Search found 1665 matches

by guitarguy
Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another car thread, paying cash and getting 'ahead'
Replies: 10
Views: 1172

What kind of car requirements do you have? And what do your monthly savings look like? If you could purchase a new reliable car (civic/corolla/etc) and then plan to keep that 10 years it would help you down the line. Even if you need to finance it at penfeds 2% rate it might make sense to buy somet...
by guitarguy
Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another car thread, paying cash and getting 'ahead'
Replies: 10
Views: 1172

The way I would approach: "Seat of the pants approach" - If both cars last 5 more years, presumably no problem. You should have saved enough to buy two nice cars. - If car #1 dies tomorrow, lower your expectations and spend a smaller amount on a good used car with, say, 80K miles. Then yo...
by guitarguy
Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vacation without breaking the bank
Replies: 20
Views: 1801

http://www.cruzancomfort.com/rates.htm Has 2 bedrooms and a sofa-bed in the living room area of the great room, if I recall correctly. I think all the beds in the bedrooms separate to singles, but check on that. St Croix has big box stores and a number of large relatively inexpensive supermarkets, ...
by guitarguy
Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another car thread, paying cash and getting 'ahead'
Replies: 10
Views: 1172

Another car thread, paying cash and getting 'ahead'

Yes...another car related thread! We have 2 cars now that are still running fine (knock wood), but are approaching/passing the 150k mile mark. Both cars have some dings and dents that we're not bothering to fix, so they'll likely be driven until they die because the cosmetic damage will hurt the res...
by guitarguy
Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:04 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Direct Loans Website
Replies: 9
Views: 1184

They were 10 days late withdrawing funds on my automatic payment this month, from what I can only suspect was problems due to this transition. After I finally got logged on to their new site (which took a long time to register) it said I was late on the payment. I tried calling >10 times over the c...
by guitarguy
Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I missing anything?
Replies: 3
Views: 829

1.Can you refinance your mortgage? Rates are in the low 4% range and it could lower your monthly expenses. Well, I did a refi in summer of '09 to go from 6.25% to 5.125%. Since I have an FHA loan I did something called an FHA Streamline, which was fairly low cost (around $500 or so) and required no...
by guitarguy
Thu Oct 13, 2011 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to shorten the life of a mortgage
Replies: 35
Views: 4103

while i agree it isnt appropriate to compare low risk to higher risk investments, one should consider that he is in essence paying a lower interest rate when you consider the tax deduction. I still think in todays investing environment Id pay off the mortgage but i still think we need to fair on th...
by guitarguy
Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I missing anything?
Replies: 3
Views: 829

Am I missing anything?

It's been a while since I got great advice from you all about our portfolio, so I'm just looking to see if we're still on the right track and if we should be considering anything else, portfolio and otherwise. Here's our info: Emergency funds: $9k (about 4 months expenses) in Ally savings account De...
by guitarguy
Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wedding rehearsal dinner
Replies: 19
Views: 2566

Got married last year. We had everyone that was in the wedding and their spouses/significant others. I haven't ever heard of inviting out of town guests...but to each their own. I definitely wouldn't feel obligated to do that. The rehearsal dinner should be for everyone involved in the wedding...as ...
by guitarguy
Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for buying a new Laptop
Replies: 91
Views: 10761

About the camera. Do you want a camera that can be controlled by any perv on the Internet in your daughters dorm room? I'd go with an external camera that will be unplugged most of the time. Or you could just put a piece of tape over it .... I've tried to get tape goo off of one of those tiny lense...
by guitarguy
Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco gift cards for restaurants? FREE Lunch?
Replies: 28
Views: 3784

It's legit. No catch. I used Starbucks gift cards when I went daily. I have since stopped that habit. The catch is they bank on people losing the cards or simply not using it. I have a $10 red lobster gift card that has been sitting in my cabinet for over 4 years. For gosh sakes go get some unlimit...
by guitarguy
Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for buying a new Laptop
Replies: 91
Views: 10761

Splurge and get the 15" macbook pro +1 for this. Having recently been in a situation where I needed a new laptop, I went with a MacBook Pro and let me stress, I couldn't be happier. Sleek and stylish, lightweight, uni-body makes it extremely durable, boots up in less than 30 seconds, as fast a...
by guitarguy
Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For the 20 somethings...
Replies: 25
Views: 3132

Re: better attitude

My thought/justification/whatever is: if I don't try this deal and stick with it for the long haul, I'm screwed anyway because I won't have enough to retire on at ye' old 65 (hopefully a couple years early but who knows). SS will be needs-based by then at best...so I'm not counting on seeing a dime...
by guitarguy
Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For the 20 somethings...
Replies: 25
Views: 3132

Re: For the 20 somethings...

savermike wrote:
Oh, and keep playing music.



