Search found 1721 matches

by Caduceus
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many of you have cut the cord?
Replies: 244
Views: 27679

Re: How many of you have cut the cord?

I only have internet. No TV or a landline, and my cellphone subscription is a pay as you go plan that costs $10 a month. I make most of my calls using Skype over the internet. Total bills this year for all communication/digital related expenses looks like it will be $580, almost all of it internet c...
by Caduceus
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still spending too much on non-essentials
Replies: 38
Views: 2391

Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

What's your goal here? What makes this non-essential spending "too much"? It sounds like you don't have a written budget. Budgets are great because they tell you both when you're risking spending too much but also when you have enough to spend. Your situation could be either of those, though frankl...
by Caduceus
Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still spending too much on non-essentials
Replies: 38
Views: 2391

Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

Any tips for how you have managed to resist the temptation to spend on non-essential things? In addition to the money that you are spending you also have to watch out for the clutter that will accumulate over the years which can easily get out of hand. Some people have a rule that whenever they buy...
by Caduceus
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still spending too much on non-essentials
Replies: 38
Views: 2391

Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

I don’t think you can chalk that up as non-essential. I spent maybe $500 between amazon and ebay last year but it was for things like a rebuild kit for my worn out chain saw, motor oil and filters and filters, and hydraulic fluid for my tractor. All I consider essential No, these purchases really a...
by Caduceus
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High-end Christmas decorations
Replies: 41
Views: 3919

Re: High-end Christmas decorations

Thank you everyone for the suggestions. It turns out I just tallied up my purchases for the year and we are spending way too much, so I think we really will just lay off the Christmas decorating for next year. :beer
by Caduceus
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still spending too much on non-essentials
Replies: 38
Views: 2391

Still spending too much on non-essentials

I just tallied up my non-essential purchases between Jan 1 and today and the amount horrified me. I spent $1,010 on Ebay, $180 on Amazon, $51 on Overstock.com, and another $100 on a painting I paid in cash. That's nearly $100 a month on non-essential spending. This is a bummer because I thought I ha...
by Caduceus
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where can I go to print a very high-quality book?
Replies: 14
Views: 963

Re: Where can I go to print a very high-quality book?

Yes, it seems the library staff would be a good place to start. They don't have any recommendations actually. They accept books but don't print out any stuff. People rarely print and bind books except on a large-scale commercial basis, I am guessing. And some of these places aren't conservation/arc...
by Caduceus
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paper or Paperless? How and what financial records do you keep?
Replies: 50
Views: 3550

Re: Paper or Paperless? How and what financial records do you keep?

I keep very few paper records. I have five binders: one for taxes, one for financial accounts, one for insurance/health records, one for old academic records like transcripts, and one personal binder for anything important. But they are mostly half-empty, except the one with old tax returns. I would...
by Caduceus
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High-end Christmas decorations
Replies: 41
Views: 3919

High-end Christmas decorations

My partner and I are going without Christmas decorations/tree this year as we are both unwilling to fork out retail prices. We are thinking of shopping the week after Christmas to get everything we need for next year instead. It is a bit of a bummer for this year, but to keep us excited for next yea...
by Caduceus
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where can I go to print a very high-quality book?
Replies: 14
Views: 963

Where can I go to print a very high-quality book?

Two libraries have asked me to make copies of some genealogical research I've done for them, which I will have to print out in book form. I'd like it to be on archival quality paper, with bindings/glue/materials that will last for as long as possible within a library setting. I am also giving them a...
by Caduceus
Fri Oct 05, 2018 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to clean oil off a lamp without damaging it
Replies: 10
Views: 737

Re: How to clean oil off a lamp without damaging it

Keep in mind that cleaning old lamps can produce unexpected results. Be very careful if offered three wishes. I would guess the site listed above, where they used dish detergent, would be the way to go. Haha! I wish. I already know what I would ask for :happy I actually already used lots of soap ov...
by Caduceus
Fri Oct 05, 2018 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to clean oil off a lamp without damaging it
Replies: 10
Views: 737

Re: How to clean oil off a lamp without damaging it

Is part of the problem that you cannot access the internal of the oil reservoir? If not, I think oven cleaner is worth trying. Highly alkaline. Baked on food grease and burnt on oil soot or just raw oil should be similar. Make sure it doesn't damage the brass by testing on an inconspicuous area fir...
by Caduceus
Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to clean oil off a lamp without damaging it
Replies: 10
Views: 737

