Search found 576 matches

by Carson
Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Floor lamp for reading
Replies: 6
Views: 634

Re: Floor lamp for reading

I bought this and am really happy with it. We have a historic home with traditional decor. The reading lamp is flexible enough to articulate where needed and the uplift operates independently if you want more light. I have some cheapie 60-w equivalent LED but I’m sure you could do more. https://www....
by Carson
Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: comparing portfolio to 'average'
Replies: 11
Views: 513

Re: comparing portfolio to 'average'

Thanks, helpful. My 'total return' was a quick back of the napkin=(Ending balance - 2018 contributions - Beginning balance) divided by Beginning Balance and I see there are definitely more sophisticated ways to calculate that return and will look into that.
by Carson
Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: comparing portfolio to 'average'
Replies: 11
Views: 513

Re: comparing portfolio to 'average'

Thanks, I will have to look at that portfolio visualizer in more detail. I definitely don't tinker, but both DH and I are conservative (probably too conservative!) and the only time I rebalance is when I make our annual ROTH contributions in Jan. And I am feeling a little uncomfortable because I fee...
by Carson
Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: comparing portfolio to 'average'
Replies: 11
Views: 513

comparing portfolio to 'average'

I know, I know, the year's not over yet... But I am just curious how I would know if my year-end results are normal compared to everyone else. Mainly just to have some validation that I don't have something terribly set up in my portfolio or that my management is poor. I had somewhere around a 65/35...
by Carson
Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have a fun finance-related hobby?
Replies: 50
Views: 6020

Re: Do you have a fun finance-related hobby?

I work part time and in my free time, I’m treasurer for 3 separate non profits of varying magnitudes. It’s plenty of work and has me wondering why I don’t just work full time. :oops:
by Carson
Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Making Large Purchases with Credit Card and Immediately Paying Off- Bad for Credit Score?
Replies: 44
Views: 3881

Re: Making Large Purchases with Credit Card and Immediately Paying Off- Bad for Credit Score?

Don't know, don't care. But I would ask if there is a discount for cash or check. Sometimes there is, and it can be more than 2%. And it might not be a discount for paying cash or check, but a penalty for paying with credit card. I manage finances for a non-profit and people have been using a CC to...
by Carson
Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New chromebook for family - now what
Replies: 2
Views: 388

Re: New chromebook for family - now what

They discontinued the Supervised User program and replaced with FamilyLink, which seems to have limited capabilities on Chromebooks right now. I finally found out how to get him in my family and restrict his usage, but couldn't find anyway to actually add apps when he was signed in. It appears from ...
by Carson
Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New chromebook for family - now what
Replies: 2
Views: 388

New chromebook for family - now what

A little confused and trying to set this up before December 25th. ;) I purchased a new chromebook, logged in myself as the primary user and have been fine setting things up in my login. Additionally, I've added my 9-year old son as a user to this chromebook. I created a 'family' group on my google a...
by Carson
Mon Dec 17, 2018 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Inventory Apps (2018)
Replies: 2
Views: 331

Re: Home Inventory Apps (2018)

I think google forms would be pretty great for this. You could set it up to ask for details on the item, add a photo and upload a receipt. Now that you mention it, I am after DH to inventory his [hobby] garage. Maybe I will set up a google form for him. I'm sure he'll be thrilled.
by Carson
Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite Purchase of 2018?
Replies: 255
Views: 19498

Re: Favorite Purchase of 2018?

I also love this thread. My budget doesn't allow me to make many purchases but I did get a generous bonus this year, which I split between the kids, DH and me. I used a portion of mine to buy a set of workout DVDs off of Ebay - I paid $120 for about $700 worth of DVDs. The set had some duplicates th...
by Carson
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 580
Views: 59711

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

This one is for the ladies... I went to the nail salon and had them do a ‘polish change’ which was $5 to paint my nails rather than $15 for a full manicure. I don’t have the time or patience to sit in a chair for 30 mins and both will be chipped by Sunday anyway. Nails were investment in my future a...
by Carson
Sun Dec 02, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Please Recommend a New Car for Me
Replies: 53
Views: 4464

Re: Please Recommend a New Car for Me

Do you use a roof rack for your bike or just transport it in the car when you need to?
by Carson
Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 25k Bonus - Tax Consequences?
Replies: 20
Views: 2366

Re: 25k Bonus - Tax Consequences?

At this point in the year you should have 11 months of paychecks that you could add up and extrapolate out to 12 months. Figure your taxes in this tool, then add the bonus and see how the numbers change.

https://mortgagecalculator.org/calcs/10 ... ulator.php
by Carson
Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBay Item not Received
Replies: 28
Views: 2478

Re: eBay Item not Received

I recently had this happen. If you look at the history for that purchase, there is a drop down to select ‘where’s my item’ and eBay should kick off the process where they assist and then facilitate a refund if applicable. I’m also going through this right now - won an auction 10 days ago (buyit now)...
by Carson
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for Home Printer
Replies: 41
Views: 1855

Re: Recommendations for Home Printer

Love our Brother HL-L2340DW - wifi printing is life-changing and the laser quality is good. I got a lot of life out of the starter toner cartrige as well.

It does NOT have a scanner, but I use Docuscan app on my iphone and am pleased with it for light scanning.
by Carson
Mon Nov 12, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best free online tax return predictor?
Replies: 11
Views: 1414

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: 20
Views: 2043

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: 20
Views: 2043

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: 1937

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: 1833

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: 5806

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: 5806

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: 2759

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: 5247

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: 311

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: 311

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: 7020

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: 522

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: 1862

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: 101

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: 4245

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: 1290

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: 3599

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: 1603

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: 1603

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: 1603

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: 1603

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: 1603

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: 2251

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: 818

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: 7123

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: 939

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: 939

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: 1936

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: 1291

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: 17845

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: 116612

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: 5222

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: 24
Views: 2241

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: 15938

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: