Search found 407 matches

by bluejello
Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get child's skin in the game for college?
Replies: 135
Views: 6479

Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Our kids' "skin in the game" was that they had to buy their own school and dorm supplies (textbooks, computers, off-campus meals, clothing..)--anything that was not part of the college billings. Our kids already knew how to find used books from other students or to order them early online. This kep...
by bluejello
Fri Feb 16, 2018 5:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get child's skin in the game for college?
Replies: 135
Views: 6479

Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

Congrats on your daughter's acceptance to college and starting a new phase of life! To question #1: I suggest providing for her tuition and basics (room and board) for all 4 years but requiring that she purchase everything else — clothes, books, class materials, extracurricular costs, gas, cell phon...
by bluejello
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Day trading for a living/career?
Replies: 95
Views: 6642

Re: Day trading for a living/career?

Also, why do we give the "big boys" and "money makers" so much credit just because they get faster trades in or know more stuff or whatever? You can read Wikipedia articles for days about MIT grads and white papers and banks and scientific research and whatever who started funds that were guarantee...
by bluejello
Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Day trading for a living/career?
Replies: 95
Views: 6642

Re: Day trading for a living/career?

I guess you could say my husband "day trades" for a career. Not to brag, but this is his profile: - Graduate degree from MIT in computer science and math - 15 years of trading experience at major banks / investment houses - Support from whole teams of people who specialize in making sure he has the ...
by bluejello
Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Hole
Replies: 163
Views: 13402

Re: Financial Hole

Hi Joe, Congrats on taking the first step and sharing with us your story. That's a brave thing to do. As many people have said, you do need to share more specifics about your situation in order to get more specific advice. Otherwise the best anyone can give you is generic cliches like "live within y...
by bluejello
Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to spend on a backyard?
Replies: 35
Views: 2809

Re: How much to spend on a backyard?

If you plan to live in this house for the next 30-40 years, you can forget about what financial value landscaping might add to your property and focus solely on what your family wants to get out of this backyard. Do you want to have a place for your kids to play? Do you want to garden? Do you enjoy ...
by bluejello
Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what do/did you do with your evenings with a Toddler in winters ?
Replies: 63
Views: 3926

Re: what do/did you do with your evenings with a Toddler in winters ?

My toddler experience was in the '80s, so things have changed regarding discipline and having fun with children. But I used to strap ankle weights on to slow her down and also put velcro straps on her which slowed her crawling when on carpet. That way I had extra time for cooking or doing extra cho...
by bluejello
Sun Jan 28, 2018 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?
Replies: 111
Views: 8234

Re: How much have kids added to your personal finance/expenses?

OP, I think your numbers are way off. First of all, recognize that "kids" are not a monolithic concept. Below the age of 4 or 5, I'd say the biggest cost by far is childcare. Depending on your area, daycares and nannies can go from $1k / month to $4k / month. For VHCOL area, you need to figure at le...
by bluejello
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short Commute or Nicer House?
Replies: 142
Views: 7694

Re: Short Commute or Nicer House?

A minor point about the quality of the commute... Is it eastward in the morning, westward in the evening, with the sun glaring in the driver's eyes while navigating rush hour -- twice a day? This increases the aggravation of commuting quite a bit. This is a very good point that I did not think abou...
by bluejello
Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short Commute or Nicer House?
Replies: 142
Views: 7694

Re: Short Commute or Nicer House?

OP here. Wow, overwhelming consensus for the shorter commute! Thanks everyone for giving your feedback. I especially enjoyed reading the science about commutes make people unhappy. I also liked the point about how houses go out of style and then come back into fashion 60 years later... it's true tha...
by bluejello
Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short Commute or Nicer House?
Replies: 142
Views: 7694

Short Commute or Nicer House?

My husband and I are moving with two small kids to a new city. We've narrowed down where to live to 2 possible neighborhoods: Option #1: in the city - Excellent schools available - Less than 2 miles to work, commute is about 5 minutes by car or 10 minutes by bike - Very easy access to tons of restau...
by bluejello
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car recommendations needed for growing family
Replies: 34
Views: 2111

Re: Car recommendations needed for growing family

Thanks all! Sounds like the Honda Odyssey is by far the most highly recommended family car. We'll go test drive the Pilot and the Odyssey.
by bluejello
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car recommendations needed for growing family
Replies: 34
Views: 2111

Re: Car recommendations needed for growing family

Ideal situation for one car to be a minivan. Recommend Honda odyssey or Toyota Sienna. I have Odyssey 2006 with 106 K miles. If you need SUVs then Toyota highlander or Honda Pilot. Other car can be a small car. Prius, Corolla, Civic. Never had any of these but Accord and Camrys are reasonable optio...
by bluejello
Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car recommendations needed for growing family
Replies: 34
Views: 2111

