, Mudpuppy, My first challenge will be to find the Settings screen. It's easy when you have been using smartphones for a while. But as a new user, I don't take anything for granted. Just in case you haven't found a tutorial on accessing the Settings screen, on most Android phones you can s...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Target Gift Cards are 10% Off Today (Sunday 12/3/17)
Replies: 17
Views: 1914

Re: Target Gift Cards are 10% Off Today (Sunday 12/3/17)

Bought $2000 on 2 Discover Its, enough to cover all estimated Target spend for the next year. Now to buy a year's worth of personal care and household stuff using the 20% off coupon. FYI, the max discount was advertised as $30 ($300 in gift cards) per household. You might have found a loophole and ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Card declined - blocked country
Replies: 49
Views: 3141

Re: Card declined - blocked country

Nowadays, the first thing they say is "You don't need to call". Sometimes the rep mumbles something about how they can "see" our travel patterns including destinations, and also *future* travel, which I always find very interesting. With the advent of the age of big data, they can see more broad pa...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Target Gift Cards are 10% Off Today (Sunday 12/3/17)
Replies: 17
Views: 1914

Re: Target Gift Cards are 10% Off Today (Sunday 12/3/17)

mega317 wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:41 pm
And target is a 5% category for Discover It this quarter.
Technically, Discover could disallow the rewards points if you just bought gift cards and they found out about it. Practically speaking, they only go to such extremes for the people who go overboard on such deals.
by Mudpuppy
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Target Gift Cards are 10% Off Today (Sunday 12/3/17)
Replies: 17
Views: 1914

Re: Target Gift Cards are 10% Off Today (Sunday 12/3/17)

I saw the DoctorOfCredit post about this, and there were TV ads for the last few days. I've been accumulating a Target shopping list for the past week so I could go in today to get all of that plus my sister's family Christmas gift card and save 10% on the gift card. I'm now stocked up on toiletries...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:28 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Is it time to put limit of max 99 active Bitcoin topics?
Replies: 9
Views: 769

Re: Is it time to put limit of max 99 active Bitcoin topics?

If you feel they are retreading the same topics as already covered before, use the exclamation point icon at the top right of the post to flag it as a duplicate topic for the admins. If you just don't like the topic, ignore it. I'm not a fan of precious metal investing, but I just ignore any posts a...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moto G5 Plus: Software updates?
Replies: 66
Views: 3282

Re: Moto G5 Plus: Software updates?

My first question is: how do you get software updates? For example, on my laptops, i get regular Operating System and MS Office updates from Microsoft. But Google seems to change its OS much more frequently than Microsoft, and the updates seem to depend on the device manufacturer. And so: - Should ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Random package from Amazon - early warning of identity theft?
Replies: 19
Views: 2921

Re: Random package from Amazon - early warning of identity theft?

I'm still not quite sure how the remote "business" benefits from spending to send out bogus packages, with even minimal shipping costs and yet less in "value" inside. If you read the link, the benefit for the brushing scheme is to improve their ratings at specific online shopping portals (particula...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Random package from Amazon - early warning of identity theft?
Replies: 19
Views: 2921

Re: Random package from Amazon - early warning of identity theft?

Seems like an odd choice for brushing. Usually those are random, mostly useless, pieces of garbage. At least chocolate is useful to most people. I would personally think this is a misguided gift attempt by a business that doesn't realize Amazon is bad about putting in gift notices in the boxes than ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment help. Target Funds or Bogle Method
Replies: 2
Views: 414

Re: Investment help. Target Funds or Bogle Method

1. Should I stick with a Target Fund in my 457/Roth or Go Lifepath? I am missing emerging markets in my 457. I have no problem balancing funds and am a highly nerdy individual. If you have no problem balancing funds on your own, I would personally go with Option 2 in your post: Option2. Bogle Metho...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experiences with Alliant Credit Union
Replies: 6
Views: 448

Re: Experiences with Alliant Credit Union

Thanks for your feedback. It sounds like they're a good company in general, so I'll start this weekend by opening the savings account.
by Mudpuppy
Fri Dec 01, 2017 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experiences with Alliant Credit Union
Replies: 6
Views: 448

Experiences with Alliant Credit Union

I've been looking for a high-yield savings account to park some short-term funds and also for a 2%+ cashback credit card for spending categories not covered by my other cards. I noticed that Alliant Credit Union is up to 1.25% APR on their online savings account and they have the Visa Signature card...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kreg jig
Replies: 23
Views: 1710

