Search found 1227 matches

by serbeer
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not getting 5% reward cash back on my Amazon prime credit card
Replies: 24
Views: 2831

Re: Not getting 5% reward cash back on my Amazon prime credit card

On Amazon, if you go to something like Account->Payment Methods, there are drop-down options for each card. I have the "use these points" options turned off on all the cards. I was thinking about doing the same thing, but could not find the setting, not in Payment Options. Do you know where you set...
by serbeer
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not getting 5% reward cash back on my Amazon prime credit card
Replies: 24
Views: 2831

Re: Not getting 5% reward cash back on my Amazon prime credit card

On Amazon, if you go to something like Account->Payment Methods, there are drop-down options for each card. I have the "use these points" options turned off on all the cards. I was thinking about doing the same thing, but could not find the setting, not in Payment Options. Do you know where you set...
by serbeer
Mon Aug 05, 2019 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excel Quotes Add-In: Stock quotes from Gaier Software
Replies: 9
Views: 1305

Re: Excel Quotes Add-In: Stock quotes from Gaier Software

Is anyone else having trouble with the Excel Quotes Add-In? I've refreshed many times, but can't seem to get any new data since last Tuesday's close (July 30th). I just checked and have no issues with refreshing my quotes using SMF plugin in Excel 2016. I really only pull Share Price and Name using...
by serbeer
Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of 2nd kid?
Replies: 15
Views: 1442

Re: Cost of 2nd kid?

I was doing calculations 8-9 years ago after my younger was born, and my estimate came to ~$315K for each one NOT counting college. Not every expense is directly attributable to childcare, and, thus, not simply to calculate, but I attemted to do so anyway at the time using variety of techniques. For...
by serbeer
Mon Jul 29, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?
Replies: 36
Views: 2805

Re: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?

$650 a year? I agree, that would make me yell... Edit to add my e-bill is only $100/month on avg timber fair Mine too, but it took me ~$750 in LED bulbs retrofit throughout the house (most were recessed replaced with integrated LEDs for the sake of looks as much as economy), and $400 in smart/motio...
by serbeer
Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?
Replies: 36
Views: 2805

Re: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?

I am really happy about installing those in kids bedrooms (to turn off only after no-motion period) and bathroom and walk-in closets (both auto-on and off) on the 2nd floor, so not I do not have to climb up all the time to check if they turned all the light off, and scream at them when they did not...
by serbeer
Sun Jul 28, 2019 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?
Replies: 36
Views: 2805

Re: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?

It really is very simple. Frequently you can simply mover wires one by one from old switch to the new one, though most smart switches now come with pre-stripped twisted wires that have to be connected to existing solid copper stripped wire you took of old switch (straightening if it was bent for the...
by serbeer
Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?
Replies: 36
Views: 2805

Re: Electrician required to replace rocker light switches with PIR motion detecting light switches?

I found "Lutron Maestro C.L Dimmer and Motion Sensor" switch to be the best of all I tried and use in my house. While it is a bit more expensive ($31 on Amazon for white one) than Maestro non-dimming ones (which can be had for only $16 if purchased in packs and/or on sale), it is just better. I real...
by serbeer
Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax settlement: how to file claim?
Replies: 130
Views: 10989

Re: Equifax settlement: how to file claim?

Somebody sent me a link to the corresponding Reddit discussion: https://www.reddit.com/r/personalfinance/comments/ch9tcj/claims_are_now_being_accepted_for_the_2017/ I'm a bit on the fence about it. I am appalled by Equifax in many respects, but it is really worth my time going through the claim pro...
by serbeer
Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standard Car Key Battery Life for Late Model Vehicles
Replies: 40
Views: 2693

Re: Standard Car Key Battery Life for Late Model Vehicles

The push button start cars go through remote batteries quicker because the remote also has to function as the key, constantly needing to communicate with the car to enable start based on proximity. On regular key cars, the remotes can last a long time. I am on original batteries still for my 2005 C...
by serbeer
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Home Security like Ring and SimpliSafe vs paid services like ADT and Rampart. What do you advise for and/or against?
Replies: 29
Views: 2651

Re: DIY Home Security like Ring and SimpliSafe vs paid services like ADT and Rampart. What do you advise for and/or agai

It can also be set for "water", such as the start of flooding in a basement or wherever... And one can also incorporate a "panic" button, be it "I've fallen and can't get up" or "I hear spooky sounds!" One other thing, you might consider a "duress code". That will appear to anyone standing there to...
by serbeer
Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excel Quotes Add-In: Stock quotes from Gaier Software
Replies: 9
Views: 1305