Car recommendations needed for growing family

We're relocating from a city where we didn't need to have a car, to a suburban place where we need two cars. Since I've lived in major cities all my life and always used public transit, I've never actually owned a car. We're a family of 4 with a toddler and baby. Our parents are also likely to visit...
by bluejello
Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Breaking the seal" on more expensive travel
Replies: 38
Views: 4333

Re: "Breaking the seal" on more expensive travel

For me, it started with business travel... my company would pay for me to stay in nice hotels and eat in nice restaurants. Quick tip though — you really don't need a tour guide company for Beijing. $5000 for 2 people for 7 days in Beijing is a HUGE ripoff. You can stay in a five-star hotel for $300 ...
by bluejello
Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your big-picture ‘rules of life’ —financial or otherwise?
Replies: 123
Views: 13132

Re: What are your big-picture ‘rules of life’ —financial or otherwise?

Great question. Here are three principles that have made my life significantly better: 1. Minimalism . I live in a 1300-sqft house with my husband, two small children, and two cats. Our home feels spacious, we have plenty of unused closet space, and visitors constantly remark on how calm and neat ou...
by bluejello
Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much home can we afford?
Replies: 29
Views: 1849

Re: How much home can we afford?

First of all, great job saving! Back of the envelope math: gross income $172k (discounting bonuses), subtract $36k for 401k contributions, then assuming 25% federal taxes and 6% NJ taxes leaves you with a take-home of roughly $8k per month. Is that about right? In which case, I would target spending...
by bluejello
Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Etiquette question: going out to dinner with friends and how to split the bill
Replies: 86
Views: 5759

Re: Etiquette question: going out to dinner with friends and how to split the bill

We typically split the bill without regard to what people order, drink etc. I do not like it because I feel limited as that I typically like the rib eye or filet and have 2-3 glasses of wine with dinner ( as does my spouse) and when I request separate bills, I get voted down. I tried alternating wh...
by bluejello
Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furniture
Replies: 22
Views: 2047

Re: Furniture

For me, there's a pretty clear hierarchy in furniture: Bed, mattress, sheets and pillows are the most important. These items I am willing to pay a lot for. In my first studio apartment right after graduating from college, I had almost no other furniture but I invested in a nice king-size bed and qua...
by bluejello
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]
Replies: 182
Views: 13849

Re: Is it worth it? [demanding jobs vs time with family]

OP, I'm in a similar position as you. One year old baby (hope to have more in the future) and both my husband and I have demanding jobs. Here's what makes it work for us: Flexible, staggered hours : My husband spends time with our baby from 6am to 9am, then goes to work late and works until basicall...
by bluejello
Mon May 22, 2017 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mexican Pacific Beaches
Replies: 52
Views: 5197

Re: Mexican Pacific Beaches

Todos Santos,North of Cabo. V nice vibe,miles of beach . Todos Santos, Pueblo Magico! Love love LOVE this place. Surfing lessons and a good beach for beginner surfers. Baby turtle hatchery where you can help release baby turtles to the ocean and support conservation efforts. Fresh fish tacos. Local...
by bluejello
Sat May 13, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating job responsibilities
Replies: 15
Views: 1554

Re: Negotiating job responsibilities

Frankly, I'm not sure how much good negotiating this now will do you. Of course you should have frank discussions about what the role and responsibilities are, and where your interests lie. But I'm sure you also know that in any Silicon Valley company things change FAST. What the company needs today...
by bluejello
Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "I don't want to wait till I'm 59.5
Replies: 28
Views: 4925

Re: "I don't want to wait till I'm 59.5

The best way to think about this is to work backwards. Let's say you expect to live to the ripe old age of 90. From age 25 to 59.5, you put $5500 each year into a Roth IRA and it grows at real (after inflation) rate of 3%. At age 59.5, you'd have about $340k in today's dollars. That's probably not e...
by bluejello
Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Los Angeles house buying
Replies: 38
Views: 4707

Re: Los Angeles house buying

I don't know LA but I've grown up and lived in HCOL cities my entire life (longest stretch in NYC), and have bought and sold several homes. A few thoughts: Even during the downturns of 2002 and 2009, prices in HCOL areas don't drop that much. There's an interesting economics paper called "Superstar ...
by bluejello
Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best vacuum cleaner for pet hair?
Replies: 38
Views: 4755

Re: Best vacuum cleaner for pet hair?

The easiest way to remove cat hair is at the source! Do you brush your cats daily? Ever since I started doing this the amount of cat hair floating around our house drastically decreased.
by bluejello
Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to purchase this new house?
Replies: 13
Views: 1685

Re: Can we afford to purchase this new house?