Re: Kreg jig

Hey, it's Christmas. Get yourself a Festool Domino - https://www.festoolproducts.com/power-tools/festool-domino-joiners.html?gclid=Cj0KCQiAjO_QBRC4ARIsAD2FsXPpJW-jkZ4xRga7e3UfpoiYpz8sTX4-cXxCLKBc55h4RpLMeHk6DIgaApmcEALw_wcB Since I bought one, I hardly ever use my Krueger jig and I sold my biscuit ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Iphone 7 - locked out
Replies: 13
Views: 1082

Re: Iphone 7 - locked out

So my mom gave her Iphone to my son who changed the password and then forgot it (grandma is a push over, we never give our kids phones, etc). How old is your son? If he's older than say 10-12, make him hassle with this for a while, then make him go with you to the Apple store. It will teach him to ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: full spectrum lighting for SAD?
Replies: 7
Views: 431

Re: full spectrum lighting for SAD?

I should also add that you need to pay mind to the blue-spectrum output of your household lighting as well. There is research which shows that exposure to too much blue-spectrum lighting at night can disrupt circadian rhythms, which would impact sleep quality. You wouldn't want to replace your entir...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: full spectrum lighting for SAD?
Replies: 7
Views: 431

Re: full spectrum lighting for SAD?

You may want to look at the lighting research done by fish-keepers. If ever there was a group of hobbyists devoted to analyzing the spectral distribution of multiple different brands of light bulbs, it would be people who need to pay mind to such things to keep their fish, invertebrates, and plants ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Questions - 401ks and Asset allocation
Replies: 3
Views: 336

Re: Portfolio Questions - 401ks and Asset allocation

It would be useful if you edited the original post to include expense ratios (ERs) as best you know and also any maintenance / administration fees associated with each 401k. That being said, the Fidelity index funds are pretty decent options in her IRA and 401ks that support it. You don't have to us...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happens to Hilton points if I cancel my Citi Hilton CC
Replies: 8
Views: 782

Re: What happens to Hilton points if I cancel my Citi Hilton CC

Now as Citi is getting converted to Amex, I would like to close the Citi Hilton Credit card. In doing so, what will happen to my 25K points? Any idea how much time I have to use those points? Given how close we're getting to the conversion deadline, it might be simpler to let the Citi card convert ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kreg jig
Replies: 23
Views: 1710

Re: Kreg jig

I'm not a fan of pocket screws, but I just picked up a Kreg jig for a fish tank stand build. I went with the $40 kit and blue-coated (exterior-rated) 2.5" pocket screws for this particular application (high humidity and joining 2"x4" pieces). I'm using the pocket screws for a set of 10" cross pieces...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kidde fire extinguisher recall
Replies: 22
Views: 1824

Re: Kidde fire extinguisher recall

Hrm, my Kidde model number is listed on the recall page, but the following Kidde video says it's not affected because it has a curved handle and horizontal pull-pin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X5Xmh1VmZHo. Guess I'll have to give them a call to find out if it is recalled or not.
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 26, 2017 2:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio questions
Replies: 9
Views: 892

Re: Portfolio questions

That's a rather mediocre list of 457 investment options for a California government employer. I assume it's a city/county level agency without access to the CalPERS 457 or California Savings Plus Program. Given the available options, your wife might consider putting her 457 investments entirely in t...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio questions
Replies: 9
Views: 892

Re: Portfolio questions

Her 457: 13.53% DODIX 0.43 10.86% GRISX 0.42 Contributions: Annual Contributions: $18k her 457 + $600 matching (Maxed) $5-40k taxable (variable) Goals: - Retirement savings - College savings - Saving for a house Since your primary tax-deferred vehicle for retirement savings is her 457 plan, what ar...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block Software
Replies: 123
Views: 9662

Re: H&R Block Software

It's now $23.90 at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Block-Software-Deluxe-Refund-Download/dp/B075XZZQ4D (Friday afternoon, 2:20pm EST; I was tipped off by CamelCamelCamel) -Marylander1 Thanks. Just bought it. This is a good price. AMZ will keep it available in digital library for long time. Missed it...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which model treadmill to buy
Replies: 18
Views: 1529

Re: Which model treadmill to buy

I got the ProForm Pro 2000 about six months ago and like it. Currently $1199. I put 15-20 miles per week on it, and it has held up well. It looks like you might be able to connect your phone to it (not through Bluetooth), but I've never tried. I just looked, and there's a round port labeled "MP3 in...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which model treadmill to buy
Replies: 18
Views: 1529

Re: Which model treadmill to buy

I have a ProForm 995i which was around $800 on sale. It is 3HP, syncs to heartbeat monitors, and supports iFit but does not require iFit to work. My primary complaint is that track is not as well cushioned as more expensive models. I have to vary my speed by a little bit every minute or two to count...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating offer on a house with SolarCity lease
Replies: 23
Views: 2017

