Search found 561 matches

by Carson
Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best free online tax return predictor?
Replies: 10
Views: 1172

Re: Best free online tax return predictor?

SRenaeP wrote:
Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:26 pm
I use a home grown spreadsheet that I tweak from year to year as tax brackets and circumstances change.
I do too, but it was really validating to see the Mortgage Calculator was spot-on to my spreadsheet.
by Carson
Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best city car
Replies: 19
Views: 1715

Re: Best city car

Turbo29 wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:20 am
2016 Mazda 3 hatchback. After VW bought back my diesel (due to the emissions scandal) I only had to kick in $1000 to buy it new. Love it.
The hatchback has a lot more cargo space than the sedan.
Laughing over here. Same exact way I got my Mazda 3 hatch. I’m still bitter as I loved my wagon.
by Carson
Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best city car
Replies: 19
Views: 1715

Re: Best city car

I am in the city and we do a lot of short trip driving, shuttling to activities, parallel parking and traffic sitting.

I have a new and paid for Mazda 3, however discovered The Kia niro really appeals to me - the hatch would be awesome for toting stuff, the hybrid for so much stop and go that we do.
by Carson
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to plan for bonus without knowing amount?
Replies: 32
Views: 1887

Re: How to plan for bonus without knowing amount?

Timely. I just got my bonus news yesterday and while it seemed like a solid number (13% of my annual salary) I realize I only take home 27% of it. :shock: So depending on your numbers you might not realize as much of it as cash as you think. 25% to federal withholding (will get portion back as unpla...
by Carson
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to donate to local police and fire department?
Replies: 23
Views: 1774

Re: How much to donate to local police and fire department?

What are the letters soliciting donations for? Is it to provide money to the actual department to be used in-house? Or is it for a charitable organization that they are working with (eg, the relationship between International Association of Fire Fighters and the Muscular Distrophy Association) DH pr...
by Carson
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax refunds expected to be 26% more in 2019
Replies: 52
Views: 5689

Re: Tax refunds expected to be 26% more in 2019

Even with both of us now w2 there is overtime, dividends, espp, bonuses, etc. throughout the year that make me feel it's impossible to get even close to a year end number estimate. Something like 15% -20% of what gets reported as income is variable. I have each paycheck forecasted in excel, and the...
by Carson
Tue Oct 30, 2018 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax refunds expected to be 26% more in 2019
Replies: 52
Views: 5689

Re: Tax refunds expected to be 26% more in 2019

What's weird is I recall an article from a month or so ago saying that a certain percentage of americans hadn't withheld enough from their paychecks. Sounds like everyone should sit down and do a touch-base, which I'm sure many won't. :wink: Right now I have an $18 refund, which is as close as I eve...
by Carson
Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children
Replies: 28
Views: 2701

Re: Tell me about establishing trusts for our minor children

3. Three trusts vs one. <snip> Or reasons not to? You have a lot in your post, but just wanted to chime in on this. We wanted to split our estate equally to our two minor kids, however the lawyer brought up a great point that we hadn't considered - what if one child suffers someway where they objec...
by Carson
Tue Oct 23, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with >$1000 in Amazon credits?
Replies: 57
Views: 5202

Re: What to do with >$1000 in Amazon credits?

I need to figure out another way to cash in coins in the meantime. We are able to use coinstar to redeem for credit with the same store as the machine (eg, the grocery store). That would prevent you from accumulating any more pesky credits. I also think donating the credits to charity would be tota...
by Carson
Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flexible spending account for Invisalign
Replies: 2
Views: 303

Re: Flexible spending account for Invisalign

Thanks, that is pretty much what we are thinking of doing, delaying treatment to start Jan 1 so there is no doubt.
by Carson
Mon Oct 22, 2018 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flexible spending account for Invisalign
Replies: 2
Views: 303

Flexible spending account for Invisalign

We are looking into doing an invisalign treatment. We received one quote and it seems that they will bill us in any way we prefer - full upfront with a discount, monthly installments, annual installments, etc... We are going to get another opinion or two, but expect about the same $5k total cost. Ma...
by Carson
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Depositing Cash if it was gifted?
Replies: 113
Views: 6924

Re: Depositing Cash if it was gifted?