I think I want my Stratocaster in my casket with me. I'd say the Les Paul instead but it's more prone to acting up in humidity. I think I could bury my Strat for 8 years, dig it up, throw it against the wall, then pick it up and it'd still be in tune. 8-)
by guitarguy
Thu Oct 06, 2011 3:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For the 20 somethings...
Replies: 25
Views: 3132

Then I realize the annualized yearly inflation rate in the over the past 100 years was 3.2%. Keeping that same inflation rate for the next 40 years (when I turn 65) means that 1-2 million dollar nest egg I was shooting for really becomes about 4-8 million. Basically looking at all this stuff can be...
by guitarguy
Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For the 20 somethings...
Replies: 25
Views: 3132

For the 20 somethings...

Well fellow accumulators, as many out there like myself are, I'm in this whole 'investment-a-palooza' thing for the long haul. I contribute to my 401k to max employer match, and max a Roth IRA. I rarely (almost never) check my balances. Dips and such in the market like we've seen in recent weeks hon...
by guitarguy
Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travertine vs. Marble vs. Granite countertops/flooring
Replies: 15
Views: 9582

Re: Travertine vs. Marble vs. Granite countertops/flooring

I'm putting in new countertops and flooring in our bathrooms and kitchen. I prefer to use a natural stone. What's better, travertine, marble or granite? Have you considered porcelain for your flooring? For durability vs. cost effectiveness vs. looks...it can rarely be beat. I know you said you pref...
by guitarguy
Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lose the escrow!?
Replies: 36
Views: 3959

Re: Lose the escrow!?

To get back on topic, when I refinanced my mortgage out of a "megabank" loan into a "little independent bank" loan, getting to ditch the tax and insurance escrow was a huge relief. What a screwed up, pain in the you-know-what it had been, they never got things right. Do I just w...
by guitarguy
Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lose the escrow!?
Replies: 36
Views: 3959

Re: Lose the escrow!?

It seems like once a year or even more than that, they randomly increase my automatic payment and take an extra $30 or whatever amount and start putting it into escrow. They say it's a 'buffer' percentage to guard against tax bills being slightly more than expected. It's BS! I've asked them multipl...
by guitarguy
Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lose the escrow!?
Replies: 36
Views: 3959

Well, it's all moot anyways. Looks like with an FHA loan I can't opt out of escrow. I guess I'll have to keep making these annoying phone calls to opt out of this reserve garbage. Ah well.
by guitarguy
Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lose the escrow!?
Replies: 36
Views: 3959

Re: Lose the escrow!?

It seems like once a year or even more than that, they randomly increase my automatic payment and take an extra $30 or whatever amount and start putting it into escrow. They say it's a 'buffer' percentage to guard against tax bills being slightly more than expected. It's BS! I've asked them multipl...
by guitarguy
Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lose the escrow!?
Replies: 36
Views: 3959

Lose the escrow!?

I'm so fed up with BOA, I'm investigating dumping their escrow and handling it all myself. It seems like once a year or even more than that, they randomly increase my automatic payment and take an extra $30 or whatever amount and start putting it into escrow. They say it's a 'buffer' percentage to g...
by guitarguy
Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering grad school
Replies: 44
Views: 4814

I am not saying to the OP not to do it, but just have realistic expectations about the benefits. I am now working at a job with a bunch of people who have at best two-year degree. I have been laid off multiple times in the past 10 years. Having the MSEE hasn't helped me as far as I can tell. If I w...
by guitarguy
Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering grad school
Replies: 44
Views: 4814

