Search found 246 matches

by vveat
Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for a Catamaran
Replies: 21
Views: 1780

Re: Looking for a Catamaran

Another point - do you know how you will use the boat? Purpose would determine the best fit. We have a small 26' catamaran, which is perfect for day trips with multiple guests (we have had 8 adults and 3 kids without feeling crowded) since it has a large platform in the middle and no cabin. In a mon...
by vveat
Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bank accounts and minors
Replies: 11
Views: 522

Bank accounts and minors

My daughter, who is 9, just got a check in her name from some kind of class action (about vitamins). The check is not big, just over $50 and I am wondering whether to have her cash it or open an account My preference is to have her cash it and to treat as an extra "windfall allowance", splitting it ...
by vveat
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you buy in Asian food stores?
Replies: 86
Views: 5990

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

We get meat types and cuts that are difficult to find in the chain supermarkets - rabbit, duck, goat, etc. The fish department has a lot of diverse choices too. From the produce a variety of mushrooms, and the Chinese cabbage. Kimchi is also a favorite. I rarely buy from the inside aisles, since I a...
by vveat
Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids
Replies: 36
Views: 2167

Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

I would encourage your kids to read! If you don't start when you're young, you won't like reading when you're older. They will not like reading for fun after the instant gratification of video games. Once they are teenagers, I think video games are okay in moderation. No real concern here, we are a...
by vveat
Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids
Replies: 36
Views: 2167

Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Money is not a particular problem either (we could make them save for a console, but may be better to buy it for them to have more control over use). For what it’s worth my parents made me buy all my video games and they exerted 100% control over them as well. I like that approach :sharebeer
by vveat
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids
Replies: 36
Views: 2167

Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

Your 6 year old is in sports 4-5 nights a week? And isn't getting burnt out? My 8 year old loves sports but does it 2 nights a week Not to get off topic, but this means 2-3 days sport #1 (the 3rd day is optional for him) + 2 days sport #2 - each session is 1 hour long, so this means 4-5 hours a wee...
by vveat
Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids
Replies: 36
Views: 2167

On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

There is probably an old thread on this, must be a common topic, but I couldn’t find it, so here goes. We have a 6 and 9 year old kids, and they are recently getting more into video games, especially the younger one (a boy). My husband and I are not into games, I haven’t played for many years, he so...
by vveat
Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses
Replies: 35
Views: 2590

Re: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses

Budget is on monthly basis, dividing the irregulars by whatever number of months they occur When funds were tight we used a sub-account in our online savings account for "escrow" - transferring the monthly budgeted amount and then paying directly from this account. Worked pretty well. Now we have en...
by vveat
Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Innovis and ChexSystems freeze confirmation letters
Replies: 52
Views: 7242

Re: Innovis and ChexSystems freeze confirmation letters

13 days for Innovis.
Still waiting for Chex Systems, now is day 14.
by vveat
Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the main purpose of holding your current job?
Replies: 66
Views: 5955

Re: What is the main purpose of holding your current job?

1.1) I enjoy my job, I find the work stimulating and challenging (occasionally exhausting) and frustrating). My co-workers are excellent, intelligent people and I truly enjoy interacting and working with them. My job provides the flexibility to work from home a few days a week and I am fairly compe...
by vveat
Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?
Replies: 275
Views: 25934

Re: Name something you had to have and now you regret purchasing it?

Son spending kindergarten in a private school. It made sense while the public K was half day, but last year they switched to full day and we still kept him in the private (I guess for continuity and sentimental reasons). Today was his first day in public for 1st grade and he loves it. $17k down the ...
by vveat
Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Evaluating risk of flooding in the "new normal"
Replies: 45
Views: 2624

Re: Evaluating risk of flooding in the "new normal"

It's possible there could be foundation problems, especially if there was rushing water, not "just" standing water. RM Interesting point, we just debated it a bit. But the creek is not that big and we have multiple trees between it and us. It's not a flat plane or coastal area with a surge. The wat...
by vveat
Wed Aug 30, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Evaluating risk of flooding in the "new normal"
Replies: 45
Views: 2624

Re: Evaluating risk of flooding in the "new normal"

Well, there's a lot of variables at play. That said, 3 backyard floods in just 12 years would suggest to me a pretty serious risk. To start with, compare the annual premium with the amount that it would likely cover, in damages. $5K/year to get $50K in coverage versus $5K/year to get $500K in cover...
by vveat
Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Evaluating risk of flooding in the "new normal"
Replies: 45
Views: 2624

