Search found 92 matches

by dependapotamus
Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco - Executive vs. Gold Membership
Replies: 44
Views: 22246

Re: Costco - Executive vs. Gold Membership

I looked at Costco’s financials from their annual shareholder report a few year ago as part of an MBA project. Their profit is essentially the same as what they make in membership fees. It makes sense. The membership price is not just about keeping the unwashed masses out. After 2008 they finally st...
by dependapotamus
Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Office Chair
Replies: 15
Views: 3059

Re: Office Chair

About four months ago I bit the bullet on an Aeron chair. I have a scar from a pilonidal cyst that never healed properly. I've used at least three different office chairs, typically the top of the line offerings from either Sams Club or Costco depending on where I lived at the time. I could only spe...
by dependapotamus
Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dyson Cordless Vacuums??
Replies: 11
Views: 2028

Re: Dyson Cordless Vacuums??

I bought a Dyson bagless ball roll vacuum. Best bet for the price was Black Friday at Costco.
by dependapotamus
Mon May 29, 2017 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tempurpedic Discount
Replies: 10
Views: 2744

Re: Tempurpedic Discount

I got 10% knocked off because I bought a floor model of a discontinued mattress, but no issues with the warranty or having them deliver it for the negotiated price. That was about 6 years ago.
by dependapotamus
Wed Apr 05, 2017 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy new iPhone
Replies: 41
Views: 6874

Re: Where to buy new iPhone

I bought my iPhone 6S Plus unlocked from Best Buy. The price at Best Buy was above what Apple was charging, but it was no problem to get a price match. I was also able to use some gift cards I bought at a discount along with some of their loyalty program points to reduce the cost. And of course, as ...
by dependapotamus
Tue Mar 14, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners Insurance - Sewer Backup necessary?
Replies: 7
Views: 1985

Re: Homeowners Insurance - Sewer Backup necessary?

A sewer backup can cause significant damage to the interior of the home. Imagine that backup going into your bathroom, and you've got a nasty cleanup and renovation ahead of you. I have it on my personal home as well as a rental.
by dependapotamus
Sat Feb 11, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do Bogleheads buy phones?
Replies: 43
Views: 4068

Re: How do Bogleheads buy phones?

I bought a new iPhone 6s plus last month. Unlocked. I use a prepaid Straight Talk sim card. I used the following techniques to get the best deal I could. #1- Price match. Saved $50 at the register by looking up the Amazon price. #2- Use a 2% cash back credit card and have the purchase count toward t...
by dependapotamus
Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:25 pm
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?
Replies: 555
Views: 76509

Re: Your USER NAME...what does it mean?

Dependapotamus is a slang term for military spouses i.e. dependents. My wife is a doc and I'm the kept man. It's meant to be ironic since after I got married and left the military my wife joined the Air Force to pay for medical school.
by dependapotamus
Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to maximize redemption of Chase Sapphire points?
Replies: 16
Views: 3772

Re: Best way to maximize redemption of Chase Sapphire points?

90K Chase points could be redeemed for $900 in cash. If you transferred to United Airlines you could get up to 3 round trip domestic tickets if you get the saver award rates. For 100k points you could get 2 regular round trip tickets. Depending on the flights, those could very easily be worth more t...
by dependapotamus
Fri Jan 27, 2017 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Staying with AT&T but getting unlocked phone
Replies: 8
Views: 1171

Re: Staying with AT&T but getting unlocked phone

I bought an unlocked iPhone and use Straight Talk. It uses the same network as AT&T, but costs about $500 a year for unlimited talk, text, and 5 GB a month of data.
by dependapotamus
Wed Dec 28, 2016 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best shows to see while in Vegas
Replies: 28
Views: 3538

Re: Best shows to see while in Vegas

Saw Penn & Teller a few years ago in Vegas. Great act, and they had an awesome Buy 1, Get 1 Free deal for active duty military. Be sure to ask ticket sales about any discounts before buying.
by dependapotamus
Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best printers for home use
Replies: 67
Views: 8743

Re: Best printers for home use

I switched to a Brother color laser after an HP and Epson inkjet died on me. Absolutely love it!
by dependapotamus
Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overpaid Estimated Taxes and Expect a Refund- Make 4th Q Payment?
Replies: 2
Views: 734

Overpaid Estimated Taxes and Expect a Refund- Make 4th Q Payment?