I didn't read every single post, so not sure if this has been suggested... Any chance your grandmother has a good relationship at a local bank and could work with them to do a one-time deposit of cash, and then she can turn around and give you checks? I was a banker in a close-knit community and the...
by Carson
Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Went part time - health ins premiums staying same for 2018 due to ACA
Replies: 8
Views: 513

Re: Went part time - health ins premiums staying same for 2018 due to ACA

I wonder if there's some language for if an employee changes status mid-way through the year, they can't change the premium until the following year? I did want to tell you congrats on going part time - I remember your thread. I really hope that it is a smooth transition for you and you find it a go...
by Carson
Thu Oct 11, 2018 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Downtown Condo Living w/ Kids
Replies: 15
Views: 1814

Re: Downtown Condo Living w/ Kids

Do you think you would mind sharing what specific city you are considering?
by Carson
Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking Expenditures against Budget for Institution Accounts
Replies: 1
Views: 100

Re: Tracking Expenditures against Budget for Institution Accounts

I'm just getting involved in this as becoming a treasurer for a 6-figure organization. We are exploring the idea of getting quickbooks setup. There are big advantages to this - multiple users, easier transition when someone else takes on the role, it will maintain a consistent history instead of som...
by Carson
Sun Sep 30, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When the $2000 deductible bites you in the rear end!
Replies: 30
Views: 4193

Re: When the $2000 deductible bites you in the rear end!

Hey! I caused the same accident for DH back when we were dating. I said 'it looks clear' to turn left, someone yielded, the next person with right-of-way did not, and then :oops: It happens! You probably won't make that mistake again. Thank goodness you have insurance.
by Carson
Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggestions on Phonics & Reading programs for 4 year old? Pre-K to Kindergarten
Replies: 27
Views: 1269

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

We used Teach...100 Lessons with our two boys around age 4. Our oldest was begging us to learn to read and went through it pretty readily/easily. Our second was more resistant (turns out that's just his general disposition). Both times it took longer than going through it every single day, we'd take...
by Carson
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Single Family Homes in Chicago?
Replies: 33
Views: 3554

Re: Single Family Homes in Chicago?

I live on the far northwest side and strongly suggest you figure out where exactly you are working and how you would get there. DH works in a NW suburb, I work from home, occasionally downtown. So we live about halfway between, off of I-90. It's a low key, almost suburban neighborhood in the city. N...
by Carson
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rec. for a specific type of internet router
Replies: 33
Views: 1575

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Hi all, just wanted to update since you were so helpful. We had a mini-meltdown on Monday and I ordered the TP Link archer c7 recommended upthread. We put it in a central room on our main floor, and drilled a small hole through the floor to fish the ethernet cable up from the basement. DH had it up ...
by Carson
Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rec. for a specific type of internet router
Replies: 33
Views: 1575

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

Are you in a Chicago bungalow or similar and on a typical Chicago lot? If so if you have access to the attic and there is electric available, run a Cat5e or Cat6 cable up there and install a wifi router. This will provide wide area coverage on your lot and likely more. You can then drop ethernet ca...
by Carson
Fri Sep 07, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rec. for a specific type of internet router
Replies: 33
Views: 1575

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

The surfboard gateway (thingamajig ;) ) is ours. I bought it when we got internet service 3 years ago. I also have this TP-Link Archer router plugged into the ethernet port on my cable gateway and it works great - excellent speed, coverage and much more stable and reliable than other routers that I ...
by Carson
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rec. for a specific type of internet router
Replies: 33
Views: 1575

Re: Rec. for a specific type of internet router

We just get the service from comcast. The piece of hardware that I was calling a gateway is a Motorola® SURFboard® SB6121 DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modem. We need the it (cable modem/router combo) to send out a wireless signal within the space of the basement to use devices down there. When we installed on t...
by Carson
Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rec. for a specific type of internet router
Replies: 33
Views: 1575

Rec. for a specific type of internet router

I can't figure out what I am looking for so asking for some recommendations. This is our setup. 100-year old brick and lathe & plaster house (Chicago) Comcast 100 mpbs cable service comes into the basement to a Motorola Surfboard gateway that provides 5ghz wifi to devices in the basement. If you con...
by Carson
Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much clothing do you need to get by?
Replies: 20
Views: 2228

Re: How much clothing do you need to get by?

I'd strongly suggest going to a thrift store if there is one nearby, or maybe make the drive to a nice suburban/urban area to access one. Take a first pass there and see if you can get some of the staples in your wardrobe. I do it routinely for myself; DH did it last summer when he needed to get a w...
by Carson
Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sunglasses for kids?
Replies: 8
Views: 814

Re: Sunglasses for kids?