How to clean oil off a lamp without damaging it

I bought one of those cool vintage rain lamps but after cleaning it for eight hours over two weekends, I still cannot remove all of the oil. My intention is to convert this to a lamp (without the oil fountain part). How do I get all of the mineral oil out? When I scrub the inner parts of the lamp th...
by Caduceus
Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Experience in Buying a Burial Plot: The cost (in NJ)
Replies: 64
Views: 4459

Re: My Experience in Buying a Burial Plot: The cost (in NJ)

The cost does not seem worth it. Visiting graves does not usually extend past two generations. I have seen my great-grandparents' graves, but only because I am a fairly serious genealogist. I can't think of any friends who have visited their great-grandparents graves. For that amount of money, an ou...
by Caduceus
Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is Home Part of NW [Net Worth]
Replies: 98
Views: 6831

Re: Why is Home Part of NW [Net Worth]

If you don't believe your home is part of your net worth, then please feel free to sign a quit-claim deed for your home over to me. Or me! The house next door to us is currently being rented, and would sell for about the same price as mine. We have a few hundred thousand dollars in equity. Let’s sa...
by Caduceus
Mon Oct 01, 2018 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me manage my day to day bills to save more!!
Replies: 45
Views: 3599

Re: Help me manage my day to day bills to save more!!

It's the big things like housing costs and transportation costs that matter for the vast majority of people. Saving $30 here on a subscription and $20 there on lunch isn't going to make a difference. If you find that being a one-income family is tough, I suggest thinking outside the box and making s...
by Caduceus
Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can old perfumes/cologne be used?
Replies: 15
Views: 1359

Re: Can old perfumes/cologne be used?

That's interesting. I had not expected it was OK to still use them. Wouldn't there be potential bacterial/mold growth in the perfumes after so long? Or is that the alcohol content makes it safe even after all this time? You are right about the price. I checked ebay and some of the bottles are going ...
by Caduceus
Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can old perfumes/cologne be used?
Replies: 15
Views: 1359

Can old perfumes/cologne be used?

I am clearing out the place of an elderly relative and found a huge box of old perfumes and colognes. I am guessing some of these must be at least 20 years old. They were not stored properly or refrigerated, just placed on the shelf for decades. Would there be any danger if I were to just use them a...
by Caduceus
Mon Oct 01, 2018 1:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using 401k loans to max tax advantaged accounts early in career
Replies: 29
Views: 1968

Re: Using 401k loans to max tax advantaged accounts early in career

You should do it if you have a plan in the worst case scenario to pay off the entire loan should you lose your job. If you have a fairly stable job (e.g. doctor, tenured professor) and a reasonable expectation your salary will scale up pretty quickly, it's a fairly good strategy. You need to check t...
by Caduceus
Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good flip flops
Replies: 46
Views: 3498

Re: Good flip flops

OK, thank you everyone! People are more passionate about their flip-flops than I expected. 8-) I will give some of these a try and report back if I can.
by Caduceus
Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pondering Pros/Cons of Defensive Investing Starting Out
Replies: 12
Views: 954

Re: Pondering Pros/Cons of Defensive Investing Starting Out

Warren Buffett was asked this question, and his recommendation was that if you have a significant lump sum, you should average into the market. This goes counter to financial theory, but he's always thought that most of what finance folks say is nonsense.
by Caduceus
Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Could things get much worse for the Italian stock market? How?
Replies: 60
Views: 4067

Re: Could things get much worse for the Italian stock market? How?

Exactly, I bought Russia in April when it plummeted and I wrote this https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=246575 and it's up 25%. I am not saying this to boast (well... perhaps just a little :D ) but because I am wondering whether I should do the same with Italy. For example a fund mana...
by Caduceus
Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Warren Buffet Portfolio Critique
Replies: 56
Views: 4580

Re: Warren Buffet Portfolio Critique

Buffett has addressed this question in the Q&A portion of his shareholder meetings before, so the answers to some of the questions are: Yes, he means this as general advice. He says that for "know-nothing" investors (people who are not trying to actively pick stocks), picking a diversified U.S. inde...
by Caduceus
Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New immigrant with complicated situation
Replies: 24
Views: 2752

Re: New immigrant with complicated situation

Is there any reason you have to live in NYC (do you have relatives there), or you intend to get a job there? Or your wife's medical treatment has to take place around there? There are many places around NYC (even in New Jersey) that are just an hour's commute. It might make sense to explore cheaper ...
by Caduceus
Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warren Buffett Books
Replies: 54
Views: 6180

