Search found 532 matches

by Carson
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best stroller+infant seat for gravel roads?
Replies: 18
Views: 986

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: 16005

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: 449
Views: 99482

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: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies
Replies: 41
Views: 4052

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: 1768

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: 14049

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: 1495

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: 3702

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: Requesting to go part time - negotiating strategies
Replies: 41
Views: 4052

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: 1048

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: 2123

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: 1013

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: 1013

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: 6165

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: 6165

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: 6165

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: 2597

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: 330

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: 7931

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: 1442

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...
by Carson
Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I decline Grand Prize trip because of taxes on winnings?
Replies: 107
Views: 13576

Re: Should I decline Grand Prize trip because of taxes on winnings?

What a nice follow-up. So glad you were able to enjoy yourself and enrich your life further. At the end of the day, that's why we all do this stuff... :beer
by Carson
Thu Feb 01, 2018 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fund 2017 Roth IRA or pay off truck?
Replies: 30
Views: 1796

Re: Fund 2017 Roth IRA or pay off truck?

When is the earliest your DH could retire and receive benefits?
by Carson
Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital one & HR Block - Free taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 2776

Capital one & HR Block - Free taxes

Logging into my Capital One Credit Card account, I see they are offering free HR Block online tax prep as long as HR block can turn that data back into Capital One to use for analytics. I used HR Block online for many years until last year when their fees had increased pretty significantly. So I use...
by Carson
Sat Jan 20, 2018 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing for a lay off - what steps to take now
Replies: 37
Views: 3910

Re: Preparing for a lay off - what steps to take now

This list http://www.hpalumni.org/asap is compiled by former HP employees but it's a great general reminders list for those who work at large companies. Best of luck to you. Thank you, that was very helpful. I am in a megacorp where things are feeling tense. I feel much more proactive after reading...
by Carson
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cash e-fund + multiple sinking funds - How far do you go?
Replies: 12
Views: 1255

Re: Cash e-fund + multiple sinking funds - How far do you go?

I go about as far as you as well and I also wonder how prudent it is... DH and I are quite conservative, even if to a fault. I keep our actual job-loss emergency fund as well as some long-term 'saving for future spending' items in a Capital One savings account. As much micromanaging and mental accou...
by Carson
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Confusion about prepaying property taxes
Replies: 139
Views: 14939

Re: Confusion about prepaying property taxes

Or what about County Treasurers giving tax advice? http://wgnradio.com/2017/12/27/dane-neal-cook-county-has-a-downloadable-bill-for-prepaid-property-taxes/ Cook County at least made it easy to go online and get a prepayment bill. I did that today, went to Chase on my way home and paid the first ins...
by Carson
Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Please Post Tax Bill Questions Here [was Tax Bill Omnibus Thread]
Replies: 886
Views: 58025

IRS Property Tax Clarification

Today, I listened to our Cook County Treasurer explain that they released the '2018 First Installment' bills early (by 2 months). The usual 'First Installment' invoice is always an estimate, based on half of the previous years' assessed amount, so that is customary how that is billed. When I logged ...
by Carson
Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 266
Views: 23435

Re: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?

All the puts and takes show my net tax/credits are $2,400 better than under the previous rates. We have a pretty simple 'accumulation phase' MFJ situation with 2 kiddos and benefit from the higher child credit as well as it not getting phased out at our income level. I'm sure I will do something lik...
by Carson
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Year end review with less nerdy spouse
Replies: 72
Views: 8771

Re: Year end review with less nerdy spouse

The financial analyst in me wants to prepare a year end summmary, yet my #1 stakeholder does not require nor want any manner of financial reporting. :happy So we mainly manage this in an agile fashion, talking about needs/wants from the phase of just kicking around an idea, setting it as a goal, and...
by Carson
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI
Replies: 39
Views: 3194

Re: 4WD necessary/recommended on Big Island, HI

DH is an experienced Wrangler driver. We rented a 2-door wrangler when we spent a week on the big island. We primarily rented it so we could go to Mauna Kea - 4WD wasn't needed because of the road conditions on the way up, it's because you would just burn brakes on a regular vehicle on the way down....
by Carson
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filing Illinois Income Taxes Online
Replies: 11
Views: 1131

Re: Filing Illinois Income Taxes Online

We have a pretty straightforward, tax return. Filing online through the state is so incredibly easy - honestly the most painful part is entering the W2 details. Does anyone know how the new tax rate that went in effect 7/1 will work in practice? Are they just going to do an average/blended rate? Or ...
by Carson
Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Christmas gifts for lots of kids (experiences or stock)?
Replies: 36
Views: 3149

Re: Christmas gifts for lots of kids (experiences or stock)?

My well-meaning dad just gave my boys named envelopes with the promise that it was something exciting, and it was a check to be deposited in their UTMA accounts. I am not knocking his generosity, and my oldest (8yo) took the lesson that money is set aside for saving, not spending, but... :) it was a...
by Carson
Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FSA Worth the Hassle?
Replies: 11
Views: 1634

Re: FSA Worth the Hassle?

I just want to clarify that you are talking about Daycare Flexible spending, specifically. I'm not sure if this is a rule across the board, but unlike Healthcare FSA, you can't get the money right away at the beginning of the year, you can only get what you have put in. And then each period that mor...
by Carson
Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trash dumped on curb (need advice)
Replies: 60
Views: 7259

Re: Trash dumped on curb (need advice)

We have this issue with a multi-family building nearby and I cannot figure out why.