I've been playing with Turbotax and it appears that I should be getting a refund on my taxes this year. It looks like I have overpaid my quarterly estimated taxes for my 1099 work. Am I required to make a Q4 payment even though it would all be refunded?
by dependapotamus
Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cowskin Leather Jackets
Replies: 12
Views: 2904

Re: Cowskin Leather Jackets

Lots of military flying types swear by these guys in Turkey:

http://www.popsleather.com/
by dependapotamus
Wed Nov 09, 2016 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Create a rental lease
Replies: 4
Views: 627

Re: Create a rental lease

I paid $150 for a lawyer to write my lease for a rental I own. I had to add a ton of info to protect my interests as a landlord and was generally unimpressed by the product. Of course, I live in Virginia which is a very landlord friendly state. If I was in California, I would absolutely pay for an a...
by dependapotamus
Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby deals
Replies: 43
Views: 4599

Re: Baby deals

Spent about $1,000 on Green Mountain Cloth Diapers from newborn up to potty trained. Was able to resell them on craigslist for about that much.
by dependapotamus
Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby deals
Replies: 43
Views: 4599

Re: Baby deals

Odd, in our area there were often memberships that allowed cardholder + X number of guests.

Regardless, the membership to the zoo paid for itself in about six visits, the aquarium three. I hit up one of those at least once a week.
by dependapotamus
Fri Sep 16, 2016 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Baby deals
Replies: 43
Views: 4599

Re: Baby deals

Parent of a three year old. I'll speak up to on the car. We bought RAV 4 because we thought a Prius wouldn't contain all the stuff needed hauling around an infant. That was dumb. We wound up using the Prius we already owned anyway because of the better mileage, and eventually traded it in for a Smar...
by dependapotamus
Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: American Airlines refund - satisfaction!
Replies: 3
Views: 973

Re: American Airlines refund - satisfaction!

I had a similar occurrence flying from Virginia to California. The original flight was shifted to a different time, which put me arriving well after a dinner to celebrate my anniversary. Customer service was incredibly helpful in finding not only a flight that got me there on time, but also cut one ...
by dependapotamus
Wed Aug 03, 2016 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on buying a used Prius
Replies: 58
Views: 37405

Re: Advice on buying a used Prius

Not much more than any other car. It's worth taking the car to an independent mechanic for a once over look before buying. Last time I did that was about ten years ago and it cost $100. I own a 2010 Prius that I bought in 2010 with about 8000 miles on it. The only problems I've ever had with it were...
by dependapotamus
Sun Jul 31, 2016 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Converting SEP-IRA to Roth IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 550

Re: Converting SEP-IRA to Roth IRA

I'm a contractor and have set paydays. I never get paid early because of the nature of the work, so I should have about two weeks to make the calculations and get the money set up with Vanguard.
by dependapotamus
Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Converting SEP-IRA to Roth IRA
Replies: 3
Views: 550

Converting SEP-IRA to Roth IRA

I expect to be able to put about $2,000 this year into a SEP-IRA based on my earnings from self-employment. I have already maxed out my contribution to my Roth IRA. The only money in the SEP at this point is the $1 I used to open the account. Both accounts are with Vanguard. I would like to go ahead...
by dependapotamus
Sat Jul 30, 2016 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Tipping Practice?
Replies: 130
Views: 11669

Re: New Tipping Practice?

I recently booked a pre-paid car ride from LAX to Disneyland. One of those fancy deals where someone meets you at the airport by baggage claim with your name on a sign and everything. I was a bit surprised to see a space on the checkout for a tip. Why on earth would I prepay a tip to a driver? There...
by dependapotamus
Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are there any dental insurance worthwhile?????
Replies: 31
Views: 5979

Re: Are there any dental insurance worthwhile?????