Re: Warren Buffett Books

I started to read The Snowball - all 900 pages. The first chapter was a little rough to get going but I am keeping an open mind. I have read Lowenstein’s Buffett so I am not sure how much difference 900 pages will make. Skip the parts about his early family history if you don't like those bits. The...
by Caduceus
Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cleaning lady stealing
Replies: 49
Views: 7483

Re: cleaning lady stealing

Something similar happened to my Dad, except the cleaning person stole money, not medicines. My Mom wanted to report it to the police, but my Dad sat her down, said what she did was wrong, but that he wanted to give her a chance and would not report to the police. He didn't even ask for the money ba...
by Caduceus
Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digitalizing Old Photos Help
Replies: 22
Views: 1633

Re: Digitalizing Old Photos Help

Just two suggestions. First is you should be quite ruthless about what you digitize. I was in the same position, and to be honest, your descendants won't care very much about 90% of the photos you took. Select the ones that will have meaning for posterity. Second is that some photos are worth profes...
by Caduceus
Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good flip flops
Replies: 46
Views: 3498

Good flip flops

Are there any good flip flops (any particular brands?) with good cushioning and for folks with flatter arches? Most flip flops I see in stores are low-quality types with one flat rubber sole, no contours or cushion, and fit loosely. I am trying to buy something that has more of the stability, comfor...
by Caduceus
Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do we expect TSM to keep growing?
Replies: 77
Views: 8793

Re: Why do we expect TSM to keep growing?

The total stock market is just an aggregation of all the companies in that portfolio. So it's easier to answer your question if you think about it this way: Why does any particular company increase in value? A company increases its value to shareholder if it makes a profit and if it allocates those ...
by Caduceus
Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I sell or rent my house?
Replies: 22
Views: 1910

Re: Should I sell or rent my house?

What you've described seems like a terrible after-tax, after-expense (including mortgage interest) return on investment. I would certainly not purchase the house. But as for whether you should sell it, you would have to consider capital gains taxes. And perhaps there are oddities about subsidized Ca...
by Caduceus
Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Invest now or direct the money towards a loan to come?
Replies: 8
Views: 677

Re: Invest now or direct the money towards a loan to come?

Have you researched people in your field and their backgrounds? In other words, what is the background of a broad subset of people who are in the same position you want to be in 10 years? Did they require the Masters to break in? I think having professional contacts is wise, but do you need the Mast...
by Caduceus
Thu Sep 27, 2018 4:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping a sibling
Replies: 26
Views: 3143

Re: Helping a sibling

It is very funny for the Bogleheads to propose that OP encourage his sibling to read a book. How many non-financially savvy folks do you know have been motivated enough to actually do this? OP, I think the perfect is the enemy of the good. I would offer suggestions in terms of importance. If there w...
by Caduceus
Tue Sep 25, 2018 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minimalist Lifestyle
Replies: 92
Views: 11664

Re: Minimalist Lifestyle

Yes, and a lot of it is due to the fallacy of sunk costs. You look at an item you bought or was gifted, and you think, but that's worth $X of money, so it's better to keep it. But keeping it, maintaining it, storing it, moving it incurs even more costs and is a waste of your time. I've become much b...
by Caduceus
Tue Sep 25, 2018 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minimalist Lifestyle
Replies: 92
Views: 11664

Re: Minimalist Lifestyle

I know someone that I just helped with a garage sale this past weekend who said she was selling everything and just rebuying something if she really needs it. Why rebuy if you already had it? Actually, I think that is a smart strategy. A lot of times, people do not recycle or discard things because...
by Caduceus
Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there any point to keeping old X-rays?
Replies: 8
Views: 734

Is there any point to keeping old X-rays?

I have an old x-ray of my chest/lungs from a decade ago. It shows that everything is normal, so is there any point in keeping this as part of my health records, or can I discard it? Would there be any medical use if in the future something happens, and this old x-ray can serve as the normal baseline...
by Caduceus
Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Minimalist Lifestyle
Replies: 92
Views: 11664

Re: Minimalist Lifestyle

As someone who's gone through the decluttering process, I would say that you have to go through the process over time if you are going to make a lifestyle change. One of the things that horrified me was just how much stuff I had bought without actually wanting/needing it. I must have donated 20 shir...
by Caduceus
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there any info on old sim cards?
Replies: 8
Views: 815

Re: Is there any info on old sim cards?

