Search found 183 matches

by Redbelly
Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cell phone plans for light voice use
Replies: 23
Views: 3313

Re: Best cell phone plans for light voice use

Another vote for PagePlus. You can pick up a used Verizon phone on Ebay for a pittance - it just can't be a prepaid phone. When you do a search, use PagePlus in the search terms to ensure an eligible phone.
by Redbelly
Sun Aug 18, 2013 7:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: High Yield Tax Exempt Fund - Time to Leave?
Replies: 8
Views: 733

Re: High Yield Tax Exempt Fund - Time to Leave?

Thanks ogd. I appreciate the courteous , informative answer.
by Redbelly
Sun Aug 18, 2013 6:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: High Yield Tax Exempt Fund - Time to Leave?
Replies: 8
Views: 733

Re: High Yield Tax Exempt Fund - Time to Leave?

Call_Me_Op wrote:In other words, you thought it was a good idea to invest in high yield when the yield was lower - but now that the yield is higher you want out.

You need an IPS.
Sorry, I'm not following. The yield on this fund is now negative.
by Redbelly
Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: High Yield Tax Exempt Fund - Time to Leave?
Replies: 8
Views: 733

High Yield Tax Exempt Fund - Time to Leave?

Hi, I keep about $30K in the Vanguard high yield tax exempt fund (VWAHX) in a taxable account as an emergency fund. I do this because it was returning a better yield that the money market fund, but seemed reasonable safe. I just noticed that I'm down about $1000 and the obvious question is whether I...
by Redbelly
Wed Feb 22, 2012 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creative Ways to Burn Up Prepaid Phone Credit?
Replies: 17
Views: 2012

Re: Creative Ways to Burn Up Prepaid Phone Credit?

**UPDATE**

Watty's idea was brilliant. I bought a smartphone from Virgin with my credit and then resold it on eBay for a more than I paid!.

Nice way to turn "dead" money into something useful.
by Redbelly
Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creative Ways to Burn Up Prepaid Phone Credit?
Replies: 17
Views: 2012

Re: Creative Ways to Burn Up Prepaid Phone Credit?

On the virgin mobil web site (at least about six months ago) when you order a new phone in the place you pay for it the drop down box where you normally select Visa, Mastercard, etc it also has an option to pay with your balance. You can buy a high end phone and sell or give it to someone. I have b...
by Redbelly
Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creative Ways to Burn Up Prepaid Phone Credit?
Replies: 17
Views: 2012

Re: Creative Ways to Burn Up Prepaid Phone Credit?

OP here. I do have a land line with DSL, but use Google Voice for free calls in USA. I have burned up a little $ on international calls with the cell phone, but that was a temporary need. I just use a cell phone as a convenience in my car for an occasional call. Virgin does offer a phone with this p...
by Redbelly
Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creative Ways to Burn Up Prepaid Phone Credit?
Replies: 17
Views: 2012

Re: Creative Ways to Burn Up Prepaid Phone Credit?

Wow. 113 views and no suggestions. No wonder I was stumped. :confused
by Redbelly
Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creative Ways to Burn Up Prepaid Phone Credit?
Replies: 17
Views: 2012

Creative Ways to Burn Up Prepaid Phone Credit?

Here is my situation. I have a Virgin Mobile prepaid phone that I almost never use, but keep active for $15 every 90 days. The credits keep rolling over and I now have $235 that I will never use (and growing). It is a Paylo plan, so I can't get a smartphone and use the credit with data transfer. I'm...
by Redbelly
Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To Hybrid auto owners: is the maintenance different?
Replies: 34
Views: 6881

Re: To Hybrid auto owners: is the maintenance different?

