Search found 410 matches

by armeliusc
Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Trouble
Replies: 11
Views: 1579

Re: Credit Card Trouble

1. You make any payment before payment is due and is less than the last statement balance, the autopay should kick in to pay the rest of the balance. 2. You make payment that is equal or more than last statement balance, autopay gets cancelled. I recently setup autopay with Capital One. The fine pr...
by armeliusc
Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup (redundant) home internet service
Replies: 54
Views: 3983

Re: Backup (redundant) home internet service

You don't have to "do TV" to use a cable internet. Some company have internet only plans, some bundles it with "basic TV" plan and cheaper overall to get that than internet only, but so what, you don't have to hook it up to a TV. In fact for while in the past this was what we had...
by armeliusc
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Trouble
Replies: 11
Views: 1579

Re: Credit Card Trouble

Additionally, if you set autopay to always pay in full statement balance, you should never be charged for interest, period. Otherwise something is wrong with their system. There are 3 possible cases: 1. You make any payment before payment is due and is less than the last statement balance, the autop...
by armeliusc
Mon Apr 19, 2021 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Trouble
Replies: 11
Views: 1579

Re: Credit Card Trouble

ETA: I did call and they said I technically overpaid my statement balance of $6700 with my $15000 payment so I will not be charged any interest. I really feel like a dummy. :? That exactly what I was going to say. After re-reading your post, my interpretation is that your last statement balance was...
by armeliusc
Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oral surgeon said we were legally required to give SS#, then they got hacked
Replies: 54
Views: 6407

Re: Oral surgeon said we were legally required to give SS#, then they got hacked

I am sorry this happened. I would just freeze all credit reports and move on. There is nothing else practical one can do. I always refuse to provide SSN on any form, for me, my children, spouse, etc. They can have driver license, insurance card, and even call the insurer to verify me if they want. T...
by armeliusc
Tue Apr 13, 2021 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SIM card questions (phones)
Replies: 8
Views: 556

Re: SIM card questions (phones)

Have a question about switching pre-paid SIM card from one phone to another. For phone in US with AT&T on GSM, can you take the pre-paid plan SIM out and put it in an Unlocked phone for international use with duel SIM slots? Yes. Want to be able to use the US based AT&T SIM and switch betwe...
by armeliusc
Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Previous Salary req before offer
Replies: 24
Views: 2129

Re: Previous Salary req before offer

Others have already given suggestions on how to answer if they ask verbally. If this is part of a "standard" form you need to fill in, just put in a number that is obviously wrong (e.g. $1). I've more than once had to fill in HR form during the job interviewing process, and that's what I d...
by armeliusc
Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you review your closing documents ahead of closing?
Replies: 31
Views: 2179

Re: Did you review your closing documents ahead of closing?

Really practically, what can you do if you disagree with some of the legalese you have to sign? In our multiple refis (one of them with Better), we received the Final Disclosure with all the loan term 2 - 3 days prior the signing. I scrutinized that, generated my own amortization table. During the s...
by armeliusc
Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10343
Views: 755367

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Another good experience with LenderFi: Locked rate with them 2.25% for ~225K at very close to no-cost in the evening of 2/10. Underwriting completed sometime 2/16 and asked us to sign Pre-Closing disclosure to start the 3-days clock before closing. Just closed today: 2/20. Literally 1.5 weeks from a...
by armeliusc
Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 10343
Views: 755367

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

I have a rate lock with both Better.com and LoanDepot. I have been pleased with the service from both at this point. I tried to withdraw from Better.com today, but they upped the lender credit today so that the closing costs are now basically identical. I have submitted income and asset info to bot...
by armeliusc
Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My LenderFi refinance is going well
Replies: 1762
Views: 166629

Re: My LenderFi refinance is going well

Just to add another data point: I just locked rate with LenderFi last night. They are fast and rather aggressive. The agent gave me a call few hours after my application went in. What he offered me is better than what I see on their website in term of closing cost. On ~225K balance ( slightly less t...
by armeliusc
Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take out 401k loan, defer bonus to repay it?
Replies: 9
Views: 373

Re: Take out 401k loan, defer bonus to repay it?

As other have mentioned, I think the main issue here is your misunderstanding of how bonus are taxed and withheld. Bonus has higher rate withholding but it is taxed the same way as the rest of your income. What I do in my case, to offset the higher bonus withholding, I simply set lower withholding f...
by armeliusc
Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Food Delivery Services (Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats, Delivery.com)
Replies: 8
Views: 761

Re: Food Delivery Services (Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats, Delivery.com)

We've used GrubHub for the few times we could not pick up ourselves, or would rather not do it (e.g. delivery to someone house on the other side of the town). It seems that between delivery fee, service fee, and driver tip we added $20-25 per order, which I thought is expensive. I don't have subscri...
by armeliusc
Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any car experts? [Suspension control arm bushing cracked]
Replies: 34
Views: 1508

Re: Any car experts?

