Search found 190 matches

by wilshuer
Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Creative Solutions for Billing Expenses to Renter
Replies: 27
Views: 2333

Re: Need Creative Solutions for Billing Expenses to Renter

I like this idea. Contract says $350 flat rate for all bills cable, internet, electric, gas, water, trash and lawn maintenance. And temperature year round must stay between 70-74 degrees. Also disclose house has a Nest which I can monitor temperature settings. This is by far the easiest, and doveta...
by wilshuer
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving to Houston
Replies: 38
Views: 3354

Re: Moving to Houston

Note sure of your budget, etc - which could significantly direct your choices. You may look into the Rice Village - University area - just south of US59/I69. The schools tend to be good around there, and not far from the Montrose area, where you may have a harder time finding a better school. I work...
by wilshuer
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Creative Solutions for Billing Expenses to Renter
Replies: 27
Views: 2333

Re: Need Creative Solutions for Billing Expenses to Renter

Not sure of their accuracy or practicality, but there are various smart energy monitors which could be installed to monitor usage. A quick search is one called Sense - https://sense.com/ I would imagine there is a single line running over to the guest house, and a subpanel there. If that's the case,...
by wilshuer
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?
Replies: 43
Views: 6386

Re: Anyone Tried Costco Travel Packages?

Last year we went on a cruise I purchased through Costco. The rate was the same as the lowest available on the cruise operators site, however there was a $200 Costco giftcard that sweetened the deal. The best part of the Costco experience was the shore excursion. Going to Cozumel, my wife and I want...
by wilshuer
Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?
Replies: 55
Views: 6338

Re: Has anyone taken out an online mortgage?

Yes, did recently for our purchase earlier this year. Was the easiest and most smooth process, all done electronically, including signatures all the way up to closing. Complete dialog through the process saved in a chat through their interface. Beats having to go into an office every few days to pro...
by wilshuer
Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey says to give up employer 401K match to pay down debt
Replies: 148
Views: 8763

Re: Dave Ramsey now says to give up employer 401K match to pay down debt

I believe he's said many times it isn't necessarily the math, but the attitude for the reason he states that. Gain the momentum to see debt balances decrease and encourage to continue the payoff process.
by wilshuer
Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smoke Alarms - Individual Battery Operated vs. Hard-Wired Linked
Replies: 28
Views: 1285

Re: Smoke Alarms - Individual Battery Operated vs. Hard-Wired Linked

To retrofit is probably much more difficult for it to make sense. The hard-wired are all linked and one going off will set the others off - a good safety feature, and don't pull battery power unless there's an outage. You may need to check your local code to see if hard-wired are required, as you ma...
by wilshuer
Sun May 19, 2019 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a GMC Acadia? Or similar?
Replies: 27
Views: 1698

Re: Anyone have a GMC Acadia? Or similar?

My parents have an Acadia, 2015 or 16 I think. My mom has always complained about a blind spot from the passenger side front, and led her to have a small accident in a parking lot. Last Summer while visiting them, they had me driving her car quite a bit, and I noticed the same blind spot from the pi...
by wilshuer
Sun May 12, 2019 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using my Cell Phone in England
Replies: 47
Views: 2272

Re: Using my Cell Phone in England

You could change your service to Google Fi here in the US and then just smile when you land in the UK and it connects automatically to a local cell provider. I'll be doing this in a few months... Which works for data and text, however voice is $0.20/min unless calling on WiFi per their website. Tha...
by wilshuer
Sun May 12, 2019 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using my Cell Phone in England
Replies: 47
Views: 2272

Re: Using my Cell Phone in England

belmontpaul wrote:
Sun May 12, 2019 6:54 am
I use Verizon
Looks like Verizon has an international day plan too at $10.
by wilshuer
Sun May 12, 2019 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using my Cell Phone in England
Replies: 47
Views: 2272

Re: Using my Cell Phone in England

Depends on your carrier, and how long. If you’re only going for a week, and you want to have the convenience of still communicating through your current number, there maybe be a roaming deal through your carrier. AT&T has one that is $10/d and is very convenient. Granted could probably save a few do...
by wilshuer
Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Texas property tax protest
Replies: 55
Views: 5411

Re: Texas property tax protest

As someone who just applied for a job in TX, I have to ask about these outrageous property taxes. Do they go up every year? Is personal property taxes in Texas high as well? I live in Arkansas, where they tax you on everything, including income. It seems AR is death by a thousand cuts and TX is jus...
by wilshuer
Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Texas property tax protest
Replies: 55
Views: 5411

Re: Texas property tax protest

Yeah, feels like a racketeering scheme between the appraisal districts and the firms that fight on your behalf. I protested many years with different strategies - confirm footage is correct, and possible thing to make your house value lower in relation to others, etc. My footage was incorrect by abo...
by wilshuer
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long to have mailed check cashed by IRS?
Replies: 13
Views: 1229

Re: how long to have mailed check cashed by IRS?

