Search found 907 matches

by mlipps
Mon Aug 18, 2014 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bankrolled Her Brother, Regrets It (article)
Replies: 24
Views: 4659

Re: Bankrolled Her Brother, Regrets It (article)

My stupid sister is terrible with money. She stopped at my dad's work the other day and he "loaned" her $20. I'm really trying to resist the urge to email him this article. Just keep telling myself it's his money to spend as he wishes...
by mlipps
Fri Aug 08, 2014 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you address your inlaws and being addressed?
Replies: 84
Views: 7295

Re: How do you address your inlaws and being addressed?

I've generally avoided the whole thing for seven years now. Since having kids it's easier because I can just call them grandma and grandpa now. This thread is doing nothing but validating my bad behavior. I too call my husband's parents nothing. But, his dad made a big fuss over how there are no in...
by mlipps
Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Favorite charity organization...? please
Replies: 91
Views: 7785

Re: Your Favorite charity organization...? please

Robin Hood Foundation in NYC. They have an interesting approach. They donate to organizations that provide them with a business plan and goals (to fight poverty). If the goals and plans look good they are given $. However, if they want to continue to receive $, they must meet their goals. They're a...
by mlipps
Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank account to teach kids
Replies: 17
Views: 1447

Re: Bank account to teach kids

My mom opened a pass book account for me when I was 2. I also started getting an allowance around then, which was half my age my whole childhood. I had to put 50% into savings so we had a special box I put it in and then took it to the bank every few months. I suppose it's a bit more hassle in our c...
by mlipps
Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HDHP vs PPO (least bad choice)
Replies: 13
Views: 1588

Re: HDHP vs PPO (least bad choice)

You're not considering a few things: 1) As others have said, out of pocket max is a factor. But you say the HDHP pays 100% after meeting the deductible, so that means the max is $2500. Is that true? (I have not heard of such a thing, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.) If that's the case, this...
by mlipps
Tue Aug 05, 2014 7:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance to include student loans?
Replies: 5
Views: 810

Re: Refinance to include student loans?

Can she do income based repayment? I think that resets every year so if she is still unemployed that should help with payments and allow you to focus on the car loan. Assuming you don't want to just sell the car and buy something cheaper to take that off the table. If the loans are subsidized, IBR ...
by mlipps
Tue Aug 05, 2014 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance to include student loans?
Replies: 5
Views: 810

Re: Refinance to include student loans?

Why don't you refi the car loan? I assume if you have a mortgage you probably have better credit than she does for her rate to be so high. Lots of online credit unions, like Alliant and Digital, offer rates under 2%. That will help. For the student loans, you could look into SoFi, which recently ope...
by mlipps
Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking Credit Score
Replies: 19
Views: 9794

Re: Tracking Credit Score

As of this week, there's a new beta feature on Credit Karma that let's you review your actual credit report as well. You can look at it weekly. They must be making tons of money from their very obnoxious advertising.
by mlipps
Fri Aug 01, 2014 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: credit card 0% teasing rate question
Replies: 8
Views: 739

Re: credit card 0% teasing rate question

The cash advance will be separate and interest will only be charged on that portion, but keep in mind there is no grace period for a cash advance; the interest starts accruing the same day.
by mlipps
Tue Jul 29, 2014 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Wills vs. Living Trusts
Replies: 35
Views: 4330

Re: POLL: Wills vs. Living Trusts

I don't have a will because I have no kids and everything is jointly titled with my husband that can be. I suppose if we both die simultaneously our parents will split the money. Not too concerned about that outcome. Maybe I should write a will so someone can inherit my dogs, that would be my only f...
by mlipps
Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Principal Residence = Poor Investment?
Replies: 70
Views: 7725

Re: Principal Residence = Poor Investment?

In addition to all the other wise comments above, I would add that most renters pay at least some utilities so it seems silly to include those in your analysis. A standard rule of thumb for maintenance is 1% of the homes value per year, so I think you're underestimating there.
by mlipps
Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Current Credit Card Bonus for $10k Purchase?
Replies: 14
Views: 2592

Re: Best Current Credit Card Bonus for $10k Purchase?

Another to consider is the AA Executive card. I think the minimum spend on the Chase Sapphire is pretty easy w/normal spending, while AA Executive, not so much. $450 annual fee (not waived), $100 statement credit, and 75k miles after $7,500 in spending (down from 100k for $10k spend earlier this yea...
by mlipps
Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How would you handle this situation if it was you.
Replies: 15
Views: 2334

Re: How would you handle this situation if it was you.