When I had to buy dental insurance on the open market it worked out financially to essentially being a pre-pay program. I dropped it after two years. Now I get coverage provided for free through my wife's residency program, but when that goes away I'll just pay cash as I go.
by dependapotamus
Mon Jul 18, 2016 8:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy Disneyland tickets
Replies: 11
Views: 1749

Re: Where to buy Disneyland tickets

squirm wrote:Doesn't look like aRes does etickets though?
The tickets were printed from an email link they sent me after paying. You take the printout to the ticket booth when you get to the park to get the physical park ticket.
by dependapotamus
Sun Jul 17, 2016 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy Disneyland tickets
Replies: 11
Views: 1749

Re: Where to buy Disneyland tickets

And if you buy through aRes you can get the cost reimbursed by the points programs associated with the Barclay Card Arrival Plus and Capital One Venture cards. I did this last month to pay for an upcoming Disney trip.
by dependapotamus
Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Rates
Replies: 20
Views: 2997

Re: Refinance Rates

I refinanced back in April and found the lender through Zillow's mortgage search tool. Went from a 4.2% doctors loan to a 3.25% VA loan for $2k in closing costs.
by dependapotamus
Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carpet "Spot Cleaner" Machine Recomendations
Replies: 6
Views: 706

Re: Carpet "Spot Cleaner" Machine Recomendations

I'll second on the spotbot. Works great for getting out drink spills as well as pee/poop/puke from both a baby and a dog in our house.
by dependapotamus
Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Traditional Pasta?
Replies: 52
Views: 6156

Re: Alternatives to Traditional Pasta?

Spaghetti squash is gluten free and can be tasty.
by dependapotamus
Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Disability and Life Insurance- Military Resident
Replies: 11
Views: 959

Re: Disability and Life Insurance- Military Resident

That quote for disability insurance is about twice what my wife, a 2nd year OB/GYN resident on civilian deferment from the AF, was quoted this month. We bought her a $1,000,000 policy since we have mortgages and a child. For $500 a year I would seriously consider buying the life insurance if you pla...
by dependapotamus
Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else have problems with appliances from Home Depot?
Replies: 43
Views: 15257

Re: Anyone else have problems with appliances from Home Depot?

The last time I bought a new fridge delivery was delayed by a few days because someone at the local store accidentally punched through the doors with the forklift tines. I wan't to say they gave me a partial refund for about 5% of the fridge cost for the trouble, but I don't remember exactly what th...
by dependapotamus
Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone with VA Loan Experience?
Replies: 14
Views: 2414

Re: Anyone with VA Loan Experience?

Dave Ramsey neglects to ever mention that if a veteran has a VA disability rating the funding fee is waived. Get rid of that, and it's a pretty awesome deal. Of course that wouldn't fit into Dave's one size fits all advice.
by dependapotamus
Fri May 20, 2016 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: series/ movies filmed in your home town?
Replies: 87
Views: 6701

Re: series/ movies filmed in your home town?

A community center a few blocks away from my elementary school was used as a stand in for the high school the horror flick SCREAM . Apparently Sonoma High School didn't want to be known for violence, which is darkly funny considering early this year a viral video showing a girl beating up a boy came...
by dependapotamus
Fri May 13, 2016 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you give your church for your membership?
Replies: 57
Views: 9059

Re: How much do you give your church for your membership?

Conservative Synagogue member. Dues are encouraged, but the exact amounts are on an individual voluntary basis. Each year the board figures a rough number of the cost per family to maintain the building, cover payroll for the Rabbi and staff, and run various schools and activities throughout the yea...
by dependapotamus
Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whole house electric surge protector
Replies: 11
Views: 1708

Re: Whole house electric surge protector

I paid about $50 to have the electrician put one in while he was replacing the whole circuit breaker box. The idea came up after the initial materials purchase, but he didn't charge me any extra labor to put it in.
by dependapotamus
Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Price matching to Amazon
Replies: 24
Views: 3424

Re: Price matching to Amazon

Toys R Us also price matches Amazon. My kid loves Legos, and while Toys R Us normally tends to charge full MSRP with the price match it can be a really good deal when paired up with discounted gift cards.
by dependapotamus
Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: SEP-IRA Roth Conversion
Replies: 6
Views: 948

Re: SEP-IRA Roth Conversion

I appreciate you putting up with my slowness on this! The TIRA contribution was deductible on my taxes in 2015, and was converted to Roth in 2016. So am I right in thinking that pro-rata will not be an issue if I convert a the SEP to a Roth too?
by dependapotamus
Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: SEP-IRA Roth Conversion
Replies: 6
Views: 948

Re: SEP-IRA Roth Conversion

So if I wait until next year to convert the SEP I won't be affected by the pro rata rule since I already converted the traditional IRA?
by dependapotamus
Mon Apr 04, 2016 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: SEP-IRA Roth Conversion
Replies: 6
Views: 948