Average experience has been 3-5 days, for awhile now I've e-filed and then mailed in the voucher with check on the 15th. Rather than the hoping they get it, this year I just decided to pay through the IRS direct pay site and scheduled for today. Saved a trip to the PO and few dollars for tracking, e...
by wilshuer
Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Infertility treatments/insurance/job situation
Replies: 44
Views: 3483

Re: Infertility treatments/insurance/job situation

Probably first thing, hug your wife and let her know it'll be okay - any support you can give her will go a long way. We went through the same about 15 years ago. At the time we knew we had to immediately go to IVF. I can imagine the scatterbrain feeling - my first thought was around what exactly IV...
by wilshuer
Thu Apr 04, 2019 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Universal Orlando Trip In June 2019
Replies: 34
Views: 1977

Re: Universal Orlando Trip In June 2019

We went last year, in my opinion 5 days is way too much. Pretty much finished the park in the early afternoon, which was nice as it made for a relaxing evening. Made every ride, and our favorites 2-3 times. We stayed onsite at Royal Pacific only one night, you can get your express pass in the morni...
by wilshuer
Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Universal Orlando Trip In June 2019
Replies: 34
Views: 1977

Re: Universal Orlando Trip In June 2019

We went last year, in my opinion 5 days is way too much. Pretty much finished the park in the early afternoon, which was nice as it made for a relaxing evening. Made every ride, and our favorites 2-3 times. We stayed onsite at Royal Pacific only one night, you can get your express pass in the mornin...
by wilshuer
Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the best gas credit cards hands down?
Replies: 65
Views: 4642

Re: What is the best gas credit cards hands down?

My PenFed Visa Platinum Cash Rewards card pays 5% back on gas purchases. And I just discovered , it now pays 3% back on grocery store purchases. No annual fee. I have the same card. No information on the Pen Fed site about the other rewards the card earns. How did you know about the 3% back on groc...
by wilshuer
Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the best gas credit cards hands down?
Replies: 65
Views: 4642

Re: What is the best gas credit cards hands down?

My PenFed Visa Platinum Cash Rewards card pays 5% back on gas purchases. And I just discovered , it now pays 3% back on grocery store purchases. No annual fee. I have the same card. No information on the Pen Fed site about the other rewards the card earns. How did you know about the 3% back on groc...
by wilshuer
Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Auto repairs
Replies: 46
Views: 2728

Re: DIY Auto repairs

YouTube is great for DIY auto repair, most of the videos I've used tell exactly what sockets you'll need, how to access the part, etc. Growing up with a father being a mechanic, spent a lot of my childhood tearing apart cars/engines, so fairly experienced on working on cars. But, I still go to YouTu...
by wilshuer
Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Serpentine Belt Squeal
Replies: 15
Views: 1741

Re: Serpentine Belt Squeal

The belt tensioner could be a little worn and needs to be replaced. Depending on your mechanical ability, it’s simple to replace and costs probably $25 or so.

You can also get a can of belt dressing from a parts store. It’s a stickum type spray that will stop it.
by wilshuer
Mon Feb 11, 2019 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any meal preppers? I need new dishes. [containers]
Replies: 22
Views: 2017

Re: Any meal preppers? I need new dishes.

Another vote for the glass type with snapping lids on all sides. I picked up a set from Amazon that have 3 compartments, as well some that are a single compartment. They have worked quite well, soup, sauce etc - nothing has leaking. I typically put them in my bag with my laptop while walking into th...
by wilshuer
Sun Feb 10, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience selling car to Carmax?
Replies: 110
Views: 215097

Re: Experience selling car to Carmax?

An old thread from the past, some of my experience. I used carmax, another wholesale dealer, and an online service to get offers. Between the three used them against each other and got around $1800 more. Wasn’t expecting a lot for 150k mile plus car, so worked well. If they cover your area, give me ...
by wilshuer
Sat Feb 09, 2019 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stolen Credit Card Number
Replies: 19
Views: 1688

Re: Stolen Credit Card Number

Just for future reference -- You should really give out only the virtual numbers, not the real credit card numbers, for auto billing. This way even if the virtual numbers are compromised, you can set them up with a new virtual number; and vice-versa, if the physical card gets compromised, the auto ...
by wilshuer
Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ESPP limitation - purchase price or market price?
Replies: 4
Views: 255

Re: ESPP limitation - purchase price or market price?