110 a month is a lot for a cell phone for one person. Most carriers will give u 2 gigs of data and minutes and text for 80. If moving to an apartment with kitchen will mean you eat out less, it's not that more expensive, you should consider it, you may end up saving money. As for school, do you kno...
by mlipps
Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Second Largest PreK-12 School District Wins a 457b award!
Replies: 14
Views: 1917

Re: Second Largest PreK-12 School District Wins a 457b award

Its got nothing on the 403b plan at my private University, where I have access to institutional class Spartan funds from Fidelity. My ER's are beautiful!
by mlipps
Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income change budget adjustments
Replies: 16
Views: 2390

Re: Income change budget adjustments

Just to note, the reason for the more expensive house/cars was due to my previous business income of around 150k/year for several years as well as being able to do a large down payment on the house. Unfortunately that income has fluctuated and is now significantly lower. We also did not really get ...
by mlipps
Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Income change budget adjustments
Replies: 16
Views: 2390

Re: Income change budget adjustments

You can't afford that house on your salary. There's no way around that fact. You also do not need two SUV's for one or even two kids, let alone ones that cost $30k. These are facts. I would check out the post "Smart Cars for Smart People" on Mr Money Mustache, as well as his blog in general. No, it ...
by mlipps
Sun Jul 13, 2014 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tiny House Movement
Replies: 139
Views: 20536

Re: Tiny House Movement

So I just watched the 1st Tiny House Nation episode: http://www.fyi.tv/shows/tiny-house-nation I think the designers did well to pack two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom into 172 sq. ft! My house is about 3 times that size; perhaps I should re-evaluate what I consider "tiny." I loved the show t...
by mlipps
Sat Jul 12, 2014 7:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What after-tax income could you live on today?
Replies: 48
Views: 6753

Re: What after-tax income could you live on today?

I'm actually a little surprised at the responses to this one. I took it to mean how much could you live on for an extended period of time if you had to cut back most, but maybe not all, of the luxuries in your life. Our rent is $1,000 and our other necessary expenses about the same. We probably spen...
by mlipps
Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tiny House Movement
Replies: 139
Views: 20536

Re: Tiny House Movement

I don't think it's snobbish to want your home to be aesthetically pleasing, even if it's tiny. Also, I think a lot of people want the challenge of building something on their own & doing so using sustainable materials.
by mlipps
Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tiny House Movement
Replies: 139
Views: 20536

Re: Tiny House Movement

That's a LOT of assumptions you're making. Not everyone prefers to spend instead of save. And it's great that you want to work and like your job, but don't assume that I have "issues" because I don't! Most Bogleheads on this forum, take nice vacations, live in a nice not-so-tiny-homes, drive nice c...
by mlipps
Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tiny House Movement
Replies: 139
Views: 20536

Re: Tiny House Movement

I don’t think the issue is living in a larger home versus smaller home. People prefer to spend instead of save and at the end they decide they can’t afford a big home. Why not spend less and instead live in a larger more comfortable home. There is no way that a family of 3 or 4 can have a comfortab...
by mlipps
Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Order of operations" for education tax credits
Replies: 2
Views: 867

Re: "Order of operations" for education tax credits

We do this all the time at my VITA site. You should be fine; I would just prepare a spreadsheet or document clearly laying all of this out for the IRS, and also include a print out of your account statement or similar from the university. As an aside, it's bizarre you didn't get a 1098-T, as I see t...
by mlipps
Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS limits direct deposts of refunds to fight Identity Theft
Replies: 25
Views: 4132

Re: IRS limits direct deposts of refunds to fight Identity T

Epsilon Delta wrote:A PIN or password that is used once a year is not an answer to anything, except to the question "How do we create a customer service nightmare?"
There's a PIN for the FAFSA and it's not that bad.
by mlipps
Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Combine Illinois 529 Deduction with Sch. A MBA Deduction
Replies: 7
Views: 791

Re: Combine Illinois 529 Deduction with Sch. A MBA Deduction

I assume no as well, based on Q16 here: http://www.irs.gov/uac/American-Opportunity-Tax-Credit:-Questions-and-Answers You can't get a tuition and fee deduction and the credit; I assume you can't get the AOTC and deduct education as a business expense as a corollary of that. I am interested in how y...
by mlipps
Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Getting back to trying to live frugal, correct investments
Replies: 10
Views: 1830

