Search found 1365 matches

by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What credit card should I get?
Replies: 10
Views: 577

Re: What credit card should I get?

Just get started with any decent card, suggestions already posted above. Before you know it you'll have all kinds of "Gold Card" offers filling your mailbox :wink:

I like Fidelity 2% as an all-purpose card.
by sunny_socal
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where do you keep your emergency fund?
Replies: 93
Views: 9704

Re: Where do you keep your emergency fund?

- Capital One 360 MM, 1.4% (10k minimum)
- Alliant Credit Union Savings account, 1.3% (and their 2.5% credit card rewards can be sent directly to the Savings account! :D )
by sunny_socal
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Singing Praises for the Capital One Credit Card
Replies: 7
Views: 1313

Re: Singing Praises for the Capital One Credit Card

Agree on Capital One in general - they are very quick with their transactions and I find their website to be intuitive.
by sunny_socal
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Brake Pads
Replies: 64
Views: 3498

Re: New Brake Pads

Very reasonable for a dealer quote. My brother paid $650 for the same service, car is Honda Fit. BTW, these 'brake jobs' are very easy to do at home and cost little. Aftermarket brake pads from some place like Autozone are about $50/pair for their mid-high end, or OEM pads (ie. Honda) are about $60-...
by sunny_socal
Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Spend $900.00 Unused FSA Dollars
Replies: 42
Views: 2765

Re: Help Me Spend $900.00 Unused FSA Dollars

Use to have FSA. Biggest scam. you either use it or loose it. I end up loose it. tax saving scam. Plus, the money is sitting there earning nothing. The earning loss would exceed tax saving. People have to make unnecessay purchase to use the money left in FSA. Big waste. Agree, I always found FSA to...
by sunny_socal
Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Me Spend $900.00 Unused FSA Dollars
Replies: 42
Views: 2765

Re: Help Me Spend $900.00 Unused FSA Dollars

jrbdmb wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:11 am
Perhaps those designer sunglasses you've always wanted?

Edit - you might need to purchase these at an eyeglass shop (LensCrafters, Pearle, etc.) to qualify for FSA.
This. I always get nice sunglasses with any healthcare cash I have laying around.
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1,000th post and a 'No-Fail' Retirement Formula
Replies: 47
Views: 4169

Re: 1,000th post and a 'No-Fail' Retirement Formula

DaftInvestor, is there a way you could post a copy of your Excel here? I would like to try it out. Thanks I'll see if I can find a place to post it anonymously and then link to it (If anyone has any suggestions please chime in). User '#Cruncher' does it by posting the actual excel code here, exampl...
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1,000th post and a 'No-Fail' Retirement Formula
Replies: 47
Views: 4169

Re: 1,000th post and a 'No-Fail' Retirement Formula

Congrats on your milestone. The one thing your formula doesn't answer is "How much do I need to save for the next X years to hit the number I need for retirement". As such - I will share my formulas (I assume you have already deducted and determined how much you need to withdraw per year - but if y...
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Scratch Removal
Replies: 13
Views: 1141

Re: Car Scratch Removal

I haven't had any luck with scratch removal kits. The only thing that has helped is to use acetone or carburetor cleaner (NOT brake parts cleaner) to wipe down any 'scratches'. Frequently these are from other vehicles or shopping carts and this method has removed 90% of my scratches. For anything th...
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?
Replies: 32
Views: 4094

Re: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?

Got my first month's cash back bonus today, $112! :D

They provide three options for redemption:
1. Statement Credit
2. Deposit to Checking account
3. Deposit to Savings account

Their savings account yields 1.3% at this time, so naturally I went with option [3]

Very happy so far! :beer
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take a 401k Loan?
Replies: 43
Views: 2047

Re: Take a 401k Loan?

Get more credit cards. Your Debt:Ceiling ratio matters more when trying to increase your FICO score than paying off those 0% cards.

But don't incur any more CC debt at this point.
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tahoe/Silverado Hybrids
Replies: 3
Views: 382

Re: Tahoe/Silverado Hybrids

I'll likely never own another Hybrid again, had a Prius and a Ford Escape Hybrid once upon a time.