Wife and I are trying to decide between an Escape and Prius. We do need some cargo space. Round and round we go! I have the Escape hybrid. It has a fair amount of cargo space with the rear seat folded down. It also tows 1000 pounds. I have a small Harbor Freight folding trailer that I keep in my ga...
by Redbelly
Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is AAA Membership Worth it?
Replies: 148
Views: 34770

Re: Is AAA Membership Worth it?

protagonist wrote:If I am not mistaken, if you ever need it in a pinch, you can always sign up on the spot via phone and immediately get the benefits.
I don't think so. I relented and signed up as an addition to my wife's membership and there was a 4 day waiting period - which makes sense when you think about it.
by Redbelly
Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insulation
Replies: 23
Views: 2203

Re: Insulation

As has been mentioned, proper sealing of air leaks is essential and provides the most bang for the buck. It is also critical to seal duct work, especially in unconditioned spaces like a crawl space or attic. Check with your utility to see if they will subsidize an energy audit. Then insulate. This s...
by Redbelly
Fri Nov 25, 2011 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there such a thing as a FInancial Intervention?
Replies: 36
Views: 3643

Re: Is there such a thing as a FInancial Intervention?

.................. He does not want to bail her out, but he's afraid for her. She always tells him how depressed she is, and that scares him............................. Your step daughter is using emotional extortion on your husband. I recognize it because I have seen it in my DW's family. Somehow...
by Redbelly
Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standby Generator
Replies: 96
Views: 15867

Re: Standby Generator

Could someone please tell me what I will need in the way of a trickle battery charger for my 8kWh generator? Any 12v charger will do; these days, I'm pretty sure that they all have a "charge" mode which switches over to a "float" mode when the battery has a sufficient charge. I like the Battery Ten...
by Redbelly
Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you feed your dog?
Replies: 65
Views: 5419

Re: What do you feed your dog?

Also feed the Costco brand kibble. When I researched it a few years back, it was a good, balanced formulation. My only gripe with it is the brown dye used stains my girl's white muzzle when she licks her chops.
by Redbelly
Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standby Generator
Replies: 96
Views: 15867

Re: Standby Generator

dratkinson wrote:...............
Yes, please, tell us more. ..........
I suspect that he means that you could easily make your own for about $5, but the interlocks run $150 pre-made. It is a good, low cost solution, if you understand how to balance your load to your generator.
by Redbelly
Fri Nov 04, 2011 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standby Generator
Replies: 96
Views: 15867

Re: Standby Generator

Diesel generators are great, but they cost significantly more than a gasoline or propane generator and with use only during normal power outages, you couldn't wear one out in three lifetimes. I think the ideal setup would be a portable generator hooked up to natural gas or a very large propane tank....
by Redbelly
Fri Nov 04, 2011 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standby Generator
Replies: 96
Views: 15867

Re: Standby Generator

I should also mention that you can frequently buy used transfer switches, as well as lightly used generators off Craigslist. When people install an automatic setup, they sell the old transfer switch and generator, with little use. The transfer switches with 6 to 10 circuits are easy to install - muc...
by Redbelly
Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standby Generator
Replies: 96
Views: 15867

Re: Standby Generator

I installed a "Vintage" Gentran transfer switch for less than $200 (easy to install yourself) and plug in a 4000 watt, $500 big box store generator. It runs my well and anything else I want to run except AC. I have gas appliances. I've noticed that one can pick up very low hour generators on Craigsl...
by Redbelly
Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water Heater Replacement
Replies: 31
Views: 3366

Re: Water Heater Replacement

Just a comment. When replacing a tank type water heater, check to see if there is a drain near by. If so, install a drain pan under the heater so that when it does start to leak, it doesn't cause water damage. http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&sugexp=kjrmc&cp=20&gs_id=23&xhr=t&q=water+heater+drain+...
by Redbelly
Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money and in-laws
Replies: 59
Views: 7890

Re: Money and in-laws

It seems like every family has one, the only variable is how long you give them money before you realize that you will never see it again.

You've already given him $5K (whether you know it or not), time to cut your losses.
by Redbelly
Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Naturally whiten teeth?
Replies: 15
Views: 2372

Re: Naturally whiten teeth?