As other have mentioned, the problem is not unusual for a car that age. I had a similar issue last year with my 2004 Honda Civic and replaced both control arms bushings and sway bar. The quoted price is very high however. In my case it was around $600. I would find an independent, trusted mechanic i...
by armeliusc
Tue Jan 19, 2021 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need to lock 30 year mortgage NOW - where to start?
Replies: 26
Views: 1985

Re: Need to lock 30 year mortgage NOW - where to start?

Seems that Better.com is always awful in giving your first offer. I don't know why they do it that way. Get another offer and then talk to the loan officer for a competing offer. That's the only way I know to get a good offer from better.com.
by armeliusc
Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drawbacks to using rack server unit as desktop computer?
Replies: 30
Views: 3689

Re: Drawbacks to using rack server unit as desktop computer?

Mine is not a rack server, but I did get a Dell server-class machine to use as a regular workstation and as "home server" running my own web, mail, multimedia, and house-wide fileserver. It's not something I'd do again. It's loud. It's hot. I struggled to find a decent enough graphic card ...
by armeliusc
Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1.99% Refinance - Closing Costs Questions
Replies: 15
Views: 1063

Re: 1.99% Refinance - Closing Costs Questions

The fees look reasonable to me and is align with what we've seen from previous Refis. You can shop around using your current offer (rate + fee) as starting point if you wish. But the 1.99% rate you get is already very good. Even with the fees, I'd definitely do the refi if you plan to stay in the ho...
by armeliusc
Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got my stimulus check, how about you?
Replies: 212
Views: 16500

Re: Got my stimulus check, how about you?

Odd that we received our first stimulus electronically via the associated bank information contained on our 2018 federal tax form. Subsequent to receiving our first payment, we filed our 2019 federal taxes and the IRS successfully withdrew our taxes owed electronically but from a different bank acc...
by armeliusc
Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A burner phone for talk, no data, no text?
Replies: 16
Views: 1561

Re: A burner phone for talk, no data, no text?

What we do: get a Google Voice number. Put Google Voice app on your phone. Use Google Voice to initiate all your phone call. It will use "Data" only, no cell needed. In fact, for a while we didn't even have a "cell" subscription. We just use our home WiFi with a cellphone and Goo...
by armeliusc
Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why do car salesman want to talk to me?
Replies: 63
Views: 6733

Re: Why do car salesman want to talk to me?

Because they want to know you're a real person, and a serious buyer, and not waste their time for the so-called "tire-kickers". Getting a price together (with sales tax, registrations, etc) can be somewhat time consuming for them too. We literally just bought a minivan 3 last week and I wa...
by armeliusc
Wed Dec 16, 2020 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two Zoom Meetings at Once
Replies: 8
Views: 1199

Re: Two Zoom Meetings at Once

Is there a way to log-in to two Zoom meetings at once on the same computer and toggle between them? Can I log-in to one meeting on a desktop and then to another meeting simultaneously on a tablet? On the same computer, one way to do it is to use the Zoom desktop client for one meeting, and the web ...
by armeliusc
Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance 1.6yo mortgage?
Replies: 30
Views: 2284

Re: Refinance 1.6yo mortgage?

Definitely yes, consider refinance. We refinanced ~6 months after closing to take advantage of 0.75% rate drop, then again just recently for another 0.75 rate drop. I think refinance is way less stressful than the initial mortgage application, because you've done it once so you sort of know what to ...
by armeliusc
Tue Dec 01, 2020 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I directly fund my HSA?
Replies: 9
Views: 758

Re: Can I directly fund my HSA?

I’m changing health insurance plans this January. And once I get the $200 HSA continuation from my current health insurance plan, which I’m told might not arrive until January, I planned to move this HSA to fidelity. My new health plan won’t offer an HSA. With that information, can or should I just...
by armeliusc
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you backup?
Replies: 80
Views: 4897

Re: How often do you backup?

Every night: All files local to devices (tablet, phones, laptops, desktops) get dumped to a central location on a NAS. If we add a new device into the household, then I need to make sure it does this. Once a week (not necessarily at the same time): - On NAS, download a local copy of "everything...
by armeliusc
Mon Nov 30, 2020 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Food Safety -- Let Me Have It!
Replies: 37
Views: 3682

Re: Food Safety -- Let Me Have It!