I've heard good things about Babiators sunglasses.

However, my boys are 5 and 8. The 8-year old wears a pair of my old women's cycling glasses for baseball (active sport, lots of sun/glare, need to track a fast-moving object). They are a sport style frame and slightly smaller than men's glasses.
by Carson
Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older Women Lifting Weights
Replies: 87
Views: 7019

Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

I just want to say it is awesome that you are doing this. I am 37 and have lifted weights for 20 years, I think it's made a huge impact on my physique and health. I'm an avid at-home exerciser and had great results with the programs that Cathe Friedrich has to offer. If you are new, consider the ICE...
by Carson
Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should the client have included Sales Tax in the PO (Purchase Order)
Replies: 7
Views: 936

Re: Should the client have included Sales Tax in the PO (Purchase Order)

It might just be our procurement system, but we look at the invoice to make sure the LINE ITEMS match the ordered items exactly. Then, there's a separate field to check that sales tax was then applied to those items and to confirm the tax rate/jurisdiction, etc..
by Carson
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should the client have included Sales Tax in the PO (Purchase Order)
Replies: 7
Views: 936

Re: Should the client have included Sales Tax in the PO (Purchase Order)

I work for a megacorp and we often issue POs just for the items and not the tax. As long as the listed items match what was quoted and ordered, we have no issue tacking the sales tax on when the invoice is submitted.
by Carson
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you include in your grocery budget?
Replies: 36
Views: 1929

Re: What do you include in your grocery budget?

I separate them out into 'house misc' which means non-project related supplies. Things like daily personal care and cleaning items. I also really try to avoid over-consumption of these products and pretty much never buy them at the grocery store where prices are outrageous. So generally a Target/Men...
by Carson
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best stroller+infant seat for gravel roads?
Replies: 18
Views: 1259

Re: Best stroller+infant seat for gravel roads?

Bob Revolution with infant carseat adapter, hands down. Try Craigslist, local FB resale groups, etc... and you likely can get a decent deal on it. We had bought ours in 2009 gently used for $250, and used it extensively on all kinds of terrain and conditions for about 8 years. Many times in that we ...
by Carson
Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I take possession of a certified mail?
Replies: 151
Views: 17664

Re: Should I take possession of a certified mail?

Seriously, it's been a day... I don't work tomorrow and will be away from my PC. If the OP could get it today, that'd be appreciated...
by Carson
Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 505
Views: 114075

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

Well, we were in the process of paying it off early, however, we did develop some regret... It seemed like some projected development in our neighborhood was unfavorable and there were some questions about school quality for our kids as well. We had some other realizations, this probably isn't our '...
by Carson
Tue May 29, 2018 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UPDATE: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies
Replies: 45
Views: 5123

Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

rcjchicity, how frustrating! $%^& indeed.
by Carson
Sun May 27, 2018 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remote temperature monitoring
Replies: 22
Views: 1949

Re: Remote temperature monitoring

I wouldn't rule out a WIFI enabled thermostat before checking with your utility company to see if they offer a rebate on purchasing one.
by Carson
Mon May 21, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What big item (>20k) are you saving up for?
Replies: 159
Views: 15819

Re: What big item (>20k) are you saving up for?

My son turned 8 this past Dec. So now I saving for a new car as a replacement when I give mine to him. :shock:
by Carson
Mon May 21, 2018 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Micromanaging myself to help with completing tasks
Replies: 15
Views: 1681

Re: Micromanaging myself to help with completing tasks

I definitely could use improvement in this area (as I peruse BH instead of working out... :oops: ) One thing that has helped me for work is 'pomodori' method of task managing. It's basically working on something in a 25-minute increment, pushing anything else that comes in to the bottom of the queue...
by Carson
Mon May 21, 2018 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upstairs Bungalow Remodel / Bathroom Addition
Replies: 32
Views: 4146

Re: Upstairs Bungalow Remodel / Bathroom Addition

Hi @ceheyd8, nope, we haven't done a thing to expand our bungalow. Right now we have bunk-beds as a much lower-cost solution. We aren't entirely sure on our time horizon of this house which has put off any major renovations.