Re: SEP-IRA Roth Conversion

I had planned on maxing out my Roth IRA from other household income, I would only put in the employer contribution into the SEP. Bummer that as a sole proprietor there's no self employment tax break by doing the SEP. Oh well, in the end it should be more funds in the Roth than not having the Schedul...
by dependapotamus
Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: SEP-IRA Roth Conversion
Replies: 6
Views: 948

SEP-IRA Roth Conversion

Hello, wondering if anyone can help me wrap my head around a potential Roth conversion issue. Last year I made contributions to a Traditional IRA in order to reduce my AGI and qualify for the Saver's Credit. In January I then converted the balance of that IRA into my Roth IRA. I have a Schedule C bu...
by dependapotamus
Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Clothing budget for DVM's, MD's, and other kinds of Medical Professionals
Replies: 38
Views: 4712

Re: Clothing budget for DVM's, MD's, and other kinds of Medical Professionals

My wife, an OB resident, buys a lot of basics from Target, and the occasional good deal from the Banana Republic outlet store. Of course, she only has to wear real person clothes on clinic days. The vast majority of the time she's in scrubs. No one cares what kind of shoes you have when shoe covers ...
by dependapotamus
Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Young Army Officer in Need of Financial Plan Feedback
Replies: 33
Views: 3769

Re: Young Army Officer in Need of Financial Plan Feedback

You have until April 18th to max out a Roth IRA for tax year 2015. That's one way to invest $11,000, minus whatever you've put in the Roth IRA in this year and the last.

Can you temporarily set your TSP contribution higher to get some of that remaining money invested in a Roth plan?
by dependapotamus
Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much fed tax do you withhold?
Replies: 22
Views: 2824

Re: How much fed tax do you withhold?

I'm not a professional tax guy, so I don't know about the legalities if you don't have 1099 income. There is a charge for for using a credit card to pay taxes, a bit under 3%. However, I'm timing the transaction so I hit the minimum spend on a credit card sign up bonus that will give me the equivale...
by dependapotamus
Sat Mar 05, 2016 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much fed tax do you withhold?
Replies: 22
Views: 2824

Re: How much fed tax do you withhold?

My wife and I have nothing withheld and instead file quarterly estimated taxes since we both have Schedule C gigs in addition to her W-2 day job. I like the idea of being able to put the tax payments on a credit card as part of a churning strategy for air miles.
by dependapotamus
Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Delayed Federal Tax Refund
Replies: 24
Views: 37350

Re: Delayed Federal Tax Refund

My return was accepted on January 28th and I just my refund on Tuesday. I called the IRS on Day 22 and was told there was a verification problem. My wife paid quarterly estimated taxes using her SSN, as one would think makes sense. But, since my name was first on the tax return that caused some iden...
by dependapotamus
Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash back reward cards. Pay early?
Replies: 10
Views: 2217

Re: Cash back reward cards. Pay early?

Never had a problem getting points back after paying my credit card off early with a USAA Mastercard or Chase Amazon card.
by dependapotamus
Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance mortgage or nah?
Replies: 7
Views: 1261

Re: Refinance mortgage or nah?

Haven't been following the rates since I committed to one lender, but I locked in a 3.25% refi about a month ago with Consumer Direct. Close in about a week. Getting out of a 30 year doctor's loan at 4.2% and going into a 30 year VA loan 9 months into the first loan. The break even point is about 15...
by dependapotamus
Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hi every one i have a question about the finance
Replies: 19
Views: 2862

Re: Hi every one i have a question about the finance

Why didn't I think of doing this when I was doing my MBA? :)
by dependapotamus
Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Paper stock certificates - can I get one?
Replies: 24
Views: 6185

Re: Paper stock certificates - can I get one?

I bought my 2 year old daughter a share of Disney at Capital One Investing since they had a $50 bonus for opening a UTMA. Disney will sell a replica certificate to shareholders for $50. I figure I'll photoshop a certificate with my daughter's favorite characters (at age 2) and get a frame from the c...
by dependapotamus
Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Convert portion of 2015 Roth Contribution to Traditional to get more Savers Credit
Replies: 7
Views: 777

Re: Convert portion of 2015 Roth Contribution to Traditional to get more Savers Credit

I guess the next question be when I can then do a Roth conversion without screwing up the credits. Any insight please?