There are still ice left in the fridge. I would keep most, if not all, everything and just refreeze everything.
by armeliusc
Wed Nov 18, 2020 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tapping into Roths for House Downpayment
Replies: 18
Views: 868

Re: Tapping into Roths for House Downpayment

We did exactly this. At the time we were renting without any children, and although the possibility of a family and a house was out there, we did not have a concrete plan to buy a house. So we decided to not specifically save for any down payment, and instead concentrated on saving / investing: 401K...
by armeliusc
Mon Nov 16, 2020 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Wifi Hotspot
Replies: 27
Views: 1202

Re: Travel Wifi Hotspot

I looked at this perhaps last year, i.e. getting the Hotspot device and plan, and ended with a conclusion it was much better to just get a relatively inexpensive cell phone, a plan that allow tethering, and a travel router. A concrete setup example: 1, Get an unlocked Moto G / Moto E 2. Mint Mobile ...
by armeliusc
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: To escrow or not to escrow your taxes
Replies: 50
Views: 2536

Re: To escrow or not to escrow your taxes

No escrow for me either. Just pay the tax once a year. Most of us who are wearing our "Big boy pants" do not use escrow for our taxes. Do you use something like Bill Pay or just write checks when the time comes based on a calendar reminder? I can do it with electronic check (ACH) from the ...
by armeliusc
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Large emergency fund where to put
Replies: 36
Views: 4485

Re: Large emergency fund where to put

I would also go with I-bond. In fact I put my all of my EF there. You can transition slowly and/or keep it only partially there, whichever you are most comfortable with.
by armeliusc
Fri Oct 30, 2020 7:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where would you be if you had invested like a Boglehead from the beginning?
Replies: 107
Views: 8124

Re: Where would you be if you had invested like a Boglehead from the beginning?

In some sense, we had "from the beginning", that is the beginning of our working career. Our first 401K and Roth IRAs were in Vanguard Target Retirement account. Prior to that, we were probably not ready to hear about Boglehead or investing. We basically lived paycheck-to-paycheck with a s...
by armeliusc
Sun Oct 25, 2020 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New to Using Zoom Meeting
Replies: 2
Views: 352

Re: New to Using Zoom Meeting

Zoom lets you (1) join a meeting (set up by others), (2) Create an account so that you can set up / schedule meeting, etc. If you just want to join a meeting, you don't necessarily need to set up your own account. This is where you click # 1 as you said. Enter the meeting ID you want to join to (fro...
by armeliusc
Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wireless keyboard and mouse
Replies: 22
Views: 1323

Re: Wireless keyboard and mouse

Have you tried replacing all the batteries with new ones? That what happens when my wireless keyboard / mouse is running out of batteries.
by armeliusc
Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New kid on the way, should we get a new minivan? or else?
Replies: 58
Views: 2904

Re: New kid on the way, should we get a new minivan? or else?

Thank you for all the responses. It seems that many would agree that having a minivan would be the way to go. To be sure, that is actually my preference too (I am actually against having an SUV and don't care a bit about the "cool factor" ). I guess our reticent seems to come from having t...
by armeliusc
Thu Oct 22, 2020 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New kid on the way, should we get a new minivan? or else?
Replies: 58
Views: 2904

New kid on the way, should we get a new minivan? or else?

Hi fellow BH, I would appreciate some perspectives from you all. Current situation: 2 young kids, with one more on the way. We have two Honda Civic: 2004 with 205K miles (his), 2013 with 100K miles (hers). Ideally, with 3 kids a new minivan (thinking Honda Odyssey) would be what we'd like. Although ...
by armeliusc
Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google wi-fi mesh questioni
Replies: 6
Views: 598

Re: Google wi-fi mesh questioni

Most likely Yes, you can do that. I don't have Verizon FIOS but I have another fiber internet service with an ethernet cable that come into the house. I just ditch the modem that comes with it, plug 1 of the Google Wifi as the primary modem, and then I put a Netgear 16-port switch after it (the hous...
by armeliusc
Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refi- when are you COMMITTED to proceed, and can't shop?
Replies: 5
Views: 630

Re: Refi- when are you COMMITTED to proceed, and can't shop?

In your case I would definitely shop for another lender. You are not bound to use this lender until 3 business days after closing, legally. Although I'd try to avoid cancelling and burning bridges for small things. The commitment proceed is a "good faith" commitment, but if you feel the ot...
by armeliusc
Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?
Replies: 31
Views: 1793

Re: How to listen to good music in a car without satalite radio or internet?

