Search found 1344 matches

by jlawrence01
Sat May 19, 2018 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finance a $28,000 house for Brother?
Replies: 73
Views: 5105

Re: Finance a $28,000 house for Brother?

My initial reaction would be to recommend that you buy the home and do a "rent to own" deal with your brother. However, it does not seem like you have enough financial stability to pull it off. I would pass. Everybody gets tired of renting. That is when you start working two jobs and start saving li...
by jlawrence01
Sat May 19, 2018 4:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Priceline hotels?
Replies: 11
Views: 1201

Re: Priceline hotels?

I have used Priceline 150-200 times since May 2002 to book hotels. Priceline and Hotwire are opaque sites which allow hotel properties to sell "surplus inventory" that they could not sell through their normal channels. At least at the beginning, you specified the location, the amenities level,a nd t...
by jlawrence01
Fri May 18, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot food flavoring (sauces, spices and peppers)
Replies: 51
Views: 2778

Re: Hot food flavoring (sauces, spices and peppers)

There are so many fine hot sauces out there that I am not sure that I would waste my time making my own. I think that I have about 15 bottles in my pantry and I have cut was back.
by jlawrence01
Thu May 17, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Property as a supplemental income strategy in retirement?
Replies: 7
Views: 787

Re: Rental Property as a supplemental income strategy in retirement?

When I retire, I don't want to work (second job), so I will say I'd rather have the cash in index funds working passively. I'll be "that guy" that says it. I live in a 55+ community in a resort area where the population is larger during the winter months. One of my friends lived in our neighborhood...
by jlawrence01
Thu May 17, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot food flavoring (sauces, spices and peppers)
Replies: 51
Views: 2778

Re: Hot food flavoring (sauces, spices and peppers)

I have found it pretty easy to make hot sauce from scratch. Pick up half a dozen habenero peppers, stem and halve them, toss some oil on them, and roast them in the oven for a bit. Transfer to saucepan and saute while adding a whole head of garlic, a whole onion, and then some white vinegar(or red ...
by jlawrence01
Thu May 17, 2018 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental car from MDW
Replies: 4
Views: 417

Re: Rental car from MDW

Looks like the week we want to go to MDW the rental car agencies are charging $400 for a week. I can rent the same type of car away from the airport (Ridge) for about half the price. I was thinking about an Uber to the car rental agency from the airport...Funny enough I can drop it off at MDW for n...
by jlawrence01
Wed May 16, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sharing cars with two kids home from college?
Replies: 25
Views: 1466

Re: sharing cars with two kids home from college?

Pajamas wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:24 pm
gips wrote:
Tue May 15, 2018 2:20 pm
other ideas?
Let them figure it out themselves. Seriously.

The best idea yet.

It is kind of curious on this board that parents are asking about how their children should handle things and rarely the children themselves.

We had two options - the local bus or the SLE.
by jlawrence01
Tue May 15, 2018 10:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon or other Nat'l Park in October?
Replies: 44
Views: 2331

Re: Grand Canyon or other Nat'l Park in October?

The Narrows in Zion would take up one of your days http://blog.wildlandtrekking.com/zion-narrows/ Someone mentioned altitude, which is less of a problem in Zion (well, in the Canyon, that is). But you know about flash floods in washes and arroyos, right? Don't enter 'em if it's raining - both where...
by jlawrence01
Tue May 15, 2018 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grand Canyon or other Nat'l Park in October?
Replies: 44
Views: 2331

Re: Grand Canyon or other Nat'l Park in October?

If you are coming from the east coast and plan to do some serious hiking, you might want to think about the effects of elevation on your performance. I watch a lot of football games at Northern Arizona University at 7000 feet elevation and you would be surprised by how much the higher elevation affe...
by jlawrence01
Sun May 13, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3531
Views: 1005166

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Madeline - One of the few good movies made for girls.

The Rider - A good movie with first time actors showing the life of a "retired" rodeo cowboy
by jlawrence01
Sun May 13, 2018 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you buy in Asian food stores?
Replies: 98
Views: 8070

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Since the last post: Fresh herbs - the local market has bunches of many herbs for under $1 Coconut Milk - the Thai varieties tend to have fewer additives than those in most supermarkets Rice - Many different varieties at a reasonable prices Thai / Viet / Filipino soy sauces and other condiments Thai...
by jlawrence01
Thu May 10, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel rewards programs
Replies: 45
Views: 3754

Re: Hotel rewards programs

I am spending about $900 in room nights at Wyndham and Caesar's properties throughout the US to get one free night. When I get enough for a several night stay, I look for a Wyndham property with a $250-350 price tag.