Why do you want to buy a house, especially a big house? If because you plan to have kids I would wait a few years after having the first kid and then find a house. Plans change. +1 When you have kids, your housing needs change a lot during the first few years. When you have babies, you really want ...
by bluejello
Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why never speak badly about boss? [Need Bogleheads' wisdom]
Replies: 138
Views: 15200

Re: Why never speak badly about boss? [Need Bogleheads' wisdom]

There's a right way and a wrong way to do this. Right way: in a one-on-one meeting, suggest to your boss that if she did X differently, it would be more productive for the team. Be specific and constructive. For example, someone on my team recently suggested that we make certain changes to our recru...
by bluejello
Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is spending 15K to furnish home too much?
Replies: 39
Views: 5499

Re: Is spending 15K to furnish home too much?

I did this fairly recently - we made an international move, so we did have to furnish almost everything from scratch. Total cost was around $18k for a 3 bedroom, 1300 sqft with a mix of nice stuff for the big pieces and Ikea for the small stuff. Here's a rough breakdown: $5k for two king size beds, ...
by bluejello
Tue Apr 18, 2017 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford private school for my kids?
Replies: 67
Views: 6301

Re: Can I afford private school for my kids?

Grossing $140k with $5k monthly expenses? Of course you can afford it. Question is, is this the best way to spend your money to get your kids the education you want? For example, instead of spending $22k per year on private school you could: Hire private tutors to teach them the classics (student-to...
by bluejello
Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Those that hold international equities at market-cap weight: what is your method?
Replies: 24
Views: 3324

Re: Those that hold international equities at market-cap weight: what is your method?

My portfolio is 1/3 US stock (VTSAX), 1/3 international stock (VTIAX), and 1/3 bonds (VWIUX). Close enough to market weight for me and very simple to manage. I don't worry about the allocation being exactly at global market cap.
by bluejello
Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: leaving early from work
Replies: 57
Views: 8580

Re: leaving early from work

Really depends on your company and boss. I'll share one tactic that both my husband and I used. When I joined my company 3.5 years ago, I knew I wanted to start a family soon so until I got pregnant I worked my butt off. Nights, weekends, going way above and beyond, blowing my targets out of the wat...
by bluejello
Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 39 yrs risk adverse, just mortgage free, how to invest for self + help mom?
Replies: 10
Views: 1593

Re: 39 yrs risk adverse, just mortgage free, how to invest for self + help mom?

For your mom, I'd recommend to just pay the utilities / taxes / phone etc. bills and not get reimbursement. Depending on how far $1k goes in her area, you may also consider paying for her to get some groceries delivered or something like that. HOWEVER, I'd also make it clear to her that this is the ...
by bluejello
Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)
Replies: 32
Views: 2906

Re: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)

Also, all the costs you listed above are related to the house. What are her expenses for food, transport, clothing, phone, etc.? In other words what will her expenses be after selling the house?
by bluejello
Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)
Replies: 32
Views: 2906

Re: Advice for my divorced mother (not sure to sell/not sell house)

Agree with recommendation to sell the house, buy an affordable, smaller home or condo with no mortgage (perhaps in a new neighborhood closer to her grown kids or to other family members) and then to do childcare for supplemental income. Having purpose in life and community is going to be extremely i...
by bluejello
Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help on how to spend more on myself (First World Whine)
Replies: 93
Views: 7597

Re: Help on how to spend more on myself (First World Whine)

Upgraded desktop computer, quality 4K monitor, new TV, photo/negative scanner and probably half a dozen smaller items. Basically things that replace things I already have and still work. Sell the old version you already have on Craigslist. Our donate it to charity. Boom, now you don't have a comput...
by bluejello
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How best to handle disrespectful employee?
Replies: 40
Views: 4406

Re: How best to handle disrespectful employee?

Is it really a plus that he blows away his sales targets if he does it by over-promising and over-selling? Does your boss only care about the sales, while ignoring the collateral fallout from his other problems? Management is very aware of needing to balance short-term new sales with sustainable pr...
by bluejello
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How best to handle disrespectful employee?
Replies: 40
Views: 4406

Re: How best to handle disrespectful employee?

The qualifying and on-boarding processes are part of companies policies and procedures, that all employees are required to adhere to. That's what they sign off on on the first day - as condition of employment. By over-selling, he is obviously able to exceed his targets, at the expense of the compan...
by bluejello
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How best to handle disrespectful employee?
Replies: 40
Views: 4406

Re: How best to handle disrespectful employee?

