Search found 1515 matches

by guitarguy
Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can someone PLEASE HELP ME
Replies: 4
Views: 1008

First of all, sorry to hear about your situation. I don't have any advice for you financially because I'm not really familiar with SS benefits, but I'm sure someone on here will help you find the best course of action. One piece of advice I can offer though...try not to panic. Relax, take a step bac...
by guitarguy
Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OK...should we go to Maui??
Replies: 34
Views: 3312

Random Musings wrote:Aloha !!

(but don't make this a continual financial habit - that will get you into trouble).


:lol:

We won't.
by guitarguy
Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Checking credit reports after cleaning up credit
Replies: 6
Views: 870

Checking credit reports after cleaning up credit

My wife had less than stellar credit when we got married. She had a few past due medical bills and what not back then. Anyways, over the past 8 months or so, we've eliminated all of her outstanding debt, save low interest student loans (that are current). I want to check her credit report to make su...
by guitarguy
Fri Mar 25, 2011 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OK...should we go to Maui??
Replies: 34
Views: 3312

Where do you live? There may be closer and/or cheaper places to travel which feature similar amenities. I'm generally in favor of travel, as long as the particular trip is truly something you wanted to do. If you and your wife are the type who enjoy a vacation tooling around European cities, or vis...
by guitarguy
Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OK...should we go to Maui??
Replies: 34
Views: 3312

I'm thinking that patio can be bought with our first use of the 'Child Tax Credit' right??? :twisted: Build the patio (properly) yourself when you get back. Just buy the materials and tools. It's not rocket surgery and sweat equity is a good thing... Definitely into sweat equity...haven't done ceme...
by guitarguy
Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OK...should we go to Maui??
Replies: 34
Views: 3312

And I REALLY hope you don't have a big CC balance you're just paying the minimum on each month. If you do, then I'll have to shake my head, sorry... No CC balance...paid in full monthly to get full advantage of rewards. No bad debt really...just an affordable 30 yr/fixed mortgage and some 2-3% stud...
by guitarguy
Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OK...should we go to Maui??
Replies: 34
Views: 3312

Flashes1 wrote:Do you have a good, stable job? Go!!!! Hawaii is beautiful.


Yes, I'm very lucky to have a stable job and extra monthly income as a working musician.
by guitarguy
Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online dating sites - worth it?
Replies: 253
Views: 43458

I've not tried any online dating sites...but did meet my wife online. Back when myspace was the hot business for us kids, I was on there bumming around (honest to God not for dating purposes), and when you first logged on back then, they had a whole display of people who were 'online' near your zip ...
by guitarguy
Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OK...should we go to Maui??
Replies: 34
Views: 3312

OK...should we go to Maui??

:lol: Here's the story...friends of ours are getting married there in October and I'd really like to go. It would be a weeklong trip, costing $3k for air/hotel, plus all expenses once we're there...which I'm guessing will be another $1k or more (again...just guessing). I haven't priced any of this o...
by guitarguy
Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for remodeling advice...
Replies: 7
Views: 1359

I can maybe offer some advice. We did a full kitchen remodel last August, after living with our outdated and under utilized kitchen space for about 2 years. We did everything...new cabinets, countertops, baclsplash, appliances, moved plumbing gas and electric, new floor, lighting, ripped out soffits...
by guitarguy
Fri Mar 18, 2011 7:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decide when/if to do larger home improvement projects
Replies: 13
Views: 2193

Do the patio. We live on ours. But with small kids a patio is extremely valuable. But you can wait on the other decisions until after child 1 is born. Because not only will your priorities change, EVERYTHING about your house will look different after you've lived there with a child for a few months...
by guitarguy
Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decide when/if to do larger home improvement projects
Replies: 13
Views: 2193

Re: Decide when/if to do larger home improvement projects

It's my opinion that patio areas are great for the homeowner, but often they do not add $$ to the house, rather personal appeal. What you have to do is see what's standard in your neighborhood. If everyone has patio areas, then putting one in keeps your house competitive with others. If the average...
by guitarguy
Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decide when/if to do larger home improvement projects
Replies: 13
Views: 2193