Many modern cars come with Turbo, it's a good way to save weight, add power and increase fuel economy.
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you get your auto loans?
Replies: 29
Views: 1731

Re: Where do you get your auto loans?

Local credit union
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are land line phones still being supported?
Replies: 60
Views: 3680

Re: Are land line phones still being supported?

I highly recommend porting your existing number to Google Voice and purchasing an Obi VOIP box. Then all your calls will be free. You can keep your existing in-home phone network and your existing phone/handset.

I have the Obi 202, been using it for years.
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pre-purchase inspection: dealership or private mechanic?
Replies: 17
Views: 1191

Re: Pre-purchase inspection: dealership or private mechanic?

I'd take the car in and pay for an oil change. They'll do a 'free' 100-inspection anyway and tell you if the car needs and alignment, needs brakes, if is something is leaking. Even taking it in to a "mechanic" for an inspection won't tell you about the condition of the engine or transmission. Test d...
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Consulting side gig while at mega corp
Replies: 25
Views: 2177

Re: Consulting side gig while at mega corp

If I were single and had no family I would certainly go for it - and tell nothing to my employer. It's a 'hobby' as far as they are concerned. But since I have a family and my time is valuable, I can't see spending evenings/weekends on a side gig even if it pays good money. I do my own house/car mai...
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stats on When People Take Social Security
Replies: 173
Views: 11514

Re: Stats on When People Take Social Security

I'll be pleasantly surprised if the SS system is still around when I'm old enough to get back my $$. I'll also be surprised if I actually get the $$ I'm due - I read somewhere that the benefits are reduced if you're working at the time. My hope was this: [1] Pull from my 401k [2] Work [3] AND get SS...
by sunny_socal
Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: why do banks bother offering lousy CD rates?
Replies: 49
Views: 4725

Re: why do banks bother offering lousy CD rates?

B&M banks offer bad rates on everything:
- Savings
- HELOC
- Mortgage, refi

But they offer something you can't get online: someone to complain to! :wink:

I use a bank only as a bill pay conduit and for a safe deposit box. I maintain a $300 balance in the savings account to avoid fees.
by sunny_socal
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil
Replies: 44
Views: 5333

Re: 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil

Walmart is the answer to the OP question
by sunny_socal
Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card
Replies: 276
Views: 48076

Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

The 100k rumors for Alliant come from threads like this:
http://ficoforums.myfico.com/t5/Credit- ... 374/page/2

I don't know their cutoff for income. But you need to plan on spending at least $20k/year to make it worthwhile.
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card
Replies: 276
Views: 48076

Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

I'm up to $5,563 cash back so far this year. I love this card. As someone said in that Doctor of Credit comments section regarding manufactured spending as being a likely reason USAA is pulling back, "This is why we can't have nice things." Even if all of the $222K in spend to generate the above re...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?
Replies: 32
Views: 4094

Re: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?

I finally got the card! It's rather unremarkable and the 16-digit number is printed in small letters on the back rather than embossed on the front. Converting all my online bill pay and shopping baskets to the Alliant, looking forward to this! It's the "USAA 2.5%" card for the rest of us :beer Web ...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card
Replies: 276
Views: 48076

Re: USAA 2.5% Cash Back Credit Card

It was too good to be true. But there's the Alliant 2.5% card , anyone can get it. Here's my story: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=234617 Cliff Notes: - Unfreeze your Equifax and Transunion accounts temporarily - Simply apply from the main link, no need to apply for Alliant CU memb...
by sunny_socal
Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Men's no iron dress shirt recommendations
Replies: 66
Views: 4001

Re: Men's no iron dress shirt recommendations

I just bought one at "Untuckit", seems very nice so far
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 316
Views: 23595

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I did away with a land line years ago. . I would get rid of cable all together if it weren’t for the phone and internet. I have a family plan through my employer at $10/mo on the cell phones and still have the kids on it...and their in their 30’s. (Yes, they do reimburse me for the monthly). We don...
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trading 2015 F-150 for 2018 GMC Sierra. Dumb move?
Replies: 31
Views: 1837

Re: Trading 2015 F-150 for 2018 GMC Sierra. Dumb move?