You can buy a stand-alone satellite radio receiver/player. It will only need to be plugged into the "Aux In" of your car built-in audio, so you don't need to redo any original wiring. This is similar with how you would plug in your smartphone into your car audio system without bluetooth. H...
by armeliusc
Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should We Ever Save for Children's College?
Replies: 467
Views: 30863

Re: Should We Ever Save for Children's College?

I have not seen convincing arguments to "save for college" in 529s before one is fully max out all of the available retirement account. (And I am saying / asking this because I am genuinely curious, not to be argumentative). I am agreeing with KlangFool's responses, and am applying it to m...
by armeliusc
Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Contribute to HSA and invest - but with high fees?
Replies: 13
Views: 662

Re: Contribute to HSA and invest - but with high fees?

If the investment choices and their ER in the HSA is otherwise reasonable, other than the flat fee of ~$35 a year, I would probably just leave it there for simplicity sake. On whether you want to leave any cash reserve or not, that depends on whether you plan to reimburse any medical expenses from y...
by armeliusc
Fri Sep 25, 2020 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Treadmill recommendations
Replies: 43
Views: 2904

Re: Treadmill recommendations

We got the following and it's been fine. Basic treadmill, compact, relatively inexpensive.
Amazon Link
by armeliusc
Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pay more on 2.49% car loan or invest in taxable?
Replies: 33
Views: 2668

Re: Pay more on 2.49% car loan or invest in taxable?

A car loan typically requires you to have full / comprehensive coverage on the car insurance. If you pay off the loan, you could drop comprehensive coverage, which is additional money saving. Other people may have different opinions, but I would not have comprehensive coverage for a 6 years old car....
by armeliusc
Thu Sep 24, 2020 7:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dependent care expenses - we're going to lose a ton because of Covid
Replies: 22
Views: 2620

Re: Dependent care expenses - we're going to lose a ton because of Covid

I would echo others to check with your HR / payroll services. In my case I was able to change the amount of contribution to DCFSA in August (I think), zeroing it out for the rest of the year once we decided our youngest was not going back to the daycare.
by armeliusc
Wed Sep 23, 2020 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email Management Tips
Replies: 51
Views: 4164

Re: Email Management Tips

Most of my work email is one of these: 1. Informational only: I read the email and leave it in my inbox. If it's "junk", or information I don't care about, delete. 2. A request for me to do something. Then, A. If I think it would takes less than 2 min or less, I just do it and reply thenn....
by armeliusc
Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of Goods in House?
Replies: 17
Views: 2132

Re: Cost of Goods in House?

I don't know what quality you're looking for, but to get a ballpark, why not spend a couple hours at Ikea's website. Go section by section or room by room and add to your cart what you think you'd need. Then take a look at the total, round up for hassle factor and things you've forgotten, and that'...
by armeliusc
Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Web-Cam
Replies: 18
Views: 1240

Re: Web-Cam

Exactly what nisipirius said above. This is pretty much standardized nowadays it would be hard to get it wrong.

If you are on a desktop (likely, because most laptop would have built-in webcam), likely you will also need a microphone, so yes, get a webcam with mic.
by armeliusc
Mon Sep 14, 2020 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Appliance Warranty - any recommendations?
Replies: 20
Views: 1134

Re: Home Appliance Warranty - any recommendations?

I got the Lowe's extended warranty. Was I a sucker? Still trying to decide that. I regret to inform you that your decision was not a good one, no matter what happens with your fridge. No company is going to sell you a warranty for less than it costs them to offer it to you. Generally, extended warr...
by armeliusc
Wed Sep 09, 2020 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What % of income to spend on car?
Replies: 122
Views: 8826

Re: What % of income to spend on car?

Read this. It will answer all of your questions. https://www.financialsamurai.com/the-110th-rule-for-car-buying-everyone-must-follow/ IMO, the Accord is the best value car on the road. Just make sure it fits within the 1/10 rule. The above cited article, and the premise of this question, are missin...
by armeliusc
Mon Sep 07, 2020 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Office space
Replies: 22
Views: 2266

Re: Office space

Like some of what others said, I'd invest on beefing up your home internet and network and get a good headset with noise cancelling. You alluded you have an upstairs but with spotty coverage. Install mesh wifi throughout your house with something like Google wifi. Use either wifi call or Google voic...
by armeliusc
Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: plug in streaming device
Replies: 38
Views: 2313

Re: plug in streaming device

Set up your own WiFi network. Have it get its internet access from your building’s WiFi. All your own devices would connect to your own network and could freely communicate with each other. I woke up this morning thinking something similar. Get a WiFi extender and have it connect to the buildings n...