Decide when/if to do larger home improvement projects

Some background...we have a small bungalow home and a $103k mortgage in a really nice neighborhood with great schools. We like where we live and our house. We love the small cheap mortgage. We're planning on starting a family this year or next (depending on luck I suppose). We'll have plenty of room...
by guitarguy
Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay down 5% fixed or 2.25 ~ 3% variable student loans first?
Replies: 7
Views: 1282

I'm in a similar situation, (sort of). I have mostly federal student loans fixed at 6.8% . I won't get an employer 403b match. I'm still trying to decide if I should contribute to a roth ira or pay off the student loans as fast as possible given the high interest rate. I am leaning towards paying o...
by guitarguy
Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay down 5% fixed or 2.25 ~ 3% variable student loans first?
Replies: 7
Views: 1282

noobie wrote:are your variable student loans federal? if so, you should consolidate them immediately to turn them into fixed. Then the choice is obvious on which to pay first.


No unfortunately the variable rate loans are all private.
by guitarguy
Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay down 5% fixed or 2.25 ~ 3% variable student loans first?
Replies: 7
Views: 1282

Pay down 5% fixed or 2.25 ~ 3% variable student loans first?

My wife and I have some of each that we're planning to allocate some $ to on a monthly basis after contributing both of our 401k accounts to maximize company match, and maxing 1 Roth IRA. Which should take priority? The higher (albiet not horribly bad) fixed rate or the lower variable rates (simply ...
by guitarguy
Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance for new single mom
Replies: 12
Views: 1319

Grim indeed...hard to believe almost.

I guess my question still stands...what the heck should she do? Where does someone start?
by guitarguy
Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Insurance for new single mom
Replies: 12
Views: 1319

Health Insurance for new single mom

I have a good friend that needs health insurance. She and her boyfriend just had a baby, I believe the baby is covered under Dad's insurance (or at least should be setup that way right?). They're not ready to get married yet (I dunno...) so that's not an option right now. She is a nanny so there is ...
by guitarguy
Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Printing 11x17 color posters
Replies: 4
Views: 1556

Printing 11x17 color posters

Anyone know of a good place that can do this on the cheap? Kinkos charges $1.80 each. Not sure if anyone might know of a better option? I'm going to be printing these pretty regularly (maybe 5-10 per month) so I'd like to get the best deal possible. I just need to plug in my flash drive and click 'g...
by guitarguy
Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rain X Question
Replies: 9
Views: 1832

callahan00 wrote:Rain X also has a product you mix in with the windshield washer fluid. That's what I use now....


Rain X makes washer fluid right in the jug that has everything in it already...no mixing required. It's all I use and works great, and isn't hardly (if any) more expensive than regular washer fluid.
by guitarguy
Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k is getting rid of my TF, need help with new choices
Replies: 7
Views: 1259

Thanks for the advice guys. I went with: 55% SP Index 15% Core Bond Fund 20% Small Cap Value 10% International for now. I'll start my Roth with the VG STAR fund first with the good ole tax return next month, then switch to a TF when I hit $3k. From there, when the accounts build some value, I'll swi...
by guitarguy
Tue Feb 15, 2011 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k is getting rid of my TF, need help with new choices
Replies: 7
Views: 1259

Thanks for the suggestions so far. Bumping back international and mid caps is an interesting idea that would save some costs. I guess I was just leery of having such a low intl percentage... At your low tax rates, I'd make Roth contributions a priority once you get past match in the company plan. As...
by guitarguy
Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k is getting rid of my TF, need help with new choices
Replies: 7
Views: 1259

401k is getting rid of my TF, need help with new choices

I recently decided to move my whole 401k account into a TF and 'forget it', only to have Prudential scrap all the available TFs altogether now, 1 month later. :roll: Here is our picture: Emergency funds: 3 ~ 4 months Debt: Mortgage $103k (5.125% fixed) My Student Loans: $43k (2.5~3% variable), $3.5k...
by guitarguy
Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all Macheads...
Replies: 36
Views: 3466

I just bought a Macbook pro in 2010 when my dinosaur PC took a poo (had that since summer '03). I love my Mac for sure. I have the 13" with the slightly older processor and 4GB RAM...which is blazing fast for me. I use mine for similar things as you're planning to, and it has more than enough s...
by guitarguy
Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PDF files and fonts
Replies: 9
Views: 1044