You're taking some losses if you do this: - Tax & title on the 2015. For our most recent new vehicle this was $5k, this is reason enough to keep a vehicle for 10 years. - Depreciation of the 2015. Some Boglehead will get a very nice vehicle from you! :wink: - Tax & title on the 2018 - Depreciation o...
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?
Replies: 96
Views: 8783

Re: california homeowners - do you have earthquake insurance?

Yes, we have it.

The deductible is huge but OTOH if our house is crushed I'd be thankful for the coverage. Here in San Diego earthquakes are rare but if San Francisco falls into the ocean we'll probably feel a jolt down here :wink:
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: wisdom of buying a car about to be discontinued
Replies: 17
Views: 2476

Re: wisdom of buying a car about to be discontinued

Two issues here. 1) Discontinued: Every car is 'discontinued' on a regular basis. My 2015 Honda Accord is no longer produced, they switched to a brand new model. Some parts are shared, others are not. I don't think this is an issue. 2) A Hybrid or EV: I'm not a huge fan of this category, but I did o...
by sunny_socal
Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CapOne Quicksilver vs. USAA card
Replies: 14
Views: 830

Re: CapOne Quicksilver vs. USAA card

The USAA 2.5% appears to be completely dead now.

I have a Cap One card and also pay via my checking account bill pay, no trouble. It's a decent card with no FTF.

If you make over $100k you can get the Alliant 2.5% card, it also has no FTF:
http://www.alliantcreditunion.org/bank/ ... ature-card
by sunny_socal
Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 316
Views: 23595

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I read fairly fast. So I returned the books that I got from Amazon the other day for free returns. Don't bend the spine or crinkle the pages. Return as received in brand new condition. Most books are not worth keeping unless reference or something to gift or pass on. I don't know if others do this....
by sunny_socal
Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a car? [Need help with strategy for purchasing a used car]
Replies: 40
Views: 4154

Re: Buying a car?

I'd buy a new Corolla from your nearest Toyota dealer @ 0%.

And drive for the next 15 years.

/Thread
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 03, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxes [Do it yourself or use tax software?]
Replies: 39
Views: 2752

Re: Taxes [Do it yourself or use tax software?]

Turbotax Online. Here's Why: - It's very fast - TT saves my data for me (eg. last year's return is still visible) - Yes it's more than alternatives but I deduct the cost anyway - No software to install But it's still not a "no-brainer", TT doesn't handle things like RSUs very well. I learned the har...
by sunny_socal
Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 10 Year Anniversary
Replies: 3
Views: 452

Re: 10 Year Anniversary

I thought the thread was going to be about the diamond ring or the big vacation! :wink:
by sunny_socal
Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil filled space heaters
Replies: 39
Views: 4024

Re: Oil filled space heaters

We have several, bought from HD, Lowes, Bed Bath & Beyond - whoever has one. It takes a few days to find a suitable setting and then I mark the spot with a sharpie. We pull them out every year and just leave them on 24/7 during the cold season. (We're on propane so I'd rather not heat with gas, but ...
by sunny_socal
Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3278
Views: 947804

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Saw "The Last Jedi", it was pretty good! Probably the best aside from the 3 originals.
by sunny_socal
Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another car thread - old ones?
Replies: 14
Views: 954

Re: Another car thread - old ones?

Those "semi-vintage" cars will lack all the modern safety features. I would be uncomfortable riding in one, let alone owning one and using it regularly. IMO it is better to enjoy those financial assets without risking life and limb. I don't think the cars listed would lack all the safety features. ...
by sunny_socal
Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking to vacation in San Diego
Replies: 16
Views: 1136

Re: Looking to vacation in San Diego

Come on over! This last week we've had temps like this:
- 75F
- 80F
- 82F
- 75F
- 72F

And next week looks similar. 'Winter' is about a month late this year, hopefully we at least get some rain :beer April should be nice 8-)
by sunny_socal
Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Want to Buy a Horrible, Expensive Car
Replies: 155
Views: 9280

