Search found 31 matches

by alinna
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you buy in Asian food stores?
Replies: 86
Views: 5285

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

I have other spices and sauces around but I can't say that I have a good gut feeling for what they do for me. When should oyster sauce or five-spice powder be used, for instance? Oyster sauce is often used with stir fry, and can also be used as a condiment for sauteed vegetables. Five-spice powder ...
by alinna
Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you buy in Asian food stores?
Replies: 86
Views: 5285

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Green salads aren't overly common in many Asian cuisines, and a lot of leafy greens sold in those supermarkets are bitter if not cooked, so that's my guess for why she insisted that they had to be cooked. I typically buy Chinese eggplant, assorted Chinese greens and mushrooms, thinly sliced beef and...
by alinna
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating merit scholarships
Replies: 32
Views: 1988

Re: Negotiating merit scholarships

When you say that you don't think he'll get a merit scholarship from UCLA or UC Berkeley, are you saying that your nephew wouldn't qualify for their scholarships or that you don't think those schools offer merit scholarships?
by alinna
Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage through NACA
Replies: 7
Views: 804

Re: Mortgage through NACA

I haven't used NACA but have a friend who recently bought a 4 unit property with a NACA mortgage who is also quite a NACA evangelist. The steps to qualify (workshop, counseling, etc.) seem far more involved than getting a preapproval via a bank. Personally we did not feel that NACA would work as we ...
by alinna
Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the most inexpensive way to learn driving in Seattle?
Replies: 14
Views: 1348

Re: What is the most inexpensive way to learn driving in Seattle?

I was in your situation several years ago and can relate. Do you already have a learner's permit? If not, that's probably the first step to take. Although lessons are expensive, I would strongly recommend that you sign up for some lessons, so that you are taught good habits and get feedback about ar...
by alinna
Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how do I play music on an Android phone?
Replies: 18
Views: 2438

Re: how do I play music on an Android phone?

I use the Rocket Player app on my Android phone. It can scan the phone for music files located anywhere on it, create playlists, and has an autoplay option when something is plugged into the headphone jack.
by alinna
Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Avoid Ubiquity Savings as 401(k) provider until they fix Mar/Apr 2016 problems
Replies: 61
Views: 11241

Re: Avoid Ubiquity Savings as 401(k) provider until they fix Mar/Apr 2016 problems

For those of you who have noticed the skimming, could you provide more details on which numbers are off? I checked our March 2016 statement from TD Ameritrade, and looked at the transaction that was processed before the website change. It looks like the total debited from our bank account matches th...
by alinna
Sat Apr 16, 2016 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Avoid Ubiquity Savings as 401(k) provider until they fix Mar/Apr 2016 problems
Replies: 61
Views: 11241

Re: Avoid Ubiquity Savings as 401(k) provider until they fix Mar/Apr 2016 problems

Agreed - something went badly wrong with the migration of login accounts. I wasn't able to make 401k payroll contributions until last week, due to the login issue (which required a few hours on hold because their system for sending password resets never did send the e-mails), and then, the contribut...
by alinna
Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should car be repaired (airbag issue)?
Replies: 13
Views: 1307

Re: Should car be repaired (airbag issue)?

Watty,
Thanks for all the information. A tire replacement was done several years ago, but not any belt/hose replacements, so would you recommend that someone look at the condition of those items when I get a second opinion?
by alinna
Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should car be repaired (airbag issue)?
Replies: 13
Views: 1307

Re: Should car be repaired (airbag issue)?

Spirit Rider wrote:How much do you trust this mechanic? It might be worth a second opinion. It should not cost much to get the code result(s), or you can get them yourself.


The mechanic I use didn't charge for the code results - but I'll also get a second opinion. Thanks for all the information!
by alinna
Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should car be repaired (airbag issue)?
Replies: 13
Views: 1307

Re: Should car be repaired (airbag issue)?

How well do you trust your mechanic? If not much, I'd say get a second opinion. The two most likely suspects are the airbag sensors under the front bumper and the connections under the seats. The mechanic has been pretty good about letting me know about what work is necessary and what can be put of...
by alinna
Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should car be repaired (airbag issue)?
Replies: 13
Views: 1307

Should car be repaired (airbag issue)?

The airbag light in my car, a Nissan sedan, has come on and my mechanic said an airbag replacement would be needed to fix the problem, which he estimates to cost between $1,500 to $2,000. These airbags are not subject to the recalls that have been going on, as far as I know. Until the car is repaire...
by alinna
Wed Jul 08, 2015 11:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it a good idea to travel to Western Europe with kids?
Replies: 39
Views: 3456

Re: Is it a good idea to travel to Western Europe with kids?

My parents were college professors who attended conferences abroad almost every summer and took us kids along. I remember loving all the trips abroad with all the new experiences and interesting things to see. I was 12 and my brother was 9 when we visited London and Paris for the first time, after a...
by alinna
Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Revamping our pooled 401k - advice needed!
Replies: 12
Views: 1660

Re: Revamping our pooled 401k - advice needed!

My workplace has their plan with Ubiquity (formerly the Online 401k). I'm surprised to hear there isn't an asset based fee, as we pay 0.04% to TD Ameritrade Trust Company as they are the custodian of the funds. We also had Vanguard offered as a default fund option, rather than Schwab. I'd definitely...
by alinna
Fri Feb 27, 2015 2:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?
Replies: 70
Views: 7847

Re: How does one increase their typing speed and accuracy?