Thanks very much for the info. I will have to look into embedding the fonts that are used I think. I'm designig 11x17 posters with images and text, using 2, sometimes 3 maybe, different types of fonts with some different sizes as well. As long as the file size isn't ridiculous, that shouldn't be a c...
by guitarguy
Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PDF files and fonts
Replies: 9
Views: 1044

Sometimes when I view PDF doc, I will get an Adobe Acrobat message about the need to install fonts or the "japanese-pack" or something like that. What does a google search say? I couldn't find anything difinitive....maybe I wasn't wording it right but it's not the most straightforward goo...
by guitarguy
Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PDF files and fonts
Replies: 9
Views: 1044

PDF files and fonts

Does anyone know if you print something to PDF with specialized fonts in it, do you have to install the fonts on another computer to view the document the same way, or does the pdf resemble an image, as in fonts installed on the pc will not matter? I don't really have good access to another computer...
by guitarguy
Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sister forgot to put her bank interest on her taxes.
Replies: 31
Views: 5849

Darga19, I think you may be referring to a Form 1099-MISC with the $600 limit. With any interest over $10 you should expect to see a Form 1099-INT. Even interest amounts under $10 should be reported on your tax return. Thanks for the clarification. I was planning on just reporting it...didn't expec...
by guitarguy
Thu Feb 03, 2011 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sister forgot to put her bank interest on her taxes.
Replies: 31
Views: 5849

I thought you only got a 1099 if the income was greater than $600...?

I made $81 in interest this year...should I expect to see a 1099 from my online bank?
by guitarguy
Fri Jan 28, 2011 8:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Provide Someone a 1099
Replies: 5
Views: 1145

filetaxes.com This looks like a great site for E-Filing everything...seems as though they E-File the IRS copy, and print and mail copies to the recipients, and give me a pdf copy, and a confirmation by email. $3.99 per form doesn't seem too bad for that! Anyone else have experience with this site?
by guitarguy
Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Provide Someone a 1099
Replies: 5
Views: 1145

How to Provide Someone a 1099

Ok...first year doing this so bear with me...I need to know what to do to give my bandmates a 1099 for for tax year 2010. Per required, they are considered my 'contract workers', i.e. I receive payment from a venue and then I write them each a check for their part. They have each made more than $600...
by guitarguy
Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix vs. Cable
Replies: 84
Views: 12798

TV Streaming Movies Redbox ($1 /per movie) Theater I run one of the higher tiers on the internet connection ($60-70) This all sounds like a crazy amount of work for the price to me lol. I pay $78/m for cable and internet, with the extra digital package with Starz and Encore and on demand for movies...
by guitarguy
Thu Jan 20, 2011 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gas bill - budget plan?
Replies: 24
Views: 4584

Plus with some common sense, the high bills in the winter aren't really a surprise. After a year or 2 living in your home you should know whereabouts the bill will be for the given time of year. It's not that hard to estimate IMO. Well, it's not really a surprise. I just prefer to pay $100 in Augus...
by guitarguy
Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gas bill - budget plan?
Replies: 24
Views: 4584

I have to throw my vote against the budget billing. I'd rather just pay as I go...personal preference. Plus you get the nice perk of tiny bills in the summer, when we usually end up spending a bit extra on little landscaping stuff anyways. Plus with some common sense, the high bills in the winter ar...
by guitarguy
Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loans or car loan first??
Replies: 21
Views: 3109

Hopefully not applicable to you, but it is worth noting that student loans typically can not be discharged in bankruptcy. If you were expecting to declare bankruptcy before paying off both loans, paying off the student loan would be the priority! Sure seems to me that people reading these forums ar...
by guitarguy
Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off student loans or car loan first??
Replies: 21
Views: 3109

Re: Pay off student loans or car loan first??

They are both financed at 3.75%. I'm guessing with the tax deductible interest, it makes more sense to pay off the car loan first. Any thoughts? Assuming the student loan is 3.75% before the tax deduction, and you're not phased out because of too high of income...definitely pay the car first. Also ...
by guitarguy
Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does it cost to have a baby?
Replies: 92
Views: 9231

Late in the year was bad, because the delivery (and associated NICU costs) was covered under my wife's insurance, but the baby was covered under my plan once leaving the hospital. Different plans, different OOP bins. Had they been on the same insurance, it would go to the same *family* OOP maximum ...
by guitarguy
Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annoying and costly AT&T trick
Replies: 26
Views: 4871

Nummerkins wrote:They will refund the fee, you just need to push them or speak with a supervisor. Once they credit the fee have them block data usage completely on your accounts.