Re: Getting back to trying to live frugal, correct investmen

In one breath you say you want to try to live frugal and in another you say you want to buy two new-to-you vehicles. Unless these are $5k Honda Civics, I think you need to take a step back & look at the bigger picture. You're almost 50, have next to nothing saved for retirement, but make almost doub...
by mlipps
Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Combine Illinois 529 Deduction with Sch. A MBA Deduction
Replies: 7
Views: 791

Re: Combine Illinois 529 Deduction with Sch. A MBA Deduction

Interesting question; my sense is probably not, but shrug. Pub 970 deals with education tax issues. In particular here's a link to chapter 12 'No Double Benefit Allowed' section: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch12.html#en_US_2013_publink1000178702 Yes, I read Pub 970. The part that has me th...
by mlipps
Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Combine Illinois 529 Deduction with Sch. A MBA Deduction
Replies: 7
Views: 791

Combine Illinois 529 Deduction with Sch. A MBA Deduction

My husband and I have decided that his MBA expenses qualify for the Schedule A "Unreimbursed employee expense". (Let's not debate that here). I know that for most education benefits that no double benefit is allowed, such as using money from a 529 plan and also taking the American Opportunity Credit...
by mlipps
Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Urban garden bed--ideas to deter dog owners
Replies: 44
Views: 9673

Re: Urban garden bed--ideas to deter dog owners

Some people are just contrary though. I don't walk my dogs in gardens, but I do ALWAYS walk on public grass that has a sign that says "Don't walk on the grass," because I think grass is meant to be walked on. So, I think putting a sign to "curb your dog" (also don't know what "curb" means in this co...
by mlipps
Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buyout Offer and Debt
Replies: 16
Views: 1728

Re: Buyout Offer and Debt

If he doesn't have the discipline to stay out of credit card debt, he doesn't have the discipline to parse out the lump sum into an appropriate monthly withdrawal. At 74, I would let the credit cards default & not worry about paying them off. Sounds like he already owns his home; what else could he ...
by mlipps
Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sallie Mae incorrectly calculating interest?
Replies: 85
Views: 7997

Re: Sallie Mae incorrectly calculating interest?

They're probably rounding an intermediate number that you're not or vice versa. As long as its not even a dollar of difference I think you should find a hobby....
by mlipps
Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fed up with ATT
Replies: 66
Views: 8202

Re: Fed up with ATT

I just give everyone my cell phone number and then use Mr. number app to block spam calls.
by mlipps
Mon Jun 23, 2014 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget or create saving buckets?
Replies: 109
Views: 12476

Re: Budget or create saving buckets?

Just to be clear, I didn't say the above, OP did. :)
by mlipps
Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to send money quickly to parents in Florence, Italy
Replies: 18
Views: 2293

Re: Best way to send money quickly to parents in Florence, I

I think you're over-complicating things greatly. Send them cash via Western Union. The fee is not that high. Some credit card companies will overnight express a card in this kind of situation, either for free or for a nominal fee, depending how "nice" of a card they have. So, they should call the co...
by mlipps
Mon Jun 23, 2014 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving back to the U.S. - Any ideas on a hatchback car?
Replies: 33
Views: 3178

Re: Moving back to the U.S. - Any ideas on a hatchback car?

Thanks! I put so much time into it I really want others to get some use out of it before it's obselete! This is an AMAZING resource. Gonna use your sheet when I go to CarMax to get a trade-in value on my 2012 Mustang V6 (for a diminished value claim, but I may look around a bit while I'm there). Tha...
by mlipps
Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving back to the U.S. - Any ideas on a hatchback car?
Replies: 33
Views: 3178

Re: Moving back to the U.S. - Any ideas on a hatchback car?

I did an analysis 18 months ago when we replaced our Jeep with a Matrix. My spreadsheet is a little out of date, but you might still find it useful. This was my methodology: -I started with Mr Money Mustache's list of smart cars ( http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/19/top-10-cars-for-smart-peopl...
by mlipps
Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget or create saving buckets?
Replies: 109
Views: 12476

Re: Budget or create saving buckets?

Here's where I ran into a pitfall with Mint: My husband and I had saved $10k (give or take) to spend on our wedding. Those expenses were going to happen sporadically over the course of 9 months. There was no clear way in Mint to allocate that lump sum, then spend from it over the course of several m...
by mlipps
Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving back to the U.S. - Any ideas on a hatchback car?
Replies: 33
Views: 3178

Re: Moving back to the U.S. - Any ideas on a hatchback car?