Don Robins wrote:Rinse mouth with diluted clorox, but do not swallow.
I find it ironic that someone in another thread is worrying about the toxicity of windshield wiper fluid and you are recommending putting bleach in your mouth.......
by Redbelly
Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is AAA Membership Worth it?
Replies: 148
Views: 34770

centrifuge41 wrote:....................
Thus, buying insurance against an affordable expense isn't always a losing proposition, probabilistically speaking.
Right, you are the exception to the rule. :roll:
by Redbelly
Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is AAA Membership Worth it?
Replies: 148
Views: 34770

airahcaz wrote:
......... not worth debating
Well, that's debatable. :lol:
by Redbelly
Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is AAA Membership Worth it?
Replies: 148
Views: 34770

It seems like buying insurance against an expense that you can easily afford is not Bogle-ish. You can find a towing company nearly anywhere from your cell phone using Bing 411. To me, this is in the same category as extended warranties - convenient, but not a good value.
by Redbelly
Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to Retire
Replies: 48
Views: 6736

I retired at 54. Work sucked - stressful and age discrimination was rampant. C'mon over to http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/ and see the other side.
by Redbelly
Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace my HVAC system or wait
Replies: 58
Views: 11564

I'd have a home energy analysis done, which may be discounted through your energy provider. Part of that analysis should be an estimate of payback for replacing the furnace and AC with more efficient units in addition to other improvements you could make to the rest of the home. Your money may be be...
by Redbelly
Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Mechanic Question
Replies: 38
Views: 3053

#1 rule for a competent mechanic is to determine why a part failed before replacing it. Shoes contaminated? Why? Your mechanic did not do an analysis, - he just replaced the shoes. Now you have the same problem all over again. Re replacing brake fluid - there are two main issues. The fluid is hygros...
by Redbelly
Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mother-in-law Unprepared for Retirement
Replies: 36
Views: 7956

.......... I imagine a lot of people are or will have their own financial security compromised by family members who haven't saved or planned well, so I'm surprised there aren't more resources out there to help prepare for or minimize the impact of those situations. .......... I think that what you...
by Redbelly
Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mother-in-law Unprepared for Retirement
Replies: 36
Views: 7956

I think that the problem is between you and your husband. You two need to agree how much the MIL will be allowed to ruin your lives with her immature behavior. Until you figure that part out, you will watch her every move with trepidation, waiting for her to really screw up and force you to pick up ...
by Redbelly
Wed Aug 24, 2011 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replace water heater?
Replies: 8
Views: 1367

My last one went 21 years, but I was pushing it. When I installed the new one, I installed a pan under it that drains to a floor drain.

If the discount is significant (at least 20%), I'd go with it, if not I'd let it ride.
by Redbelly
Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best site for finding cheap hotel rooms?
Replies: 46
Views: 8243

I've had great luck with bidding on Priceline. If you just use them to book, the deals are not that great. DW and I frequently overnight near PDX for early / late flights and I used to rent a $50 a night motel, so I was delighted to find I could get a 3 or 3 1/2 star hotel for the same price on Pric...
by Redbelly
Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Got Taken By Toyota [service department] Today
Replies: 54
Views: 6645

Milo wrote:If they know they are going to charge you for the oil recycling, then they should include that charge in the advertised price.
My local place has a $1.50 oil recycling fee, yet will take any and all oil that you bring in in a jug, for free. I think that is because they can sell the used oil.
by Redbelly
Sun May 29, 2011 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: dealership service worth paying extra for? (60,000 miles)
Replies: 47
Views: 15683

I use the manufacturer's recommended schedule, not the dealers. For service that I cannot perform myself, I take it to an independent shop. A good place to find recommendations for a shop is on the Car Talk Mechanics Files.

http://www.cartalk.com/content/mechx/
by Redbelly
Sat May 21, 2011 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: noise cancelling headphones
Replies: 35
Views: 4579

As mentioned, active noise cancellation doesn't work for kids and other nonrepetitiious noises. When I worked in Cubeville and had to concentrate I used to wear a set of good quality shooter's ear muffs. For airplane use, I have a set of the $50 Sony noise cancelling headphones and find them to be a...
by Redbelly
Sat May 14, 2011 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: prepaid cell phones
Replies: 33
Views: 4334

I have a Virgin Mobile phone that runs on the Sprint network. I have $15 automatically put on it every 90 days from my credit card. Calls are 18 cents a minute and all credit carries forward indefinitely. I have had it for 4 years and have a $200 credit. needless to say, I use it rarely.
by Redbelly
Sat May 14, 2011 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: are these fidelity spartan funds a good choice?
Replies: 13
Views: 3433