My boss is very supportive of me in however I want to handle this guy. However, at this point neither of us want to fire him. I'd much rather find a way to improve his performance and keep him.
by bluejello
Wed Apr 05, 2017 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How best to handle disrespectful employee?
Replies: 40
Views: 4406

How best to handle disrespectful employee?

Situation: I hired a guy for my team last year who has been spectacular in some ways but also very problematic in other ways. Pros: has been blowing his sales targets out of the water Cons: does a poor job qualifying and onboarding his new clients. The client managers who have to handle the new clie...
by bluejello
Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home renovation advice - General and Atlanta specific
Replies: 18
Views: 1458

Re: Home renovation advice - General and Atlanta specific

Not clear who would pay for the renovations, you or your parents? If you, then I don't see any reason why they might object to you improving their property. Some very general advice on home renovations (I've done two): Research materials on your own first. There are tons of different options for cou...
by bluejello
Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: OK to Buy New House?
Replies: 9
Views: 1191

Re: OK to Buy New House?

I don't disagree with the other posters who say you can afford it. Yes, you absolutely can. But just because you can afford something doesn't mean it's the best choice. You're talking about paying $220k more for a new house and shackling yourself to 15 more years of mortgage payments. Yes, you can a...
by bluejello
Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: OK to Buy New House?
Replies: 9
Views: 1191

Re: OK to Buy New House?

How much better are the schools? If you stay put, by the time your kids enter high school you will already have a paid off house. This would give you a LOT of flexibility to: pay for college send them to private high school if you so choose get private tutors go on some really fantastic family vacat...
by bluejello
Sat Apr 01, 2017 3:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: At what age were your kids potty trained?
Replies: 16
Views: 1761

Re: At what age were your kids potty trained?

As with "sleeping through the night", there's a wide range of answers and definitions. Usually the people who say their kid slept through the night at 3 months mean merely that they slept an uninterrupted 6-hr block on most nights, while the people who say their kids took until 1 year or more are ta...
by bluejello
Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorcing and handling shared and split assets after divorce
Replies: 55
Views: 4101

Re: Divorcing and handling shared and split assets after divorce

You ARE setting up two homes - but both of you are sharing them. What expenses do you think you are going to save by this arrangement? Totally agree. With my suggestion above (wife gets paid off condo and cash, you get house but assume all mortgages, each person keeps their own 401k) I'd add that i...
by bluejello
Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did graduating out of daycare impact your finances?
Replies: 80
Views: 8041

Re: How did graduating out of daycare impact your finances?

Echoing stoptothink's thoughts, we do not plan on enrolling our children in hundreds of activities or camps as they grow older, which seems to be the trend these days. We believe that the marketing of such activities is very similar to television marketing, and is made to make the parents feel they...
by bluejello
Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did graduating out of daycare impact your finances?
Replies: 80
Views: 8041

Re: How did graduating out of daycare impact your finances?

We have 3 now. Will probably have 4 someday. Always had plans to have both my wife and I working. After considering costs of daycare we opted for my wife to be a SAHM. Haven't looked back. Not to question your decision for your wife to be SAHM (which I'm sure is not just financial), but with 3-4 ki...
by bluejello
Fri Mar 31, 2017 2:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorcing and handling shared and split assets after divorce
Replies: 55
Views: 4101

Re: Divorcing and handling shared and split assets after divorce

Here's a suggestion: 1. Take out a home equity line on the primary residence to pay off the mortgage on the condo in the husband's name only. 2. Remove wife's name from the house mortgage as well as the deed to the house. Remove husband's name from deed to condo. 3. Assign a car to each person inste...
by bluejello
Mon Mar 27, 2017 4:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child Planning Checklist
Replies: 42
Views: 4027

Re: Child Planning Checklist

On baby gear: you REALLY don't need that much. We never got a swing / rocker / bouncer and never felt the need for one. Our baby napped in his crib, in the middle of our bed (before he could move), or on a blanket on top of the living room rug. We also never got a baby monitor, as our home is small ...
by bluejello
Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone taken a mid-career sabbatical?
Replies: 47
Views: 7430

Re: Anyone taken a mid-career sabbatical?

It may vary by field but I would be extremely cautious about taking a year off and expecting to restart your career where you left off. It is mostly women who take time off to be a stay at home parent but they often have a hard time getting their career back to where it would have been without bein...
by bluejello
Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone taken a mid-career sabbatical?
Replies: 47
Views: 7430

Re: Anyone taken a mid-career sabbatical?

In my field (tech) it's extremely common. I personally know 11 different people who have quit their jobs in their 30's and 40's, taken 6 months to 2 years off to travel, and then come back to find new jobs with no problems whatsoever. Needless to say these people are all relatively high performers a...