Search found 428 matches

by bluejello
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision for Stay at Home Wife?
Replies: 84
Views: 3338

Re: Decision for Stay at Home Wife?

What I don't want to happen is that she becomes a SAHM and just becomes "lazy" where she is taking care of the kid, but just staying in the house watching tv and doing "nothing" you know? As a mom of two under 3, this is so far off the mark it's hilarious. After the baby comes, believe me you will ...
by bluejello
Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decision for Stay at Home Wife?
Replies: 84
Views: 3338

Re: Decision for Stay at Home Wife?

I'm a mother of two young kids under 3, and recently left my job as a VP at a tech company to be home full-time with the kids. My plan originally was to go back to work at the end of this year (after about 9 months out of the workforce) but I'm already chomping at the bit to start job hunting. A few...
by bluejello
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too much house vs. just enough
Replies: 38
Views: 3580

Re: Too much house vs. just enough

It really depends on your lifestyle and how you use the space. We also have 2 small kids and 3 bedrooms. For us, it works well to have master bedroom, kid's room that they share, and guest room. Our guest room gets used ALL THE TIME — when my husband does late night calls for work, when one of the k...
by bluejello
Wed May 16, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?
Replies: 93
Views: 6734

Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

It entirely depends on the private school. There are some private schools whose reputations and alumni networks do give you a leg up in life, just like Harvard's reputation and alumni network gives you a leg up in life. If the private school you are considering is not one of those sorts of schools,...
by bluejello
Wed May 16, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?
Replies: 93
Views: 6734

Re: Would you send your children to private school in my situation?

You need to dig deeper to make this decision. Visit each of the schools, and look at factors like: 1) What are the other students and parents like, e.g. what kind of peer influence is there? If both schools are in the same community I imagine the population is fairly similar and your kids will proba...
by bluejello
Wed May 09, 2018 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do we spend too much on food?
Replies: 71
Views: 6553

Re: Do we spend too much on food?

I don't know about Seattle, but in general you might want to consider what you consider "food" and what you consider household supplies such as cleaning supplies, also pet expense including pet food. That's a really good point! I've never split out my grocery bill into "food" and "non-food", that s...
by bluejello
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ikea Quality
Replies: 37
Views: 3116

Re: Ikea Quality

I've had great experiences with their Stuva series (the one designed for kids) and so-so with Billy. For entryway though, I've found wall hooks and big floor baskets work better than shelves or storage units. You just hang up your bags / hats / coats on the hooks or throw things (shoes, sports equip...
by bluejello
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The Paperless Life
Replies: 45
Views: 4415

Re: The Paperless Life

We've been a paperless family since 2013. LOVE it. Once you get into the habit of being paperless it's very easy. The hardest part is going paperless in the first place. It took me about a week of EXTREMELY tedious scanning to digitize all our paper records — years of tax returns, paystubs, legal st...
by bluejello
Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Far is too Far, Commuting?
Replies: 211
Views: 13682

Re: Work Commute: How far is too far?

Extremely personal decision. Ten years ago, my parents chose to move to a big, beautiful house they loved that also meant increasing their commutes from 25 min to 1 hr commute each way to work (2 hrs each day). They are also in the MD VA DC area. They seem happy with this decision, although my fathe...
by bluejello
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What UN-frugal thing do you do? What do you splurge on?]
Replies: 567
Views: 40203

Re: Name something you bought that wasn't cheap and glad you did

Everything bed related - king size memory foam mattress, high quality sheets and goose down pillows. Makes getting into bed each night feel like a vacation. Business class when I had to fly a 22+ hour flight at seven months pregnant. Quartz kitchen countertops - gorgeous and zero maintenance. Family...
by bluejello
Tue Mar 20, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: conversation about finances/spending with significant other?
Replies: 33
Views: 2843

Re: conversation about finances/spending with significant other?