Re: Excel Quotes Add-In: Stock quotes from Gaier Software

SMF Excel pluging
http://ogres-crypt.com/SMF/
served me well for many years now, I think one of the links OP posted was about it when it was having a problem that was resolved.
by serbeer
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GV alternatives?--please help
Replies: 3
Views: 604

Re: GV alternatives?--please help

DW just called me with good news that Google sent her reply that it reviewed her request and determined that usage is "in compliance with policies", so reinstated account access and her GV is working as normal already. That's a relief, though I already spent several hours looking into alternatives...
by serbeer
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GV alternatives?--please help
Replies: 3
Views: 604

Re: GV alternatives?--please help

Thank you Yohac. Yes, GV had its problems at times, but not often enough for us to do anything about it. And I use another GV account in our home Obihai-based landline. Yes, porting may become a problem too. There would not be a fee since we ported her number in, but how to unlock if cannot get into...
by serbeer
Tue Jun 25, 2019 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GV alternatives?--please help
Replies: 3
Views: 604

GV alternatives?--please help

My wife uses Google Voice for the 2nd phone number on her cell phone. It started yet 8 years ago when she did not want to carry personal and company's cell phones so simply ported her personal number to GV and install it on company's phone. Since then two things changed: her company switched all emp...
by serbeer
Fri Jun 14, 2019 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dental/Vision Insurance for Baby
Replies: 33
Views: 1560

Re: Dental/Vision Insurance for Baby

I believe I waited till older kid was 6 or 7 before I added kids to dental insurance plan.
And to vision plan, which is much cheaper, at age 5 -- when I anticipated the need for vision exams for kindergarten.
by serbeer
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is my employee stock purchase plan a no brainer?
Replies: 19
Views: 1665

Re: No brainer?

Not sure what 75% match means. Normally, ESPP is offered with discount, not match. Discount on purchase price of the stock, that of lower of beginning or end of plan period. Normally, discount is between 5 and 15%, I believe to stay within IRS guidelines. The rest of your description does sound like...
by serbeer
Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot Water Tank
Replies: 14
Views: 1576

Re: Hot Water Tank

You can still install Breadford White but have plumber replace their factory anode rode with this $90 Powered Anode that will never need replacement: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074XC19J6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Since plumber will be working on new heater anyway, I exp...
by serbeer
Thu May 23, 2019 1:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ongoing eBay buying problems
Replies: 30
Views: 2182

Re: ongoing eBay buying problems

I made a purchase on Ebay a couple of days ago, and to my surprise PayPal option to pay was not available. I could either enter my credit card number directly (which I did) or use I think Google Pay, but may be wrong about that one. There was little blue link in small font called "Where is PayPal" o...
by serbeer
Thu May 02, 2019 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone ever used a water damage restoration company to help file insurance claim?
Replies: 22
Views: 1300

Re: Anyone ever used a water damage restoration company to help file insurance claim?

No experience with water damage, but it is usually roofing repair companies that deal with insurance in case of hail damage, they show it to company's appraiser, try to maximize payouts, etc. Their interests are aligned with yours, while relying on insurance company is not a good idea.
by serbeer
Thu Apr 25, 2019 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Are Your Simple Pleasures?
Replies: 145
Views: 12716

Re: What Are Your Simple Pleasures?

Reading Kindle next to my gas fireplace in a recliner with footstool while slowly sipping a glass of aged port or Grand Marnier. Too bad winter is over now and today is probably one of the last nights I will be able to do that as I am going to shutdown pilot on my gas fireplace till next winter, pro...
by serbeer
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suddenly, even lower opinion of financial planners/money managers
Replies: 67
Views: 6056

Re: Suddenly, even lower opinion of financial planners/money managers

You’re a CPA? Then perhaps you should not use your experience to pass judgment on the difficulty of the test? No, I am neither CPA or attorney, and do not possess an accounting, finance, or law degree. For what it's worth, my fall/winter "on a whim" project will be to qualify for and sit for the CP...
by serbeer
Mon Apr 22, 2019 7:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house without a realtor
Replies: 49
Views: 4806

Re: Buying a house without a realtor

During my latest closing, my attorney discovered and fixed on the spot a problem with the way ownership was formulated in the deed, something about tenancy in common, not sure exactly. So I believe I got my money worth.
by serbeer
Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house without a realtor
Replies: 49
Views: 4806

Re: Buying a house without a realtor

Did very little, yes, but refunded us 1/3 of commission he received as buyer agent
by serbeer
Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Crown Molding Out-of-Style?
Replies: 46
Views: 6092

Re: Is Crown Molding Out-of-Style?