I like teh Wyndham Rewards program a lot.
by jlawrence01
Wed May 09, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty
Replies: 33
Views: 1469

Re: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty

I usually go through Costco, but I have used Hotwire without problems. Avis and Budget are the same company. I have had a few problems with them, like Avis sending a bill for an alleged missed toll 4 months later, with fees and fines and no way to dispute it. One issue with Priceline and Hotwire is...
by jlawrence01
Wed May 09, 2018 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty
Replies: 33
Views: 1469

Re: Rental Cars:National, Budget, Alamo or Thrifty

I usually rent cars through Avis or Hertz (for personal travel and work). That said, for a coming trip, those two are looking ridiculous. I haven't gone with any of what I would typically think of as second tier in many years, those being: National, Budget, Alamo and Thrifty. Looking for survey lev...
by jlawrence01
Sun May 06, 2018 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What career for smartest kid in the class?
Replies: 132
Views: 7885

Re: What career for smartest kid in the class?

The child should be steered into a career that they are passionate about. I see so many people in careers that they care little about and generally, their work reflects that.
by jlawrence01
Sun May 06, 2018 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AMC Movie Theaters -- typical OR not?
Replies: 61
Views: 4368

Re: AMC Movie Theaters -- typical OR not?

^^^ I am far less likely to be interrupted in a movie theatre than I am watching it at home. The wife always says that she wants to watch the movie and there is at least 10 interruptions per movie. No thanks. Most of the movies that I watch tend to start before 12 noon and are in a nearly empty thea...
by jlawrence01
Sun May 06, 2018 10:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone from Dayton,OH area-?'s
Replies: 21
Views: 1308

Re: Anyone from Dayton,OH area-?'s

IAWTP. (I agree with this post, for those who haven't seen this particular acronym before.) I grew up further north in Ohio, and my parents never used snow tires. I think we did have a set of chains, but I can't remember a specific instance in which we actually used them. However, this was 50+ year...
by jlawrence01
Sun May 06, 2018 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone from Dayton,OH area-?'s
Replies: 21
Views: 1308

Re: Anyone from Dayton,OH area-?'s

I would agree that she would not need snow tires or AWD in the Dayton area. HOWEVER, I would strongly recommend that she has good tires with plenty of tread depth for the few days that there is snow. Too many people try to get the last mile out of every tire.
by jlawrence01
Sat May 05, 2018 10:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: most compelling TV character ever
Replies: 175
Views: 16039

Re: most compelling TV character ever

Perry Mason
Andy Taylor
by jlawrence01
Sat May 05, 2018 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AMC Movie Theaters -- typical OR not?
Replies: 61
Views: 4368

Re: AMC Movie Theaters -- typical OR not?

Prices seemed reasonable: $30 for three of us. Whoa! Atypical. Are you posting from the 1990s? I don't know if you can get into a discount theater for much under $10 around here. That is market specific. I do not think that I have spent more than $7.50 for a movie in the past five years with the se...
by jlawrence01
Sat May 05, 2018 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Open-ended question about vacationing in Yosemite or a different national park
Replies: 49
Views: 2929

Re: Open-ended question about vacationing in Yosemite or a different national park

1. Is August a bad time to visit Yosemite, either in terms of weather or crowds? Should we do everything we can to schedule a September vacation instead? Or some other month? 2. Is there some "overlooked" park that we should visit instead? Do any of you have an opinion of the form, "Everyone visits...
by jlawrence01
Fri May 04, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car rentals, what is the catch?
Replies: 25
Views: 2096

Re: Car rentals, what is the catch?

Sometimes it is less expensive to rent a car off the airport because of surcharges added to car rentals on airport property. They usually run $3-$10 a day so it makes sense to take a shuttle van or bus to an off-site location for longer rentals. You should check online reviews to be aware of what t...
by jlawrence01
Fri May 04, 2018 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying new car or buying used car
Replies: 91
Views: 4994

Re: Buying new car or buying used car

I think that if you plan to drive the car into the ground (to the end of its useful life), there is very little difference in buying new or used.

I have done both and kept my acquisition costs to about 10 cents per mile.

If you want a different car every three years, it is better to buy used.
by jlawrence01
Fri May 04, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving downtown Chicago. Should I sell my car?
Replies: 41
Views: 2592

Re: Moving downtown Chicago. Should I sell my car?