Here's what my company gives within the FAQ...from my understanding is calculated as below. We get a notice email that the max number shares that can be bought for a period is Y, which is the $25k divided by market price on period open. The IRS limits your ESPP purchases to a maximum market value of...
by wilshuer
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco Ameriprise Car Insurance
Replies: 12
Views: 1530

Re: Costco Ameriprise Car Insurance

Just changed to them last year due to price, shopped around and they were the lowest for home/auto. No experience on claims, hopefully won’t need to. Overall experience getting started was quite smooth.
by wilshuer
Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with strange USPS Priority Mail
Replies: 14
Views: 2076

Re: What to do with strange USPS Priority Mail

Could be part of a scam where someone ordered something, and an empty envelope was shipped to your address for USPS tracking number, your address was used randomly. Have had it happen to me from something I’ve ordered. Common with ebay and Amazon third party sellers, a quick search should show you d...
by wilshuer
Tue Dec 04, 2018 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: declining employer benefits?
Replies: 36
Views: 4140

Re: declining employer benefits?

In the past my wife worked as an RN as PRN at various hospitals, first question she’d always ask after getting a offer was if the hourly rate was higher if she’d forgo benefits being available - she’d typically end up with an additional $4-5/hr. At the time my employer didn’t have a surcharge for sp...
by wilshuer
Fri Nov 16, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home sale etiquette: wall repair
Replies: 53
Views: 3797

Re: Home sale etiquette: wall repair

Unless there is anything major that wouldn't have been seen by the buyer and requested to be fixed - i.e., holes from a large anchor, something hidden from a picture I personally wouldn't fix it - likely the buyer is planning on painting anyway to personalize to their desire. At most I have in the p...
by wilshuer
Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone have a bad experience with HDHP?
Replies: 43
Views: 4098

Re: Anyone have a bad experience with HDHP?

In my case the HDHP and OAP are the exact same network and same out of network benefits. It was purely a financial decision. Due to chronic issues for my wife, the first two years elected to stay on the OAP, much higher rates but deductible was good. We typically used up the whole FSA without an iss...
by wilshuer
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: HSA Question(s)
Replies: 6
Views: 660

Re: HSA Question(s)

If I'm reading your question correctly, you are debating whether to forgo coverage for your wife at her new employer and instead put her onto your HDHP plan. You might be sure your employer doesn't have a spouse surcharge for forgoing coverage at her job. I've somewhat gone through the same process,...
by wilshuer
Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tips to protect identity
Replies: 11
Views: 840

Re: tips to protect identity

Thanks for replies. a few new questions: 1. I haven't tried yet, but one post suggests freezing credit for the kids - any limitations on doing this through any of the companies? Do I need to make it clear somehow that I am a parent doing that for the kids? 2. any value to paying for things like Ver...
by wilshuer
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tips to protect identity
Replies: 11
Views: 840

Re: tips to protect identity

Beyond the big three agencies, freeze at the others too. Chexsystems and a few other smaller ones. Skimmers are pretty much everywhere, so hard to watch out for beyond a quick check when paying through a gas pump, vending machine, etc. We had a stretch where gas stations around us were hit hard for ...
by wilshuer
Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have credit monitoring do you need to freeze credit?
Replies: 41
Views: 2317

Re: If you have credit monitoring do you need to freeze credit?

Nestegg_User wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 12:48 am
Trism

I can’t “downvote” your post enough... FREEZE!

(oh, and I do know someone ... it was a pain for them to correct)
Agree. To each his own. Guess we shouldn’t lock our doors either and wait to see if our house is broken into.
by wilshuer
Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: People with older car, share your unusual repairs
Replies: 84
Views: 5493

Re: People with older car, share your unusual repairs

Not too old, but 2012 Ford Fusion hybrid, had 154k miles on it at the time. AC quit working, tracked it to a thermocouple that triggered the compressor. Problem it was buried behind the dash. Found a wire to splice in a resistor as a temp fix. $1500 at a shop to replace a $10 part, did myself but to...
by wilshuer
Fri Nov 02, 2018 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have credit monitoring do you need to freeze credit?
Replies: 41
Views: 2317

Re: If you have credit monitoring do you need to freeze credit?

Every time I apply for credit I get alerts from WalletHub, True Identity, Credit Karma, Chase Credit Journey, and/or 3 or 4 others, depending on the bureau pulled. These are all free. Freezing an unfreezing is a waste of time if you are otherwise protected. You can't miss this avalanche of email un...
by wilshuer
Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jury duty - already booked vacation
Replies: 53
Views: 6760

Re: Jury duty - already booked vacation

I imagine if you contact them, they will reschedule. Quite lucky where I live, they have online impaneling. The notice in the mail gives you a date to show up, however go into the online system and you can pick a week during a 8 week range, and as soon as the next week. Over the weekend they send an...
by wilshuer
Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What the heck is growing in my yard?
Replies: 71
Views: 6263

Re: What the heck is growing in my yard?