We purchased a house with crown moldings painted same off-white color as walls, and wall moldings, whatever they are called, painted in slightly different but similar color, and they look great, the house has modern but also high-end look, moldings are noticeable but not in your face. One of the fir...
by serbeer
Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY home security system
Replies: 23
Views: 1859

Re: DIY home security system

I installed Ring and very happy with it. At $100/year monitoring fee, which includes lifetime warranty for very inexpensive to begin with equipment, you cannot go wrong with it. The system is wireless, uses z-wave sensors, but I never had a problem with any of them, used the system for over 6 months...
by serbeer
Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is seeking tax shelter always right?
Replies: 28
Views: 2844

Re: Is seeking tax shelter always right?

When I compute my asset allocation (or net worth for that matter), I normally reduce tax-deferred balances by 25%, taxable by 10% (probably an overshot) and Roth is at 0%. That gives me a better view of my real AA. So learning_head, you think that tax adjustment for taxable should be lower than tha...
by serbeer
Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: High powered binoculars recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 1163

Re: High powered binoculars recommendations

I recently "splurged" on this well-reviewed pair:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073Z ... UTF8&psc=1
that set me back the whole $24 after applying the coupon.

Looks well made and works fine for my VERY occasional use.
by serbeer
Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seller's Agent - Tiered Commission structure?
Replies: 15
Views: 1167

Re: Seller's Agent - Tiered Commission structure?

I sold with 4% comission last year (2.5% to buyer agent and 1.5% to seller agent) but my seller agent was also buyer agent on purchase of the 2x as expensive replacement house that was done just a month prior, so he gave me a break. He was actually willing to settle for 3.5% if he was the one bringi...
by serbeer
Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: router internet parental controls
Replies: 28
Views: 1815

Re: router internet parental controls

Putting devices like Roomba on your main network leaves you vulnerable if those devices get hacked. I returned my Wemo outlets after discovering they would not work on Guest networks. I even renamed my main network to the exact settings as my Guest network, and they worked fine. But switch them to ...
by serbeer
Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: router internet parental controls
Replies: 28
Views: 1815

Re: router internet parental controls

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:44 am
None of these LAN filtering ideas will work for devices connected to cellular data...
I do not intend to get kids cell phones until they are 14+, though my 10yo already informed me that "everyone" in his class has one, which probably means that 20-30% of kids actually do.
by serbeer
Thu Apr 11, 2019 1:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: router internet parental controls
Replies: 28
Views: 1815

Re: router internet parental controls

Just as an update, I received Router Limit device yesterday and connected it to my R6700 router. The registration and initial setup was extremely simple, but when I started experimenting I realized some of my wi-fi devices were not getting internet access despite wireless connection active. After di...
by serbeer
Thu Apr 11, 2019 12:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: router internet parental controls
Replies: 28
Views: 1815

Re: router internet parental controls

I just ordered one of these a few days ago: https://firewalla.com I spend enough time messing with network gear at work that I don't really care to do it at home. I liked that this device can just drop in and start intercepting traffic (ie. doesn't replace your router or change your network setup a...
by serbeer
Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: router internet parental controls
Replies: 28
Views: 1815

Re: router internet parental controls

Good luck. Any kid of above average intelligence will figure out a way around your parental controls in a couple days. As others have mentioned physical device control is more reliable, although I'm sure your kids will outsmart you here too if they're clever. As a teen I wasn't allowed to have a pe...
by serbeer
Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: router internet parental controls
Replies: 28
Views: 1815

Re: router internet parental controls

Thank you for advice folks. Investor4life, that would be a good suggestion if only I used Comcast's own equipment as their software requires their wireless gateway to operate. But I use my own to avoid what probably is $10/month rental fee by now, used to be $4.99 when I started with them years ago....
by serbeer
Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: router internet parental controls
Replies: 28
Views: 1815

router internet parental controls

My older kid (10yo) is fast becoming active on internet and I realized that email spam he started to get includes ads for adults sites. He is not intentionally looking for the content, and showed me what he got himself reacting with indignation, I have access to all of his accounts (that I know of :...
by serbeer
Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: move 529 from Illinois to texas
Replies: 10
Views: 650

Re: move 529 from Illinois to texas

I believe Illinois has a tax recapture provision, meaning you will need to pay state income tax at current rates for any contributions you previously received a deduction for. This could be thousands of dollars. Edit to clarify, this is if you roll the plan out of IL and into another 529 plan. This...
by serbeer
Mon Mar 18, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home automation
Replies: 6
Views: 1048

Re: Home automation

... 2. Blink cameras: I went with the less expensive blink cameras because they require no wiring and the battery lasts 1-2 years and they are easy to setup. ... Where do you live? Here in Midwest where temperatures in the winter were dropping to -25F this year, battery life is likely to be measure...
by serbeer
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Robot Window Cleaner?
Replies: 3
Views: 489

Re: Robot Window Cleaner?