If you don't live in easy walking distance, I'd ensure there's a reasonably easy public transportation option to get to work/school that doesn't require a change. i.e. a single bus or L train that can take you there. Commuting during Winter kind of sucks. You're not going to want to take one bus to...
by jlawrence01
Fri May 04, 2018 1:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car rentals, what is the catch?
Replies: 25
Views: 2096

Re: Car rentals, what is the catch?

I rent from one of the majors - usually Hertz or Budget - OFF-AIRPORT to get the best prices. Everytime that I have tries the "dirt cheap options", I have regretted it. I would get poorly maintained vehicles, 30 minutes of upsells, bogus claims of damages, and the like. The few times I rent with Her...
by jlawrence01
Wed May 02, 2018 11:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not Wasting Food
Replies: 60
Views: 3506

Re: Not Wasting Food

I think that if you examine the amount of food produced and how much is actually consumed, you will probably find that the amount of waste is approximately 40%. In the "old days" most grocery stores would carry approximately 100 SKUs of fresh produce. Nowadays, that can be as much as 500 SKUs and th...
by jlawrence01
Tue May 01, 2018 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maple syrup
Replies: 59
Views: 4917

Re: Maple syrup

Smucker's Sugar Free Syrup You realize that it is a bottle of liquid Splenda with food coloring and some other chemicals, and not maple syrup, right? I used to love Michele's pecan flavored syrup until I realized that it was just corn syrup. Nearly all maple flavored syrups contain maple extract ge...
by jlawrence01
Tue May 01, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When/how did you start teaching your child about personal finance?
Replies: 34
Views: 2514

Re: When/how did you start teaching your child about personal finance?

One comment.

You learn a LOT MORE about personal finance by what your parents DO than what they TEACH. Make good decisions and discuss with your children why they cannot have everything that there heart desires.
by jlawrence01
Tue May 01, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Must See in South Dakota
Replies: 58
Views: 4035

Re: Must See in South Dakota

I have to admit that Nebraska was my 49th state to visit and South Dakota was my 50th. I found South Dakota to be rather disappointing in that so many of the attractions - Wall Drugs, the Corn Palace and the like were the type of places that held my interest for about 30 minutes. Mt. Rushmore was al...
by jlawrence01
Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Maple syrup
Replies: 59
Views: 4917

Re: Maple syrup

We make our own - about 200 gallons a year. We are selling it for $40 a gallon and it is better than the imported stuff from costco.

And when yu are making syrup, you do NOT use maple trees that are not sugar maples.
by jlawrence01
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ikea Quality
Replies: 37
Views: 2774

Re: Ikea Quality

If you are planning to purchase IKEA furniture, assemble it, and keep it in place, generally it will work. To me, it is a step up from O'Sullvan and Sauder Woodworks products in that you will actually receive all of the fasteners you need. However, it is a major downgrade from permanent furniture or...
by jlawrence01
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family trip, Southwest USA
Replies: 27
Views: 2186

Re: Family trip, Southwest USA

I want to give a general warning to ANYONE who is traveling to the Southwest (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada) during the summer months. A previous post noted that Phoenix was really hot in the summer months. As someone who hiked throughout Utah last June and lives in the Tucson, there are very FE...
by jlawrence01
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a car w/o ABS?
Replies: 53
Views: 2202

Re: Do you have a car w/o ABS?

I do not have ABS or ESC om my vehicle. However, the two friends who pester me about that are people who will drive tires down to the belts and will answer their calls on the cell phone while driving through rush hour.
by jlawrence01
Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Surveys
Replies: 44
Views: 2324

Re: Emailed Vanguard Survey from "GfK". Possible spam or phishing?

GfK is a German market research company that does SIGNIFICANT market research in the field of consumer financial services. As for $50, that is a decent sized reward but I have received as much as $300 for a one hour survey. What many companies are doing these days are creating consumer panels of cus...
by jlawrence01
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family trip, Southwest USA
Replies: 27
Views: 2186

Re: Family trip, Southwest USA

radiowave wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:13 pm
Note, Phoenix/AZ in July is triple digit heat. Get up into the mountains!
That is true BUT Phoenix has the cheapest flights and car rentals during the summer months and is an ideal gateway into the area..
by jlawrence01
Mon Apr 23, 2018 5:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family trip, Southwest USA
Replies: 27
Views: 2186

Re: Family trip, Southwest USA

1) Full driving, in our family minivan - but this is a lot of driving, including the return trip. 2) Rent a minivan locally, drive one way there, fly back out of Las Vegas 3) Take Amtrak via Kansas City to Albuquerque, rent a minivan there, drive to, say, Santa Fe, G.C., Vegas 4) Try to do the whol...
by jlawrence01
Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New retirees: so whatdayathink ?
Replies: 97
Views: 11298

Re: New retirees: so whatdayathink ?