I would agree, then, that in your situation the degree could be helpful. I was mistakenly thinking that there were already more experienced engineers in your group, with more skill that you would naturally learn by working with them. I did exactly what you are suggesting, but I must admit I learned...
by guitarguy
Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering grad school
Replies: 44
Views: 4814

If you primarily study what you are currently doing on the job, assuming that you are already qualified, then you might not expect much opportunity for growth in your current position. I think that taking these courses that apply to what I'm already "doing" at work would benefit me a lot....
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I need help from audio-recording gurus
Replies: 10
Views: 1248

I used to do this same thing with a guitar and vocal channel for myself. Get a 2-ch firewire interface recorder, and get yourself some audio editing/recording software. I use Sonar. Your mic goes in 1 channel and the keys in the other. From there you record your keys on 1 track in the software and y...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering grad school
Replies: 44
Views: 4814

The longest day consisted of going to work, going to the hospital to help the new mother and baby (she had an emergency C-section), go home to feed the cats, go to school to take a mid-term, and then back to the hospital to do homework, help with the baby, and pass out in a chair in the corner. Wow...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering grad school
Replies: 44
Views: 4814

I did a masters in CS while working full-time. My primary advice is take it slow. Start with 1 class/term. If that seems easy enough, do 2. I could easily handle 1 (4 hour course, for this program). 2 courses (8 hours) were ok some semesters, and a bit much in other semesters. Unless there is a rus...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 23, 2011 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering grad school
Replies: 44
Views: 4814

My city library is right at the end of my street too...so I'll have an accessible place to study. I was a library rat in college because I can't really work with lots of background stuff going on. Don't count on it. You'll need to be studying at home while the baby naps. There is no way your wife i...
by guitarguy
Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering grad school
Replies: 44
Views: 4814

My city library is right at the end of my street too...so I'll have an accessible place to study. I was a library rat in college because I can't really work with lots of background stuff going on. Don't count on it. You'll need to be studying at home while the baby naps. There is no way your wife i...
by guitarguy
Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering grad school
Replies: 44
Views: 4814

Some comments: ME grad classes have similar levels of workload to undergrad ME classes, but you will be taking less of them at any given time. Additionally, most of your work will be built on the undergrad material so there should be very little material that will be completely brand new, which mak...
by guitarguy
Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering grad school
Replies: 44
Views: 4814

Thanks for the replies so far. After doing an undergrad thesis...the thought of doing another one is I'd like to go the all coursework myself, but it will be on my list of questions for a meeting with an advisor. I definitely don't think it would be useless in this field though, as the classes all p...
by guitarguy
Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering grad school
Replies: 44
Views: 4814

Considering grad school

Hi all. I'm considering getting a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. I'm just beginning to research and seriously consider doing more of that colledge edumakation stuff... I'm trying to get a grasp of the pros/cons of pursuing an advanced degree and would really like opinions of those who have done it,...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biggest Loser Challenge / Workouts
Replies: 23
Views: 1876

Another general question for you personal trainers: This workout we did yesterday has my glutes and quads killing me (damn lunges)...in a good way of course. We're taking an off day with just a 1 hr power walk today, but should we go ahead and do the workout again tomorrow if we're still sore? It's ...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biggest Loser Challenge / Workouts
Replies: 23
Views: 1876

Will you be able to keep up the 3-4 times a week workouts and the walks? For this 9 week challenge? Yup. If you are trying to just lose the weight then that will work, but if you desire to make a lifestyle change then that's a lot of working out. You can only weight train one muscle group for one d...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Bodyweight Scale
Replies: 27
Views: 2574

If you stepped on a scale four times in a row and got four different answers, would you have confidence in the scale? If I drank a pint of water between each step...yeah! If you stepped on a scale four times in a row and got the same answer every time, would you have confidence in the scale? If I d...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Bodyweight Scale
Replies: 27
Views: 2574

livesoft wrote:I think it has a memory feature, so if you get on, get off, immediately get back on it will read the same even if you drank a pint of water.