The HCBA is a good reference locally if you are looking for referrals.
by Carson
Tue May 15, 2018 7:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: UPDATE: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies
Replies: 45
Views: 5123

Re: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies

I requested to go part-time at MegaCorp a couple of years ago. My sr. mgr at the time was sympathetic, however she did ask me if I would leave otherwise. It had taken some soul searching, but with DH as my support, I clearly told her that yes, I would leave. It took about a YEAR from me asking for i...
by Carson
Mon May 14, 2018 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why did Capital One 360 say my cell phone couldn't be verified?
Replies: 9
Views: 1163

Re: Why did Capital One 360 say my cell phone couldn't be verified?

Interesting! I had the same exact problem when I tried to start using the Zelle P2P service on my Capital One account. I think I spent 4 hours running in circles on it one day. It was very frustrating. I ended up getting it solved somehow, but it did take a couple of calls to Capital One. And I do h...
by Carson
Thu May 03, 2018 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: One Bathroom in Home Change Bathtub to Only Shower Hurt Resale?.
Replies: 32
Views: 2351

Re: One Bathroom in Home Change Bathtub to Only Shower Hurt Resale?.

If you have a nice historic 1928 home that is mostly intact, renovating the bathroom using builder-grade materials that don't match the quality and style of the rest of the house will harm the value more than switching out a shower for a small bathtub. As the owner of a nice historic 1928 home, I c...
by Carson
Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes
Replies: 16
Views: 1237

Re: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes

This is the site for you to do the return 'by hand' while still submitting electronically to the IRS. It's kind of fun and is actually free and has all manner of complex forms (I have not found a form they don't have, yet...) It also does basic add/subtract. https://freefilefillableforms.com/ Only t...
by Carson
Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes
Replies: 16
Views: 1237

Re: Easiest way for minor child to file taxes

I used to use HR Block online free file, and they kept me as a customer for several years because they made it easy to import last year's data as my return grew. I now use freefilefillable forms because I enjoy the challenge of filing myself. :beer Here are some free file software companies endorsed...
by Carson
Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 6837

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

We also live in Chicago, and my kids aren't in school yet, but we paid great attention to schools when buying our house. Even though CPS is a huge school system, the neighborhood elementary school system makes the variances in schools hyper-local. A house in one of those schools would come close to...
by Carson
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 6837

Re: Donations to your enrolled public school

Thanks for the responses so far. DH and I agreed to put in $100 to each school's spring fundraiser; while we agreed it felt stingy, we weren't sure of the amount that would be better. So just trying to get a gauge. Unfortunately the schools tax revenue and state funding doesn't cover everything that...
by Carson
Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donations to your enrolled public school
Replies: 106
Views: 6837

Donations to your enrolled public school

Would anyone mind sharing how much they donate to the public school their kids are enrolled in? Not in form of property taxes or mandatory supplies fees, but just as donations to the annual fund or if they have general fundraising? We have been pretty lucky all along and never had to pay much for da...
by Carson
Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for older bicyclist, coming back from injury
Replies: 42
Views: 2928

Re: Question for older bicyclist, coming back from injury

You've gotten a lot of great advice. I took up road cycling about 12 years ago and have had two accidents. It was really intimidating getting back on and riding through it. Echoing what a lot of others have said, whatever caused your accident you will likely remember for quite awhile and probably av...
by Carson
Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Illinois 1040 Schedule SA
Replies: 1
Views: 428

Re: Illinois 1040 Schedule SA

Have you tried just forgoing turbo tax and filing directly on the official state of IL tax site? I have used it every year and found it very easy to use. Maybe they have the adjusted forms for the tax rate change in there.

https://mytax.illinois.gov
by Carson
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Alternative
Replies: 86
Views: 8652

Re: Amazon Alternative

First of all, my own personal solution to almost any shopping question is that I don’t need it. But if I actually do need it, lately, I find myself ordering electronics at Best Buy or sometimes Staples and having items delivered to a nearby store for pick up. I prefer this to home delivery and havi...
by Carson
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books/articles on life 100-120 years ago?
Replies: 19
Views: 1570

Re: Books/articles on life 100-120 years ago?

These were fascinating. https://qz.com/518388/yale-just-released-170000-government-photos-of-the-great-depression/ https://www.amazon.com/Square-Meal-Culinary-History-Depression/dp/0062216414 Regarding central Illinois: https://www.amazon.com/Farm-Girl-Karen-Jones-Gowen/dp/0979607000 PBS Manor house...