Carmax is a great place to test drive all of them with no hassling afterwards. We're very happy with our Toyota Matrix but the Fit is probably the most popular Hatchback currently.
by mlipps
Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget or create saving buckets?
Replies: 109
Views: 12476

Re: Budget or create saving buckets?

btw, I was researching online and found (all free): Mint GnuCash Money Manager EX Not sure if they'll do what we are discussing in this thread, but I'll take a look, along with YNAB. YNAB is manual, as is GnuCash. Mint is automated, but it does what you describe REALLY poorly, which is the number o...
by mlipps
Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget or create saving buckets?
Replies: 109
Views: 12476

Re: Budget or create saving buckets?

YNAB is great. You can also do this in the Virtual Wallet version of PNC's accounts. You can do it in the "Reserve" (aka secondary checking) or "Growth" (aka savings) account using the Wish List feature. I love it. Yes, of course it's just mental accounting (it drives my husband nuts), but it works ...
by mlipps
Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job: Trying to decide on tax exemptions and withholding
Replies: 3
Views: 530

Re: New job: Trying to decide on tax exemptions and withhold

I wouldn't spend any more time on it personally. What's the worst that happens, you have a 3 digit tax bill come next winter? Big deal.
by mlipps
Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bringing Money to Australia - moving help!
Replies: 14
Views: 1200

Re: Bringing Money to Australia - moving help!

It's very easy to set up an Australian bank account as a foreigner, you just need a tax ID number. Not really... You need the 100 point id check (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_point_check) but a TFN is not required if your ok with max withholding. When I went in 2011, I opened a bank account w/o...
by mlipps
Mon Jun 16, 2014 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bringing Money to Australia - moving help!
Replies: 14
Views: 1200

Re: Bringing Money to Australia - moving help!

I would move your US money from your small local bank to Capital One or another internet bank that allows free ATM withdrawals. If you need a large amount of money upon arrival, do a one time wire transfer of a chunk of the money. Then, you can use the ATM for smaller amounts until your wife starts ...
by mlipps
Sat Jun 14, 2014 9:33 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Being a good Newbie Boglehead citizen
Replies: 38
Views: 2606

Re: Being a good Newbie Boglehead citizen

Is it too late to add one more? It drives me nuts when people dig up a year old thread without any real reason other than adding their opinion to it. If you have new information, maybe it's worth PM'ing the OP, but just to chime in on a thread that already had 85 posts is annoying.
by mlipps
Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help
Replies: 61
Views: 7833

Re: Engagement Ring - Diamond Help

As a woman, I think cut is very important. I agree that you can probably get away with skimping a bit on clarity and color, although I can definitely tell the difference between my G color 1/2 carat and my friend's likely D color Tiffany's ring. The sparkle of a well cut diamond is what draws anothe...
by mlipps
Wed Jun 11, 2014 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Europe travel
Replies: 11
Views: 1689

Re: Europe travel

I don't know if this is the best way, but when I worked in Australia & had American student loans to pay, I found PayPal to be the most affordable way to exchange the money. I had to send the money from an Australian paypal account to an American one, both in my own. I'm pretty sure this was technic...
by mlipps
Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legal? [Employer Paid Time-Off to Flexible Vacation Policy]
Replies: 27
Views: 4246

Re: Legal?

What is a flex vacation model and how does it differ from standard PTO? We haven't received the details, but it appears a flex plan is less rigid than a PTO model where time off is tracked. Vacation time requires manager approval and I am not sure whether it circumvents the mandatory 2 week vacatio...
by mlipps
Wed Jun 11, 2014 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance mortgage from 15 to 30yr to invest more?
Replies: 8
Views: 1211

Re: Refinance mortgage from 15 to 30yr to invest more?

If you're certain about moving, refinance to a 7/1 ARM.
by mlipps
Mon Jun 09, 2014 6:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is having too much credit line a bad thing?
Replies: 10
Views: 1366

Re: Is having too much credit line a bad thing?

Something that surprised me is that the spending includes recent purchases that haven't been billed yet. So if your credit line is low enough, you can have a high credit utilization rate even if you pay off your credits cards every month. Your utilization rate that matters on your credit report wil...
by mlipps
Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family cars for non-drivers.
Replies: 38
Views: 2813

Re: Family cars for non-drivers.

Keep driving the Focus around town & rent a van when you travel.
by mlipps
Fri May 30, 2014 4:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simple Camera for Travel?
Replies: 40
Views: 4122

Re: Simple Camera for Travel?

I'm really into making sure you get the best picture but at the same time, I hate DSLRs. I don't want to carry around a 2 bricks while I'm on vacation. Even the compact mirrorless cameras are still 1 brick. Take a look at the Sony RX100 3, version 3 comes out in June this month. I have version 2, c...