My aunt gave me the game Typing Tutor for DOS back in the day (along with Tetris) and it was pretty much the only game on that computer for a long time. Later on, spent plenty of time chatting online on IRC channels, AIM, etc., plus reinforcement from school/work and it's a skill that gets practiced...
by alinna
Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time within which employer must remit 401(k) contribution
Replies: 46
Views: 5681

Re: Time within which employer must remit 401(k) contributio

My nonprofit uses a payroll company but remits our 401k contributions ourselves. Payroll is usually submitted about 5 business days before the actual paydate, and then it takes 1-2 days to get the processed payroll from the company. After we receive the processed payroll, we verify the amounts liste...
by alinna
Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selecting Charities for Donation
Replies: 59
Views: 7974

Re: Selecting Charities for Donation

Certain local food banks take the cash to grocery stores and purchase gift certificates for their clients. Some of those gift certificates are used to purchase items other than food. No thanks. I would rather dedicate that money to the Salvation Army where they distribute physical food to their cli...
by alinna
Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you take all of your allowed paid vacation time?
Replies: 88
Views: 8901

Re: Do you take all of your allowed paid vacation time?

I am one of 2 (out of a total of 7) people at my workplace who have less than the max vacation accrual. Employees earn anywhere from 10 to 20 days of vacation based on seniority, and we can bank up to 30 days total before you lose it. Sick time is separate and accrues at 12 days per year, up to a ma...
by alinna
Thu Feb 20, 2014 3:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: $16 Billion for WhatsApp?!?!?!
Replies: 51
Views: 5232

Re: $16 Billion for WhatsApp?!?!?!

And yes, lots of people do pay the $1 for the app. It's mostly popular in emerging markets where SMS texting is uneconomical, not in the US, so it's not surprising you don't know anybody who has paid the $1. But why should that be the case? $1 per year is a lot cheaper than SMS text messaging. Heck...
by alinna
Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel to Greece
Replies: 25
Views: 1966

Re: Travel to Greece

We went to Greece 5 years ago and visited both Athens and Santorini. We didn't have any problems with English although we did carry a Greek phrasebook just in case. Athens is easy to get around with the subway. Santorini has a decent bus system that will get you to most of the tourist sites, but you...
by alinna
Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How important is a cover letter?
Replies: 32
Views: 2750

Re: How important is a cover letter?

I recently led the hiring effort for a part-time employee at my workplace, a small non-profit, so all applications were read by a person, not by machine. Cover letter was required - we did not look at applications without one. Given that the job required attention to detail for data entry, good pers...
by alinna
Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average Yearly Raises?
Replies: 97
Views: 7749

Re: Average Yearly Raises?

Average since finding a full-time job 8 years ago, 6.3%. From first real job, 9 years, 14.0%. The first real job was pretty awful but that was all I could find right after college after looking for several months.
by alinna
Sat Oct 26, 2013 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Donating a Used TV to Charity
Replies: 44
Views: 9914

Re: Donating a Used TV to Charity

Don't think many charities will take the item. We got rid of one recently by placing it outside on the sidewalk and posted an ad on the free section of Craigslist about it. It was gone within an hour.
by alinna
Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco holdout considering membership
Replies: 117
Views: 9352

Re: Costco holdout considering membership

I've been a Costco member for several years and I think it's worth it. We don't buy much of the food because there's only two of us and we prefer farmer's market produce to Costco's, but we found the following Costco items useful: ⋅ Gift cards. Usually you can get $100 worth of gift cards ...
by alinna
Fri May 03, 2013 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Non Profit Audited Financials
Replies: 9
Views: 735

Re: Non Profit Audited Financials

Typically nonprofits should have a minimum of 3 months operating expenses in cash/investments, so without knowing the organizational budget, can't answer whether it's unusual or not. Is part of that money in restricted assets that can only be used for certain situations or after a certain period of ...
by alinna
Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need advice with selecting funds for nonprofit's 401k
Replies: 3
Views: 377

Re: Need advice with selecting funds for nonprofit's 401k

Well, we finally have the 401k! We did not go with the T Rowe Price plan. Our Board formed a 401k committee to discuss options and two of the members had potential providers they wished to look at (one was a high-fee one). Given that, I put in a suggestion for Employee Fiduciary as well. It was a bi...
by alinna
Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need help with selecting 401k plan provider
Replies: 8
Views: 3151

Re: Need help with selecting 401k plan provider

My employer has just gone through the process of 401k provider selection and we're working through the paperwork now to get the plan setup with the Online 401k, although we are a new plan, not a conversion. FYI, the Online 401k (at least the non-Costco version) claims to have access to any mutual fu...
by alinna
Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need advice with selecting funds for nonprofit's 401k
Replies: 3
Views: 377

Need advice with selecting funds for nonprofit's 401k

The good news is that my workplace, a small non-profit, will finally be getting a 401k plan. My boss has given me the responsibility of making the arrangements, subject to his and our Board chair's approval. We will most likely be going with T. Rowe Price's Century 401k plan (full service), unless E...
by alinna
Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need advice for portfolio rebalancing without access to 403b
Replies: 5
Views: 506

Re: Need advice for portfolio rebalancing without access to

Thank you, I have updated my original post with the correct marginal tax rates.

From looking at the IRS website about IRAs, it looks like if my employer does not set up the 403b, then I can use the traditional IRA regardless of my income?
by alinna
Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need advice for portfolio rebalancing without access to 403b
Replies: 5
Views: 506

Need advice for portfolio rebalancing without access to 403b

Emergency Funds: 3 years worth of expenses in a bank account earning 0.8% Age: 30 Debt: None, although parents will be expecting some financial assistance when they retire in the next 2-5 years Tax Filing Status: Single State of Residence: CA Tax Rate: 25% federal, 9.3% CA Desired Asset Allocation:...