Search found 544 matches

by Carson
Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Single Family Homes in Chicago?
Replies: 25
Views: 2453

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: 1462

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: 1462

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: 1462

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: 1462

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: 1462

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: 2167

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: 784

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: 6666

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: 903

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: 903

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: 1843

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: 1195

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: 17360

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: 504
Views: 111048

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: 4928

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: 1904

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: 15197

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: 1621

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: 3977

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: 4928

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: 1123

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: 2261

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: 1141

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: 1141

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: 6676

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: 6676

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: 6676

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: 2787

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: 389

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: 8348

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: 1528

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: 13907

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: 1896

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: 2915

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: 4093

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: 1336

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: 15423

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: 63009

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: 24566

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: 9041

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: 3322

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: 1187

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: 3252

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: 1751

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: 7484

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: 1907

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: 2616

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...