I retired in May 2013, a few days shy of my 54th birthday. I had intended to retire at age 57 or 58. However, the division that I was working for was sold to a private equity firm and I did not like the direction in which the company was heading. Basically, it has gone like this: Year 1: Find a plac...
by jlawrence01
Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?
Replies: 87
Views: 5008

Re: AAA? What to do in car emergencies?

^^ I agree. I have been able to get AAA service within an hour all over the country, even in remote rural areas. And usually, the service gets there in an hour. My insurance company will reimburse for towing costs BUT I have to find a towing service to come out. That is a hassle when you are in area...
by jlawrence01
Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3531
Views: 1005166

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Lone Wolf and Cub: Sword of Vengeance

It was a very interesting 1972 Japanese samurai movie.
by jlawrence01
Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visiting Chicago - Foodie suggestions?
Replies: 28
Views: 1727

Re: Visiting Chicago - Foodie suggestions?

Head over to the LTHFORUM.COM and enjoy.
by jlawrence01
Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Republic Wireless
Replies: 69
Views: 18801

Re: Republic Wireless

JLawrence, Do the static and drop call problems only occur in SoAZ or do you also have such problems in other parts of the country? I had the problem throughout Northeastern Ohio, the Chicago suburbs, Tucson, and at least a dozen other locations. When your family complains incessantly that there is...
by jlawrence01
Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Republic Wireless
Replies: 69
Views: 18801

Re: Republic Wireless

Hi folks. I am considering moving from AT&T to Republic Wireless and I thought I would revive this thread since I believe many of the issues with the service that early posters identified have been fixed. I am an attorney and frequently use my personal phone for work / conference calls / email, etc...
by jlawrence01
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you know what price to negotiate when buying a used car?
Replies: 28
Views: 1682

Re: How do you know what price to negotiate when buying a used car?

II take a different approach. On the low end, I head on over to the Hertz and Enterprise websites and price out their USED late model cars On the high end, I head over to Carmax and see what they are selling similar vehicles for. My starting bid to any dealer on a midsized car will be about $2.5k le...
by jlawrence01
Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Total Cost of Car Ownership over 10 years
Replies: 40
Views: 3447

Re: Total Cost of Car Ownership over 10 years

That looks light on maintenance to me. Also, does the acquisition price include sales tax/ Have you factored in personal property taxes and ad valorem taxes if they apply in your state?
by jlawrence01
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco gas
Replies: 67
Views: 5833

Re: Costco gas

Costco is about two cents cheaper than Kroger's but they lack a fuel point program that is worth about 20 cents a gallon to us.
by jlawrence01
Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Decisions on a Two Car Strategy
Replies: 24
Views: 2177

Re: Decisions on a Two Car Strategy

As the cars are getting older, we are planning replacements to at least one of them, if not both and we are considering what to replace, when, and with what. We like non-luxury cars generally which are reliable and not high-maintenance. Between Hondas and Toyotas, the former has been more fun to dr...
by jlawrence01
Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Las Vegas hotel
Replies: 44
Views: 3194

Re: Las Vegas hotel

Note to OP: People like to throw out numbers on this forum about the great rates that they have received at Las Vegas resorts. A couple of weeks ago, I received a deal from TI for $59 per night and a deal from the Wynn for ONLY $129. Remember, you will not get those rates. That will add $30-60 addit...
by jlawrence01
Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What percentage of you 2017 income can you account for?
Replies: 49
Views: 3553

Re: What percentage of you 2017 income can you account for?

Tracking the expenses takes all of two minutes a day using an Excel spreadsheet that I have set up. Tracking the expenses gives me a lot of information I would not have otherwise. Same here. Been doing so for about 25 years. Retired for almost 12 years. In my view this information helps to control ...
by jlawrence01
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yellowstone time needed
Replies: 22
Views: 2329

Re: Yellowstone time needed

It does not sound like a lot of fun to me. Fly into Salt Lake City from Washington which when you include flight time, pre-flight time and the like is a six to eight hour commitment. Arrive in SLC, rent a car, and drive 6+ hours on what can be a tricky drive in mid-May. And repeat the same scenario ...
by jlawrence01
Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3531
Views: 1005166

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

I watched the Isle of Dogs today. I really liked the movie a lot. It is nice to see some intelligent animation as opposed to the usual Disney drech.

There was so much humor throughout the animation.

It is not as good as the Studio Ghibli animation or storytelling but rather good.