Reasonable choices and don't get too hung up on the details. Getting away from a high expense company was your most important move.
by Redbelly
Tue May 10, 2011 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Binoculars for Scenery and Wildlife?
Replies: 16
Views: 3271

+1 on the Nikon Monarchs. They are really bright for the money, are water proof - nitrogen charged- and have a good warranty (lifetime). Check out their reviews on Amazon
by Redbelly
Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chimney Crowns
Replies: 9
Views: 7042

I had the upper section of my chimney rebuilt and I researched crowns a bit. A proper crown is either cast or is made from a single piece of stone. It is important that the crown stick out over the brick so water drips off the bottom corner of the crown instead of wicking into the chimney over the t...
by Redbelly
Mon Apr 25, 2011 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you save on pharmaceuticals?
Replies: 42
Views: 5203

My healthcare provider has a website where I can check out prices on line. Also the state of Michigan has a website that has drug prices for most major pharmacies. Meijer and Target have some prescriptions for $0 to $4. I used to get my cat's Prozac at Target for $4. CVS and Walgreens seem to be mor...
by Redbelly
Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Ford Fusion Hybrid owners?
Replies: 16
Views: 2894

I have had an Escape hybrid for 4 years. I find helpful discussions at GreenHybrid.com, where I post from time to time. I definitely take a hit in mileage in the winter. I have partly offset this by blocking the radiator in the winter. In any car a significant amount of energy goes into keeping the ...
by Redbelly
Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: should I buy an electric car?
Replies: 87
Views: 8434

A dash of perspective. I bought a hybrid 4 years ago, and while I'm generally happy with it, a few things stand out. Like any new gizmo, once the wow factor is worn off, you quickly realize that you now have the "old model". Second, these things are insanely complex and it is great when everything i...
by Redbelly
Wed Apr 20, 2011 8:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Standing water around my foundation
Replies: 7
Views: 2188

Generally the back fill around the foundation settles after a few years. You need to add dirt as others have stated to ensure a slope away from the house. Also check your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are clear and drain well away from the foundation.
by Redbelly
Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired. Now what am I supposed to do?
Replies: 45
Views: 7296

I retired 4 years ago at age 54. IMHO, it is all about getting over what one is "supposed to do". You have to start doing what you want to do. It is called freedom and it is delicious.
by Redbelly
Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should I protect my brand new SUV, security-wise?
Replies: 32
Views: 3538

You can install a hidden switch for the fuel pump pretty easily. Joy riders will not spend the time to find it.
by Redbelly
Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sanibel Island Trip - Insights Welcome
Replies: 14
Views: 1801

John Darling Wildlife Refuge Drive - about 5 miles - can also be biked. On Sanibel. If you like swamp and the possibility of seeking Storks - Corkscrew Sanctuary about 10-20 miles away. +1. I love both of those places. I think there are kayak and bike rentals at Sanibel, as well. Corkscrew is best ...
by Redbelly
Sat Apr 16, 2011 4:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question for those in retirement
Replies: 37
Views: 5924

Age 59 with a pension that covers all my expenses and then some. 30% bonds, which are split evenly between TIPS and Total Bond Fund.
by Redbelly
Sat Apr 16, 2011 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Ameriprise question??
Replies: 48
Views: 5341

I've tried on several occasions to point out to relatives and friends that they were being ripped off. It doesn't end well, as they have an emotional investment in their prior decisions. When you point this out, you are the bad guy. Good luck.
by Redbelly
Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roof Ridge Vent and Birds
Replies: 9
Views: 4988

The ridge vents that I have seen have a mesh screen allows air to escape but stops insects and birds.
by Redbelly
Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car - Gas Odor? Your Thoughts
Replies: 7
Views: 1409

I'd Google it - seriously. Include your car model and symptoms phrased a few different ways. Frequently other people with similar issues post on car forums and share fixes for common problems for a particular make and model. It could be an issue with the evaporative recovery canister.