Hen of the wood mushroom.
by wilshuer
Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions on Phonics & Reading programs for 4 year old? Pre-K to Kindergarten
Replies: 27
Views: 1328

Re: Suggestions on Phonics & Reading programs for 4 year old? Pre-K to Kindergarten

In the summer before K we got Now I'm Reading! sets from Amazon. They were 10-12 small books with a repetitive word in 3-4 word sentences through the book. We used 3 different sets, my boys enjoyed them. After a few weeks they were starting to read them on their own. I found anything with a picture ...
by wilshuer
Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to pay for upcoming medical / IVF expenses
Replies: 73
Views: 5128

Re: How to pay for upcoming medical / IVF expenses

I don't really have any regrets, aside from the likely outcome (we're literally waiting to find out this week if it worked), and I wouldn't be able to live with myself if we hadn't done it. Best of luck, I hope for a positive for you. We went through 7 cycles and finally had success, I wouldn't cha...
by wilshuer
Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digitalizing Old Photos Help
Replies: 22
Views: 1789

Re: Digitalizing Old Photos Help

One suggestion, get the scanner set up for easier one-touch and drop into a folder. Then at that point tackle it a little at a time. I had a to-do box and a done box. For awhile any time I walked into the study, I put a few photos on the scanner and hit the button, walked off. Over the course of mon...
by wilshuer
Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to pay for upcoming medical / IVF expenses
Replies: 73
Views: 5128

Re: How to pay for upcoming medical / IVF expenses

Seeing the thread a bit late so looks like you have a lot of good suggestions. Probably hard to comment on current costs as we went through IVF and were blessed with twin boys, now 7 years old. It took 7 cycles over 4 years, a lot of hard times, tears, hopes for success. We paid for all out of pocke...
by wilshuer
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank of America credit card “feature” (be careful with autopay)
Replies: 45
Views: 3648

Re: Bank of America credit card “feature” (be careful with autopay)

If it makes you feel better, I paid my Penfed balance a year or so ago, and somehow put $11,495 instead of $1,495 through the app and saw it as soon as I hit confirm. That was a headache to work out. Paying through their website has a limitation of $5000 per payment, but their app didn't at the time...
by wilshuer
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iphone xs--buy it sim free vs. on a network
Replies: 12
Views: 1602

Re: iphone xs--buy it sim free vs. on a network

Haven’t seen the specs for the latest, but if similar to the X, the AT&T model is slightly different and doesn’t cover CDMA networks, and some other frequencies around the world. Meaning you can’t take it on Sprint or Verizon. Meanwhile the sim free model is slightly different and covers all network...
by wilshuer
Mon Sep 10, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hurricane Florence - survival guide
Replies: 87
Views: 6874

Re: Hurricane Florence - survival guide

Maybe one thing to add for the generator comments - a chain and lock to keep it from walking off. It tended to be a problem in our vicinity during Harvey and previously during Ike. People would go around at night looking for generators, it was pretty obvious who had them and who didn't merely due to...
by wilshuer
Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice on how to deal with barking dogs
Replies: 59
Views: 5456

Re: Advice on how to deal with barking dogs

There are ultrasonic devices you can purchase that may help. We have a small handheld one to use on neighbors dogs when we're in the backyard. Our dogs are fairly well behaved, and just sniff through the fence, while the neighbors typically bark to the point of making it impossible to sit on the bac...
by wilshuer
Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Under insured motorist insurance
Replies: 19
Views: 1124

Re: Under insured motorist insurance

Yes, given the number of uninsured and under insured it is a prudent move. I always declined in the past, but recent change to a new company a few years ago went ahead and got it. Since then both my wife and I have been hit by uninsured drivers. Luckily no injuries and minor repairs ~$1500 each acci...
by wilshuer
Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sellers beware on eBay.
Replies: 92
Views: 8933

Re: Sellers beware on eBay.

Yeah, pretty much my experience for the one time selling anything of value on eBay. Sold a nice musical instrument and received a highly rated buyer as high bidder. I clearly stated using UPS for shipping, both for cost and tracking purposes. The first complaint from the buyer was he wanted USPS whi...
by wilshuer
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wood pad for garage door separating from wall: Who is responsible?
Replies: 9
Views: 1562

Re: Wood pad for garage door separating from wall: Who is responsible?

Can't change the past actions, but I would have requested the installer to replace the pads as part of the work - if they were not in shape to hold the door. At this point, perhaps engage the contractor again and let them know you have problems with the installation, presumably there is some type of...
by wilshuer
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping lawn service and trash pickup
Replies: 48
Views: 4294

Re: Tipping lawn service and trash pickup

Our trashmen usually come early on Sat, if I'm outside then I'll hand them a Gatorade, they appreciate it especially on the hot days. They do it the old fashion way by hand - not the mechanical arm. If have found it pays off when I have something large or quite a bit of trash for whatever reason, ne...