The squeaky wheel gets the oil. Just be polite but firm and they'll refund the fee.
by guitarguy
Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does it cost to have a baby?
Replies: 92
Views: 9231

A lot of that will depend on your specific plan/company. Some plans include the deductible in the max OOP, some don't. Most include copays. The deductible is not, however, affected by your copays (I believe this is universal). In other words: $100 copay - comes out of max OOP, does not affect deduc...
by guitarguy
Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does it cost to have a baby?
Replies: 92
Views: 9231

Thanks for all the good advice guys! Fortunately we won't be using daycare and we have a couple of 1 year olds in the family now...so we're sure to get lots of hand me downs. Fortunately we have a big enough home now to fit the baby no problem. If we were to have a second though, things would get ti...
by guitarguy
Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any sales people out there?
Replies: 8
Views: 1439

Any sales people out there?

I'm hitting you guys up for some very general sales do's and don'ts! FYI, I'll be applying these techniques to selling myself and my professional band as entertainment for weddings, nightclubs, events, etc, which is sort of a side business for me. I've gotten a pretty good knack at at over the past ...
by guitarguy
Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does it cost to have a baby?
Replies: 92
Views: 9231

One other thing for your pre-natal planning. Even though it's not probably not covered under insurance, I strongly recommend going ahead and hiring a lactation consultant. Talk to them about the best time for them to come to you after the birth (there may also be a pre-natal meeting). Breastfeeding...
by guitarguy
Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does it cost to have a baby?
Replies: 92
Views: 9231

Re: How much does it cost to have a baby?

As others have pointed out, diapers and formula will be peanuts compared to daycare. I live in a small town and daycare is $1,400/mo -- $16,800 a year! :shock: Fortunately we won't need daycare. Wife doesn't make enough to make that viable. I'm hoping we can take advantage of the 'daycare of Grandm...
by guitarguy
Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does it cost to have a baby?
Replies: 92
Views: 9231

BTW, my wife and I also have BCBS PPO and out of pocket co-pays were under $100. Of course, our monthly premium immediately went up by around $300. Not bad on the co-pays...OUCH on the premium increase. My rate for Me+Spouse changing to Family is thankfully only $52/m more. We're lucky to have lowe...
by guitarguy
Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does it cost to have a baby?
Replies: 92
Views: 9231

Re: How much does it cost to have a baby?

Try to conceive in mid-March so that he or she will be born in late December. You'll get the full tax credit for 2011! One of my colleagues just had a baby boy: 12/31/2010 at 9:50pm. Now that's tax timing :D That's a nice tip...I think we'll do that! Maybe not timing it quite that well, but if we c...
by guitarguy
Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does it cost to have a baby?
Replies: 92
Views: 9231

livesoft wrote:$20 co-pay, so not quite free for us.


I can live with that...put that FSA account to work baby! :twisted:
by guitarguy
Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does it cost to have a baby?
Replies: 92
Views: 9231

Price to have one - FREE. Literally, meaning insurance covers this completely, or jokingly, meaning the price to concieve is free except for the price of a nice dinner out or me doing the dishes (either one seems to get my wife in the mood!!! :lol: ) All other expenses can be calculated here: http:...
by guitarguy
Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA withdrawal
Replies: 3
Views: 871

Not sure if this is an option for you but could you roll the expense into a 0% interest credit card and pay it off in 12 months before the promo period runs out? If you have good credit these offers are pretty common (at least in my experience). As long as you're sure you'll be able to pay back in 1...
by guitarguy
Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much does it cost to have a baby?
Replies: 92
Views: 9231

How much does it cost to have a baby?

The wife and I are planning on trying sometime later this year :) Being the planning-obsessed nutjob (so says my wife jokingly) that I am...I'm interested in some info from the parents out there. What are some financial things to think about when having that first child? We have good BCBS PPO health...
by guitarguy
Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: That Frugal Thing You Do
Replies: 535
Views: 119663

I'm frugal to an extent. IMHO you should cut costs when you can but don't get crazy about it! I like my cable and flat screen TV (which was a black friday deal), my Macbook, iPhone (which I got for like 70% off when they were about to release the iPhone 4), and keeping the heat above 61. I like eati...

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