Re: Evaluating risk of flooding in the "new normal"

You say only one corner of your property is in a flood zone, but how old is the flood risk map you are relying on for that information? Many communities have fought tooth and nail to keep FEMA from updating the maps. Point being: Politics has often gotten in the way of any objective analysis of the...
by vveat
Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Evaluating risk of flooding in the "new normal"
Replies: 45
Views: 2624

Evaluating risk of flooding in the "new normal"

Have you tried to evaluate the flood risk for your house beyond what was considered “normal” previously. This is a question on my mind as I watch what is happening in Houston and also think of recent years in NJ and about climate change in general. We feel (whether right or wrong) that we have consi...
by vveat
Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to deal with Amazon purchases with Mint.com??
Replies: 37
Views: 3423

Re: How to deal with Amazon purchases with Mint.com??

I shop a lot on Amazon - usually have 15-25 Amazon transactions a month in Mint I split them manually, but I do it once a month (since I do a budget categories review in the beginning of the month). Just filter for Amazon transactions, compare the list against the Amazon Orders list and it's a 5-10 ...
by vveat
Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desperate to get rid of mosquitoes, what else could we try?
Replies: 62
Views: 4398

Re: Desperate to get rid of mosquitoes, what else could we try?

OP here, just wanted to say thanks for the plentiful advice. I already acted on some of it: - spoke with the county mosquito control, they will send an inspector (somehow I never thought before reading this threat that there will be such a service, live and learn :sharebeer ) - ordered Spartan Mosqu...
by vveat
Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desperate to get rid of mosquitoes, what else could we try?
Replies: 62
Views: 4398

Desperate to get rid of mosquitoes, what else could we try?

We are becoming rather desperate to reduce the mosquitoes in our back yard. So much so that for us it’s becoming a determining factor whether to move houses or not. We’ve tried a lot of things, and I was wondering whether you have more suggestions. When we bought the house 12 years ago the mosquitoe...
by vveat
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-fiction bucket list
Replies: 110
Views: 10149

Re: Non-fiction bucket list

I also would highly recommend reading a book about the Russian Revolution. Boris Pasternak's "Doctor Zhivago" is an excellent book about the Russian Revolution, but it's not non-fiction. If you are interested in the life in the early Soviet Union and do not reject fiction out of hand, I recommend t...
by vveat
Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of cleaning service do you use?
Replies: 15
Views: 1732

What kind of cleaning service do you use?

Today’s thread about happiness through outsourcing cleaning (among other things) reminded me that this is something our family continues to struggle with – we have tried different options over the years and still nothing we are satisfied with. Cost is not the problem, it’s finding the least inconven...
by vveat
Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Missing charge - should I go back and inquire?
Replies: 7
Views: 1005

Missing charge - should I go back and inquire?

Three weeks ago I needed to make a photo book for a gift. Time was of essence since we were going abroad within a week (i.e. 2 weeks ago from now) - so I didn't use my usual online photo site, and didn't use Costco either since I had some issues with them last time. I opted to make the book on CVS P...
by vveat
Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Choosing a home from 3 options
Replies: 7
Views: 1257

Re: Choosing a home from 3 options

It's not very clear what is your preference for location - is it walkability or is it proximity to center? For the last one you say it's best location, but then you have a concern about approachable neighbors? Are there other factors - commute to work, driving distance to sports or other activities ...
by vveat
Mon May 22, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Insurance for visiting the US
Replies: 5
Views: 903

Re: Medical Insurance for visiting the US

We have regularly used insubuy.com to purchase visitor insurance for our family that visit US. They offer quotes online that can customized by coverage and limits, need and your pocket book. Thankfully, we have not had to use much and always cover tests and basic doctor visits out of pocket as we c...
by vveat
Mon May 22, 2017 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Summer outdoor parties - party food ideas
Replies: 20
Views: 2118

Re: Summer outdoor parties - party food ideas

You didn't say whether you'll be serving kids/teens or grown ups, for us that would be a leading factor. A few favorites: - tomato/mozzarella or fruit "kebabs" (i.e. on a stick) - gazpacho in plastic cups (if you have good ripe tomatoes, blend them with some cucumber, onions, red pepper, garlic, cil...
by vveat
Sat May 20, 2017 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What goes in your smoothie?
Replies: 45
Views: 3699

Re: What goes in your smoothie?