In case you forget the number and hop off before writing it down? :lol:

Seriously though, what is the benefit of this feature?
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 16, 2011 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biggest Loser Challenge / Workouts
Replies: 23
Views: 1876

The first thing you should work on is your diet, write everything down, especially what you drink. Next, the power walking is great just add a few interval sprints in them. Walk fast for two minutes then run as fast as you feel comfortable with for one minute (or 30 seconds first - then work up to ...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biggest Loser Challenge / Workouts
Replies: 23
Views: 1876

After Insanity I had lost a lot of weight, but it wasn't until I reintroduced resistance training that I really noticed my body start to shape up for the better. My waist is getting smaller while I'm getting stronger and leaner and speeding up my metabolism with additional muscle. That's a beautifu...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biggest Loser Challenge / Workouts
Replies: 23
Views: 1876

No weight training? Well...the DVDs aren't outright weight training but they have a lot of bodyweight exercises (pushups, squats, lunges, etc) that will definitely help tone muscle. They're put together into circuits and stuff to make a cardio routine so it's more of a total body workout. I really ...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Bodyweight Scale
Replies: 27
Views: 2574

Remember also that your weight will vary plus or minus two pounds based on how much water you have stored, so the only really important thing is the trend of your weight measurement over time. Based on that consideration, you don't really need more than normal scale accuracy. Definitely. I know all...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 16, 2011 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Biggest Loser Challenge / Workouts
Replies: 23
Views: 1876

Biggest Loser Challenge / Workouts

My wife's work is sponsoring a Biggest Loser Challenge with a prize of $2k. Pretty cool. It's a 9 week program with a $5 fee to join. She's going for it and I'm planning on going along for the ride for myself and to support/challenge her. We're both in our mid 20s and healthy according to yearly phy...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Bodyweight Scale
Replies: 27
Views: 2574

Steelersfan wrote:How accurate do you need?


We don't need anything more than a good reliable bodyweight measurement. Not like we're looking for rounding to the nearest 1000th of a lb or something.

Thanks for the recommendations everyone I will do some research today.
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Bodyweight Scale
Replies: 27
Views: 2574

sandstorm wrote:My only problem with this scale is that the number displayed keeps going up.


:lol:
by guitarguy
Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Bodyweight Scale
Replies: 27
Views: 2574

Home Bodyweight Scale

My wife and I want to get rid of our old jumpy needle bathroom scale and get a nice digital one. Any recommendations? I know they make them where they measure body fat % and a bunch of other stuff. All that would be cool but isn't a necessity. I just want something solid and accurate and reliable (a...
by guitarguy
Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 25% interest rate at clothing chain
Replies: 13
Views: 2164

Re: 25% interest rate at clothing chain

Our favorite clothing store just informed us the interest rate on their credit card is not "24.9." We rarely, if ever, carry a balance but this seems ridiculous. The pros of keeping it are discounts at sales etc. But the downer is the interest rate. We are considering some action but not ...
by guitarguy
Tue Sep 13, 2011 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Yet another TV question - LCD vs LED HDTV ...
Replies: 17
Views: 2926

I wouldn't do either. I like Plasma. No lag, good blacks, and they have fallen out of favor, so cheaper. The 'burn in' problem is over done. I agree the burn in problem is overblown, but I can't stand the glass. If you have windows anywhere near the TV, the LCD is the way to go...much less glare th...
by guitarguy
Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using Mortgage trick to pay off Student Loans faster!?
Replies: 19
Views: 4015

The difference here would be a big mac at McDonalds...not worth your time. Make your payment when it's most convenient for you, and pay extra (more than your minimum payment) when you can if you want to pay it off faster. Just don't let any interest capitalize . That's what will hurt you (obviously).
by guitarguy
Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: funny story...need ideas
Replies: 15
Views: 1659

Don't pay it. It's a cute little inside joke that you'll ruin by paying. And if I did something like that and got $1.36 in the mail, I'd be like "Umm.. you know I was joking, right? I'm not that cheap to worry about a dollar." I might add a little note saying you know you owe him money, b...
by guitarguy
Wed Sep 07, 2011 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: funny story...need ideas
Replies: 15
Views: 1659

funny story...need ideas

Hey all, I have a client who books our band at his club. The funny part is that when I sent him our press package to introduce the band, he ended up having to pay $1.36 to cover postage because I guess I didn't put enough stamps on it. I haven't ran into this before...but whatever. He and I have bee...