I'd love to hear from someone with personal experience too, but these are not common so chances of someone on the forum using those are pretty slim... One thing is for sure, if they ever combine that with dron to carry it from windows to window, I'd buy immediately. The way it is now, I'd still need...
by serbeer
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many companies have you worked for?
Replies: 125
Views: 7102

Re: How many companies have you worked for?

phxjcc wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:17 pm
Since college...

7

1 5 years
2 12 years
3 2 years
4 2 years
Bought a business, sold in a year
5 1 year
6 8 years
7 2 years

2 month consulting gig.

What do I win?
Gold medal :)
by serbeer
Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How many companies have you worked for?
Replies: 125
Views: 7102

Re: How many companies have you worked for?

Two after college: 1st one 6 years and 2nd/current 16 years
by serbeer
Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn care schedule
Replies: 73
Views: 6663

Re: Lawn care schedule

I've been a lawn care fan for a while and the bulk of my learning came from Lawn Care nut - Youtube Pre emergents seed and water (fall best time to seed, spring 2nd best) milorganite sun These are the main keys to success I've completely replaced my backyard, i've had weeds, patches, issues with do...
by serbeer
Mon Mar 04, 2019 12:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 32631

Re: So, I did my taxes over the weekend

I did my taxes this weekend too. The change was favorable to my family, with effective tax rate going down from 22% in last year to 17.7% as calculated by TurboTax. Last time it was that low in 2013 I believe as our income had been growing lately. As expected, this year I had to take standard deduct...
by serbeer
Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Company Travel Question
Replies: 34
Views: 1483

Re: Company Travel Question

Why does she not simply say "I am sorry, I don't have the money to pay for the hotel in NY, please reimburse if you want me to go there on business. Otherwise, let's look for something local for me to attend"?
by serbeer
Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home DIY - increasingly complex repairs and cost savings by DIY
Replies: 38
Views: 3189

Re: Home DYI - increasingly complex repairs and cost savings by DYI

I consider myself handy and am not intimidated by very many home improvement tasks, thanks to my Dad who taught me everything. Now that I'm older, there are many things I won't do for and for these reasons: (1) Anything involving natural gas, short of attaching the appliance to the end fitting. (To...
by serbeer
Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Navigation System Update
Replies: 36
Views: 2148

Re: Car Navigation System Update

Also, IMO, in-dash Navi is vastly superior to phone-based one, based on my observation of friends using their phones to navigate. This may be the first time I’ve ever heard someone say this. I’ve used Toyota, Lexus, and Acura’s built in navigation and they all paled in comparison to using apple map...
by serbeer
Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Navigation System Update
Replies: 36
Views: 2148

Re: Car Navigation System Update

I updated my Acura's Navi twice, with intervals of about 2-3 years each. New DVD costs ~$150 as I recall and I resell old DVD on Ebay for around $60--80 every time, since Navi DVD disks are very sensitive and do not copy well. Does not make sense IMO to update every year, changes are very minor espe...
by serbeer
Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home DIY - increasingly complex repairs and cost savings by DIY
Replies: 38
Views: 3189

Re: Home DYI - increasingly complex repairs and cost savings by DYI

Just finishied putting insulation into attic, nearly 2K sq/ft. Bought it in Menards on huge Christmas sale, $3.99/22.5 sq/ft for R-29 (original price $12). So total cost was $350 and several days spent on rafters in the attic wearing mask and goggles. I do not know how much I saved but I did find se...
by serbeer
Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Joining finances - what's easiest?
Replies: 38
Views: 2233

Re: Joining finances - what's easiest?

We use separate credit cards, not even authorized users of another's credit card--though both are paid from the same joint checking account. This is because even though our finances are joint, there is not a single benefit to combining credit accounts. What do we gain? On the other hand, if one's ha...
by serbeer
Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Being content with your finances
Replies: 106
Views: 8875

Re: Being content with your finances

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:26 am
Spend less. Simple as that. If you cut your spending in half, it's like doubling your income.
No, thanks to taxes it is like increasing it by 150-200%. Two pennies saved is 3 pennies earned :)