We recently got a Ninja, much cheaper than a Vitamix, likely makes a bit less smooth smoothies. One particular one ended as the whole family favorite (otherwise one of us is more into greens, others entirely into fruits) 2 cups of Swiss chard or spinach 2 cups of fresh peaches or bananas (canned or ...
by vveat
Fri May 19, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: house issue with number of rooms
Replies: 18
Views: 2300

Re: house issue with number of rooms

When we bought our house we realized somebody (not even the previous owner) had built an addition without declaring it. We did the right thing and notified the town. Our taxes went up significantly and it took us an appeal to bring them down in line with comparables. Ours was a big and noticeable di...
by vveat
Fri May 19, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifts - list price vs. what you actually paid
Replies: 3
Views: 631

Gifts - list price vs. what you actually paid

I am for sure overthinking this, but decided to ask. My son is going to a classmate's birthday party tomorrow. In general my rule of thumb for kids gifts for not very close friends is ~$25 (or maybe $20-30). We got him an item with a list price of $25 (printed on the back), but I got it at Costco fo...
by vveat
Wed May 10, 2017 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What newspaper or magazine do you pay for?
Replies: 107
Views: 6662

Re: What newspaper or magazine do you pay for?

Recently subscribed to NYTimes (digital) and Washington Post (digital)
Time (physical)
Cooks Illustrated (digital)
and my husband is subscribed to all sailing magazines there are
by vveat
Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for someone new to Management Consulting
Replies: 6
Views: 1061

Re: Advice for someone new to Management Consulting

My 2 cents below. 1) What do you think epitomizes a successful management consultant? If you are in a big firm it will vary (and change) by level. At the analyst or even manager level you'll need strong analytical skills - from quick back of the envelope solutions and sanity checking, to creating an...
by vveat
Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying House with Odor (not cigarette)
Replies: 36
Views: 3269

Re: Buying House with Odor (not cigarette)

When we bought our house one room smelled. We were novices, this was a fixer upper anyway, and we decided the owners cat had peed on the carpet. Well, when we pulled the carpet out we encountered a lot of rotting wood, lack of insulation, etc. Resolvable, no serious mold issue, but this added a coup...
by vveat
Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chores for elementary school age kids?
Replies: 18
Views: 1748

Re: Chores for elementary school age kids?

Thank you all for the ideas - especially ChurchLady and Loik098 for the organized long lists. Some of the suggestions were not applicable to what we do in our household - for example, we don't iron (ok, maybe 2-3 times a year), no rugs to shake (pity, I remember beating the rugs being a fun chore wh...
by vveat
Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chores for elementary school age kids?
Replies: 18
Views: 1748

Chores for elementary school age kids?

I was thinking recently that we haven't bothered much with formal chores for my 6 and 9 years old: - they are rather swamped with homework and activities 6 days a week (language school on Sundays) - frankly in the modern household with all appliances and conveniences there are not that many chores. ...
by vveat
Fri Mar 24, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gross Yearly Income needed in Retirement (Speculation)
Replies: 194
Views: 23402

Re: Gross Yearly Income needed in Retirement (Speculation)

Not retired yet but I've done planning as we are considering early retirement. HCOL area. Travel is the big expense - each 1-2 weeks trip to Europe or similarly remote location is $5-10k, if we take kids out of the equation, probably $5k will do it. Local US trips are cheaper, but I would still budg...
by vveat
Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: gratuitous homeownership items
Replies: 218
Views: 21771

Re: gratuitous homeownership items

We've redone the whole house, so practically nothing is gratuitous. It would be easier to point out nice surprises - things we barely noticed or didn't care about that have been surprisingly useful. I could think of only 2 items: Heated towel rack in the master bathroom that we used only in the firs...
by vveat
Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 4682

Re: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?

You didn't address my earlier question. You mentioned that "funding their b-day parties" was their only gift from you. What did their parties consist of and how much did you spend on them? Am I under cross examination? Truth: I don't remember the dollar amounts. Our 4-year old's party was...
by vveat
Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 4682

Re: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?

I completely understand and like the fact that your kids read a lot. But I am really curios why you do not use libraries most of the time? Could it be that you don not have good libraries where you live? Original OP here. I was (am) so fascinated by the birthday gifts discussion that I forgot to re...
by vveat
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Describe your Reasonable Dream Home
Replies: 51
Views: 4185

Re: Describe your Reasonable Dream Home

We are pretty happy with what we have currently: - 2,300 sqft ranch, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths - big room for large gatherings and small living room for TV watching - cozy library room - open floor, but we can send the kids and their friends to the finished basement and close the door if the noise bothers...
by vveat
Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you discuss finances and spending with your spouse?
Replies: 60
Views: 4291

Re: How often do you discuss finances and spending with your spouse?