Every time the garbage is there longer than a week, I put in a service request with our city sanitation department. It's disgusting the amount of stuff they leave out and harbors vermin.
by Carson
Wed Oct 04, 2017 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where/when to get good deals on athletic shoes
Replies: 24
Views: 1786

Re: Where/when to get good deals on athletic shoes

I generally the kids' from 6pm.com. However, I am ridiculously picky when it comes to my athletic shoes. It has to be a good price/deal, as well as a perfect fit. This last time around, I bought a couple pairs from Dick's tent sale, tried them around the house and took back what didn't work. IIRC, I...
by Carson
Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids
Replies: 36
Views: 2470

Re: On the video games path - how to set it up with younger kids

We have a 7.75 yo. Last year we allowed him 30 (okay, 45) mins on Saturday nights, IF he had a solid week of school - completing his work, taking showers :shock: , and at least putting in the recommended amount of studying for his spelling. It's not an option on weeknights - there's just too much go...
by Carson
Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses
Replies: 35
Views: 3134

Re: Budgets: how do you track irregular income and expenses

I escrow to myself for a batch of irregular expenditures: prop tax, water bill, car repair, etc... it's probably 7 items? Each month I transfer a fixed amount over. Then when those bills come in, I pay from that account. I like to keep cash flow for our 'needs' pretty smooth and predictable, because...
by Carson
Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $700 to install a dishwasher seem by a plumber?!
Replies: 65
Views: 5398

Re: $700 to install a dishwasher seem by a plumber?!

You're Chicagoland so go to Abt in person or online and order your dishwasher, they'll do white glove delivery and install. Make sure to haggle with them on price, helps if you're buying more stuff. I am going to second ABT. They are a first-class company, based here in Chicago. Buy your DW from th...
by Carson
Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I even bother with buying a school picture?
Replies: 39
Views: 3571

Re: Should I even bother with buying a school picture?

Nope. I have taken my kids to a department store studio each year for headshot style photos. I like that I can review before purchase, it takes 15 mins and costs $4 per sheet that I want. I can get exactly the sheets I need for family. ETA, my oldest was super cute up till about 4 years but it is ve...
by Carson
Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comforter: Down Filling with Cotton Covering
Replies: 12
Views: 1769

Re: Comforter: Down Filling with Cotton Covering

You may have better luck searching for organic cotton down comforter. Here is one from the company store:

http://www.thecompanystore.com/bedding- ... ml#start=1
by Carson
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Cotton Blankets Good For Winter?
Replies: 21
Views: 2198

Re: Are Cotton Blankets Good For Winter?

The super soft fleece is called cuddle fleece or minky fabric, I have never seen it made into pajamas that has the texture it on the inside. A seamstress could probably make a pj set pretty easily. One thing to note if you find the fabric is it will say that it is not suitable for children's sleepwe...
by Carson
Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Project - Front door, porch and walkway
Replies: 11
Views: 1505

Re: Home Project - Front door, porch and walkway

You can likely get an exterior door and its sidelite (that's the half window thingy) as one unit to install, depending on the dimensions. The storm door (outermost door with screen/glass) is separate. We have some 90-year old doors, and we installed spring bronze weatherstripping on the sides and a ...
by Carson
Mon Aug 28, 2017 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My experience with buying from Hertz
Replies: 15
Views: 5236

Re: My experience with buying from Hertz

First off, glad that you had an overall good experience. But second, I have a question - what was the fix for this? I just discovered (thanks to my son :annoyed ) that my seat has been un-clipped. I haven't even had time to look for a solution yet so just thought I'd ask. - Someone has sewn the plas...
by Carson
Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leather couch, dog scratches -- help?
Replies: 20
Views: 2316

Re: Leather couch, dog scratches -- help?

You describe the leather as 'flaking' off which to me implies it is not solid leather but laminated/bonded? In that case there is nothing you can do to repair it, short of preventing more wear - either keep the dog off the couch or try a surefit furniture protector specifically designed for pets. We...
by Carson
Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dealing (psychologically) with variable income
Replies: 15
Views: 1489

Re: Dealing (psychologically) with variable income

Have you thought of having a 'spendings' account where you put a bit each month to be able to draw from? If you average out your monthly expenses and then compare that to an estimated cash flow each month, you would be able to see the gap that you would want to put in this account. Our income is fix...
by Carson
Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teenager taking out loans to establish good credit
Replies: 24
Views: 1993

Re: Teenager taking out loans to establish good credit

The joke part being, apparently that in some cases the teenager charges stuff to the card, but Mom&Dad pay the entire monthly bill, right? In DH's case the joke part is that his 'oldest account' on his credit report was opened before he was born. It was a huge debacle to get that removed from his c...
by Carson
Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Allowed expenses for charity?
Replies: 5
Views: 474

Re: Allowed expenses for charity?

I helped my brother with this because he was doing a lot of travelling to do church builds. The IRS Publications are actually pretty clear and helpful.

EDIT, just cross posted with above, giving the same IRS guide. Can you go through each of those points and see how it applies to your situation?
by Carson
Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Teeth Whitening
Replies: 21
Views: 3598

Re: Teeth Whitening

I use trays. My dentist made them for me for around $100, came with 4 tubes of gel, and I get about 6 nights of application out of a tube. I ripped through the first three in about 5 or 6 weeks, then waited about 6 months. I'm on day 5 of my 4th tube today, will finish it this weekend, and probably...