Every long-term couple has major disagreements. It could be about money, religion, sex, family, how to raise the kids, introvert vs extrovert, desire to live in the city vs the country, neatnik vs. slob, etc. etc. You will never, EVER find someone with whom you are 100% on the same page. My husband ...
by bluejello
Fri Mar 16, 2018 3:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large life style creep that was completely worth it
Replies: 112
Views: 15294

Re: Large life style creep that was completely worth it

Yeah... All of that "stuff" is inter-related in that it's merely physical "stuff" that takes up more space and builds the illusion of happiness. Get a bigger house, multiple ones, fill it with more stuff, crazy cars, more misery, more keeping up with joneses who live in the same neighborhood with s...
by bluejello
Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large life style creep that was completely worth it
Replies: 112
Views: 15294

Re: Large life style creep that was completely worth it

I personally don’t see the value in a vacation home. When we go on vacation we like to explore new places and would get bored going back to the same place over and over. AirBnB has also made it easy to rent some really gorgeous vacation homes all over the world. We also spend a good chunk of money o...
by bluejello
Sun Mar 11, 2018 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can I install a new kitchen?
Replies: 19
Views: 1835

Re: Can I install a new kitchen?

Here’s a contrary vote - I find that every time I try to take on a DIY project outside of my comfort zone it ends up costing me way more time AND money AND stress. I inevitably botch the job and end up needing to hire a professional to do it right anyways, after spending a ton on tools and supplies ...
by bluejello
Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting old home to open plan layout?
Replies: 45
Views: 4239

Re: Converting old home to open plan layout?

@Sandtrap thanks so much! Let me address your points individually. 1. Is the house on a concrete slab or raised and has a wood floor? If a slab, then trying to plan the kitchen around where the water lines are already existing will save some costs to core and relocate the lines. Concrete house on co...
by bluejello
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting old home to open plan layout?
Replies: 45
Views: 4239

Re: Converting old home to open plan layout?

Old homes have a certain style about them, why destroy the character by making it something it isn't? Many of us old school traditionalists would suggest you consider buying a different house with an existing floor plan more to your liking. Because the location is amazing (see: 3 minute walk to exc...
by bluejello
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting old home to open plan layout?
Replies: 45
Views: 4239

Re: Converting old home to open plan layout?

Thanks for all the feedback — although we are not overly concerned with resale at this point, it is very helpful to hear a mix of opinions on open floor plans. I actually also like to have the kitchen somewhat separate from the living and dining rooms, at least by a peninsula or partial wall. It's n...
by bluejello
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting old home to open plan layout?
Replies: 45
Views: 4239

Re: Converting old home to open plan layout?

Did one a few years ago and are super happy with the results. Probably similar style home. Built in the 1940s and removing walls opened things up considerably. No one recognizes the place. Some advice: 1)It will cost more than initially quoted and take longer than originally anticipated. The sooner...
by bluejello
Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting old home to open plan layout?
Replies: 45
Views: 4239

Re: Converting old home to open plan layout?

I’d recommend you move in and start to get a feel for the space. Remodel later. Don’t invest much in furniture yet. You’ll make a better remodel decision once you’re more familiar with the house. Not specific to you but my new neighbors remodeled before moving in and didn’t do any of what I would (...
by bluejello
Mon Mar 05, 2018 2:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting old home to open plan layout?
Replies: 45
Views: 4239

Converting old home to open plan layout?

So we are buying an old (1930's) Spanish style single-story bungalow. The location is amazing — 3 minutes walk to an excellent school and a park, 5 minutes walk to stores and restaurants, 5 minutes bike ride to office. The house is in very good shape and has period architectural details which I love...
by bluejello
Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Kid Expenses
Replies: 31
Views: 2473

Re: New Kid Expenses

For us, the wife staying home with the kids, giving up her management job cost us about a million and a half. Next would be the education expenses. We had daycare expenses but they were nothing in comparison. Baby furniture, toys, lots of the other things can be used (consignment stores) or gifts f...
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: 7755

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: 7755

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: 8046

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: 8046

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: 15305

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: 3156

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: 4544

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: 9624

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: 9038

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: 9038

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: 9038

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: 2615

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: 2615

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: 2615

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: 4742

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: 14655

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: 2321

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: 6399

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: 2355

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: 15323

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: 5521

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: 1683

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: 5154

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: 5194

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: 5345

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: 1840

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: 16138

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: 6538

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: 6855

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...