Ahh, sorry, I think I wasn't clear in my original post. I'm not worried about other people accessing the information in my SIM cards. There's definitely nothing sensitive in there. What I meant was, is there a possibility that there are photos on it (from a long time ago) that I might actually want ...
by Caduceus
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 293
Views: 25507

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

I bought $3000 of a penny stock that went to 0. :shock:

And then it became classified as a worthless security in the year that I didn't need the capital gains offset. So I couldn't even use it for tax purposes.
by Caduceus
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there any info on old sim cards?
Replies: 8
Views: 815

Is there any info on old sim cards?

I have about 8 or 9 old sim cards that date from about 10-15 years ago. Will there be any information on the cards (especially photos) or can I toss them? Amazon is selling a sim card reader for $33 but if I can be sure that SIM cards don't store any photos or text messages, I don't care about old c...
by Caduceus
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepaid SIM card with longest expiration dates
Replies: 4
Views: 397

Prepaid SIM card with longest expiration dates

Are there any prepaid SIM cards (meaning no contract) that have long expiration/validity dates? Ideally I would like to be able to put $20 on the prepaid card and then just not use it much. I need the number because downloading apps these days require a number for verification, but otherwise this wo...
by Caduceus
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $180 IPhone SE or $90 Iphone 5S
Replies: 33
Views: 2302

Re: $180 IPhone SE or $90 Iphone 5S

Thanks! I decided to go with the SE since I managed to find a new one for $150.
by Caduceus
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tell when a Mango is ripe?
Replies: 19
Views: 1283

Re: How to tell when a Mango is ripe?

Mangoes don't ripen well off the branch. The sweetness and texture of the mango depends on the variety, not so much on how ripe it is. Some varieties, no matter how ripe, just don't taste good. Look for the smaller yellow mangoes that look like a "comma". As for your question, ripe mangoes will "giv...
by Caduceus
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $180 IPhone SE or $90 Iphone 5S
Replies: 33
Views: 2302

$180 IPhone SE or $90 Iphone 5S

I need to get a cellphone in the next day. I have narrowed it down to two options: Option 1: $180 Brand New Factory Unlocked Iphone SE, 32 GB. Option 2: $90 Manufacturer Refurbished Iphone 5S, 16GB. Which one is a better value? I won't be using this phone much - it's going to be more like a backup p...
by Caduceus
Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?
Replies: 75
Views: 8606

Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

Try Allen Edmonds' Factory Seconds. These are shoes that are basically new but which have some kind of minor cosmetic blemish. I couldn't really see what was wrong with the ones I got. I bought mine a few years back for $160 or so, and they have lasted until with polishing and shoe trees. They are r...
by Caduceus
Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Wearing] Shorts in Egypt
Replies: 71
Views: 5559

Re: [Wearing] Shorts in Egypt

I was in Egypt for a month in both the north and south and I don't think you will have issues either way. Unrelated question: how much time do you feel is sufficient to spend at the Giza pyramids? We’re arriving in Cairo a full day early before our group tour begins and I’m wondering if we should m...
by Caduceus
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I sell my MacBook pro?
Replies: 18
Views: 1645

Re: Should I sell my MacBook pro?

Assuming you are able to wipe off all your personal information in a secure manner, why not? You have nothing to lose.
by Caduceus
Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The twenty dollar rule revisited
Replies: 44
Views: 5186

Re: The twenty dollar rule revisited

I'm skeptical about budget-based systems because it simply takes too much cognitive effort. It's far simpler to just pay yourself first, set a very high target for savings, and then learn to live off the remainder. You can also set aside money for expenses that occur on an infrequent but recurring b...
by Caduceus
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Wearing] Shorts in Egypt
Replies: 71
Views: 5559

Re: [Wearing] Shorts in Egypt

I was in Egypt for a month in both the north and south and I don't think you will have issues either way. Egyptians are used to tourists, and don't expect tourists to behave as locals do. I think some of the forum members here obviously haven't been to Egypt. If you were a woman, for example, the la...
by Caduceus
Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it safe to use Wechat?
Replies: 10
Views: 556

Re: Is it safe to use Wechat?

If I buy a cheap, used, older version of the Iphone (e.g. the Iphone SE) and install Wechat on it, I'm guessing that would be a solution, right?

Although it would be a hassle to monitor two phones.
by Caduceus
Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it safe to use Wechat?
Replies: 10
Views: 556

Re: Is it safe to use Wechat?

I think there is zero chance of getting them to use Whatsapp. Wechat is used by just about everyone in China to do things beyond messaging. They use it for chatting, for payments (people simply tap their Wechat on a counter to pay!), for cabs, for well, just about everything. I wouldn't mind if only...