Have you done any tracking of the regular spending, or any retirement projections - to serve as a basis for the discussion? I am having difficulty getting to the right conversation if there is no common starting point but different opinions on what is much and what is little. Why don't you put some ...
by vveat
Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 4682

Re: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?

Thanks for the opinions so far. It really surprised me that people were surprised that we don't buy them birthday presents. I guess it may seem odd, but given that they get so many at one time (I even hold them off from opening most, so they open them throughout the year) I find it difficult to come...
by vveat
Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 4682

Re: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?

excluding clothing (for the 8 year old, the younger one is 99% on hand-me-downs:-) I would seriously rethink this. Children especially girls, need their own identity. This really forms in the pre-teen years (8 -12). Hand-me-downs can be a great breeding ground of hidden resentment and you won't dis...
by vveat
Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 4682

How much do you spend on "stuff" for kids?

I am looking for a bit of a benchmark what is normal to spend on "stuff" for your kids at elementary school age. I have a 6 and 8 year old, and comparing them to my closest friends with similar age kids we buy much less. But my mom who is visiting from abroad for a couple of months a year ...
by vveat
Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?
Replies: 95
Views: 8977

Re: Do Boglehead DIY or Pay a Professional?

Frankly for us, if we are able to do it well, and if we don't absolutely hate the activity, we always DYI. That's how we were brought up, and having money hasn't changed the mentality. Not saying it's reasonable, just not easy to overcome. Also my husband is stay-at-home and is very handy, so no exc...
by vveat
Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Caribbean vacation with 3 kids
Replies: 27
Views: 2644

Re: Caribbean vacation with 3 kids

Dominican Republic is a cheaper destination - we've been twice - once to La Romana, last year to Punta Cana, and had very good experience as vacations with kids go. Last year an all inclusive for a week with 2 kids cost us $5k (we booked through Costco Travel). They had a kids club with activities a...
by vveat
Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Utility Bills - How do ours compare?
Replies: 44
Views: 4497

Re: Utility Bills - How do ours compare?

Location: NJ House size: 1,600 sq ft (main) + 800 sq ft basement Occupants: 4 (5 in some months) Average monthly based on full year: Electric: $135 (high: $190, low: $70) Gas: $50 (high: $100, low: $10). Note - we have a wood stove that we use daily in winter months, it effectively heats half of the...
by vveat
Wed Feb 15, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kids in Apartment Sharing Bedroom - Workable?
Replies: 55
Views: 4315

Re: Kids in Apartment Sharing Bedroom - Workable?

We have 3 boys. The two oldest shared a room when the oldest was 4 and the middle was just a baby. When three came along, he moved in with middle and oldest got his own room. Youngest two are now 11 and 8 and have always shared a room, despite the fact we have a 5 bedroom house. I'm curious why you...
by vveat
Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you buy coffee beans?
Replies: 96
Views: 7225

Re: Where do you buy coffee beans?

Starbucks has "blonde" coffees - Veranda and Willow. They do not taste burned at all, I am very sensitive to this and have always gone for medium or light roasts, this is a great choice for us. m By the way, on my rare visits to Aldi (out of the way for me) I always check out the whole bea...
by vveat
Fri Jan 27, 2017 10:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Payoneer?
Replies: 2
Views: 431

Re: Experience with Payoneer?

Thank you! The payment came through in 2 days, I was impressed and pleasantly surprised.
by vveat
Wed Jan 25, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience with Payoneer?
Replies: 2
Views: 431

Experience with Payoneer?

I got a small compensation payment from United through AirHelp, for a significantly delayed flight. AirHelp offer 3 ways to send me the payment - a bank transfer or check would cost $30, while bank transfer via Payoneer would be free. It's the first time I had heard of Payoneer. Since I will have to...
by vveat
Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?
Replies: 171
Views: 12191

Re: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?

Such a wealth of answers, thank you all. I am already reassured that we are not over the top - it seems quite a few of the respondents spend about the same as us when going out in similar COL areas. You are probably right about the drinks being the culprit. Since I don't drink myself I never look at...
by vveat
Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?
Replies: 171
Views: 12191

How much do you typically spend in a restaurant?

I was recently looking through our restaurant spend data from Mint over the recent few years and something surprised me. A year and a half ago my husband and I decided to go out to eat more often (basically introduced a date night:-). We are real homebodies, heavily into home cooking, preserving, br...