Re: I Want to Buy a Horrible, Expensive Car

I recommend Volvo XC90, best vehicle we've ever had:

viewtopic.php?f=11&t=233609&hilit=volvo
by sunny_socal
Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cricket "unlimited 2" plan: 4 lines for $100
Replies: 6
Views: 774

Re: Cricket "unlimited 2" plan: 4 lines for $100

pochax wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:41 pm
yes i switched to it. i hope they increase the speed though, it's barely enough, but it will do.
Barely enough for what? Will google maps still work ok?
by sunny_socal
Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: manual car for new teen driver
Replies: 143
Views: 6505

Re: manual car for new teen driver

Bought myself a 15 Honda Accord with a 6-speed just for this reason. By the time my kids are old enough to drive it there will be 150k miles on the clock. Perfect teen car! :beer
by sunny_socal
Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cricket "unlimited 2" plan: 4 lines for $100
Replies: 6
Views: 774

Cricket "unlimited 2" plan: 4 lines for $100

It seems there is a new plan from Cricket, close to the old $100 plan: https://www.cricketwireless.com/support/plans-and-features/cricket-plans-and-features/customer/plans.html Details from website: 4 lines for $100/mo.: Limited Time Offer. $55/mo. Unlimited 2 plan required on four lines. $30 discou...
by sunny_socal
Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?
Replies: 32
Views: 4094

Re: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?

I finally got the card! It's rather unremarkable and the 16-digit number is printed in small letters on the back rather than embossed on the front. Converting all my online bill pay and shopping baskets to the Alliant, looking forward to this! It's the "USAA 2.5%" card for the rest of us :beer Web s...
by sunny_socal
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepay property tax: California / AMT
Replies: 4
Views: 617

Re: Prepay property tax: California / AMT

I'm in the same boat. I've also concluded it doesn't help to prepay my property tax.

Oh well, I think I'll still pay $3k less tax next year per the various online calculators. We shall see! :wink:
by sunny_socal
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Increasing 2017 charitable donations d/t 2018 tax bill?
Replies: 24
Views: 1383

Re: Increasing 2017 charitable donations d/t 2018 tax bill?

I looked at the DAF but I don't see how it would help me. I don't have any stock to put in there and I usually donate directly from my cash flow. And I'll easily exceed the new 24k threshold when I itemize next year (likely 40k of deductions.) AMT is my biggest concern, I make enough to be in the zo...
by sunny_socal
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Diamonds are forever.
Replies: 59
Views: 4505

Re: Diamonds are forever.

+1 on bluenile. Then just get the stone set at a local jewelry store. There are HUGE markups on jewelry and diamonds in particular.

My wife's 1CT diamond bought on BN for $3k now sits in a ring that 'appraised' at $12k. I'd probably get $500 if I were to sell it or trade it in.
by sunny_socal
Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2009 Honda Pilot Touring vs. EX-L
Replies: 6
Views: 503

Re: 2009 Honda Pilot Touring vs. EX-L

Get whatever model does _not_ have VCM (variable cylinder management.) Our 2007 EXL 4x4 does not.

The VCM models have all kinds of engine problems.
by sunny_socal
Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?
Replies: 32
Views: 4094

Re: Alliant 3/2.5% card - any experience?

I have received: - Several "Welcome to Alliant" emails - Several "Welcome to Alliant" packets in the mail - Two Alliant account numbers in the mail - One Alliant PIN (no indication of associated account number), in the mail - Zero credit cards Lesson: - Either apply for the credit card alone, or - A...
by sunny_socal
Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you donate less to Charity?
Replies: 109
Views: 7596

Re: Will you donate less to Charity?

Don't plan on any changes, we give about $20k/year. I think we'll continue to itemize as well despite the larger standard deduction next year.

Never thought about a DAF before but I think I may look into it.

We have been under AMT recently, perhaps next year we'll drop out. Who knows.
by sunny_socal
Sat Dec 23, 2017 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you see a meaningful change in your income with new Tax Bill?
Replies: 260
Views: 20055

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

It's ridiculous and, frankly, a little irresponsible that various tax calculators out there do not include all aspects of the individual tax code, especially one as pervasive as the AMT. In my own case, using frugal professors spreadsheets (which do include the AMT), My taxes will decrease ~$800, o...