Re: Contemplating offer on a house with SolarCity lease

The seller sent her copy of the lease. It was a $0 down and $0 fixed fee per month, however, the lessee agrees to buy all the power that SC's array produces, at a rate of 14.9¢ per kWh. Our local utility recently restructured its tariffs. They now charge 14.840¢ per kWh plus 43.3¢ per day for acces...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating offer on a house with SolarCity lease
Replies: 23
Views: 2017

Re: Contemplating offer on a house with SolarCity lease

You're asking a potential buyer to assume responsibility for a financial contract that you entered into. To put this in another perspective, if you used a loan to replace the heating and AC system or to upgrade the kitchen, would you ask the buyer to assume the loan and continue paying it off? A ne...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating offer on a house with SolarCity lease
Replies: 23
Views: 2017

Re: Contemplating offer on a house with SolarCity lease

If I wanted to sell my house, the prospective buyer wouldn't have to "do" anything. He would just continue to use the panels and pay a slightly less overall cost for his power. He would "assume the lease" I guess but it wouldn't cost him anything. Why would he balk? Is the lease discussed in this t...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Black Friday tax software deals (HRBlock)
Replies: 17
Views: 2067

Re: Looking for Black Friday tax software deals (HRBlock)

Checked on the purchase price I paid for 2015 HR Block Deluxe version software, and that was purchased as a CD direct from Amazon on Dec 23 2015 for $24.99. I think that ended up being the cheapest price I saw anywhere for the CD deluxe version anytime last year. Amazon's January 2nd sale on the 20...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 19, 2017 6:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off
Replies: 221
Views: 13907

Re: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off

This advice is intended for Dave Ramsey's target audience: people who have trouble staying within their means for their spending. In that context, a credit card might be like having alcohol in the house of a recovering alcoholic... it could all turn out just fine, but why add the temptation? That do...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Collection agency calls intended for another person:
Replies: 36
Views: 2897

Re: Collection agency calls intended for another person:

Changing your number is a crap shoot. Your new number is almost always someone else's old number. When I called to change my number, I was given six numbers to choose from. I focused on the three with older prefixes (more likely to have been given up due to an established person moving or passing a...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Collection agency calls intended for another person:
Replies: 36
Views: 2897

Re: Collection agency calls intended for another person:

Why in the world would you even bother writing her or contacting her ex-husband? A simple explanation of "we got this number when we moved and we have no idea who that person is" to Sears and the others would have been sufficient. That's all I had to do under similar circumstances when I got a numbe...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Contemplating offer on a house with SolarCity lease
Replies: 23
Views: 2017

Re: Contemplating offer on a house with SolarCity lease

Is there any value in assuming the lease? I see all sorts of value to SolarCity shareholders in these leases,though. Am I looking at this too harshly? I'd personally only see that value if (a) it is a very unique house, where it unlikely to have something comparable come up again soon, (b) the sell...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you budget for vacation?
Replies: 94
Views: 5765

Re: How much do you budget for vacation?

Interesting answers, but I find it interesting that people are saying how much they "spend" on travel, rather than what they "budget" for travel, which was the question. Here's an answer to the question then: I'm not a big fancy vacation sort of person, so I budget about 2-3% of my gross income on ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I have a cell phone that has some malware from the cell phone maker. Malwarebytes can't not remove it. Is the phone safe
Replies: 28
Views: 2179

Re: I have a cell phone that has some malware from the cell phone maker. Malwarebytes can't not remove it. Is the phone

Thanks I tried but my phone says I have the latest software with Android 4.4.2 There are oodles of security issues with that version of Android: https://www.cvedetails.com/vulnerability-list/vendor_id-1224/product_id-19997/version_id-177949/Google-Android-4.4.2.html https://androidvulnerabilities.o...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Linking wiki articles into forum posts
Replies: 21
Views: 4547

Re: Linking wiki articles into forum posts

Both "Make Link" and "CoLT" now show "This add-on is not compatible with your version of Firefox" (version 57.0 - 64 bit) that was auto-installed within the past day or so. Anyone know of a working Firefox add-on? All plug-ins will have to make changes to be compatible with Firefox 57. Give it a li...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Proposed changes to 457 contributions
Replies: 5
Views: 495

Re: Proposed changes to 457 contributions

It's against the forum rules to discuss proposed legislation, but I think the following advice stays within the spirit of the forum rules: As with many things in life (e.g. "don't count your chickens until they hatch"), don't make any changes based off proposed legislation. Proposed legislation can ...