Search found 734 matches

by SRenaeP
Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mint/Financial Organization/Credit Card Travel Hobby
Replies: 10
Views: 1116

Re: Mint/Financial Organization/Credit Card Travel Hobby

I've been using MS Money for years so I have continued to update that with any new credit cards. I don't receive any paper statements. I also keep a virtual sticky note on the desktop of my home computer. It lists minimum spend amount required/date required/current status as well as necessary cancel...
by SRenaeP
Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New car purchase
Replies: 12
Views: 2032

Re: New car purchase

It depends on the dealership. When I purchased vehicles in 2007 and 2014, the various dealers would only allow $5k to be charged. However, a coworker was recently able to charge ~$20k at another dealership.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House Flipping Question
Replies: 4
Views: 1150

Re: House Flipping Question

...I would never consider such an arrangement unless I had the time to visit the worksite daily and had a lot of previous construction and real estate knowledge so I could play a prominent role in decisions. And even then, I can think of much less risky things to do with my money.... +1 Tarek and C...
by SRenaeP
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: santander bank bonus
Replies: 14
Views: 2570

Re: santander bank bonus

I signed up for the $150 bonus a few months ago. I've met all the requirements but haven't gotten the bonus yet. I just sent them an e-mail about it last night.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What triggers a wave of credit offers?
Replies: 8
Views: 1488

Re: What triggers a wave of credit offers?

furwut wrote:I think its seasonal. I've been getting them too. This time of year perhaps credit card issuers find people easily enticed with balance transfer offers.
I think this is it. I've seen a lot of offers lately that refer to paying off (really just transferring) holiday bills and such.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Requesting Advice re: Finding Tax Preparer After Burglary
Replies: 7
Views: 1345

Re: Requesting Advice re: Finding Tax Preparer After Burglary

Thank you both for your replies jumppilot and neilpilot . My thought was that there was the possibility of some sort of capital gain based on net worth with us getting a laptop that is worth more than the one we had due to depreciation. Then again, I hadn't figured out the math and kind of doubt we...
by SRenaeP
Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners Insurance - How much is too much?
Replies: 11
Views: 1774

Re: Homeowners Insurance - How much is too much?

Note that assessed value is not necessarily the same as FMV. Where I live, the assessed value is 40% of the FMV.

Also, the insurance value is typically more than FMV. The insurance company assumes a total loss which would cover demo, etc. in addition to the cost to rebuild.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2721
Views: 541787

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I will revise my original comment to say a Star Alliance hub vs just MIA. Given that I *don't* live near an SA hub, it's not worth it for me. I would much rather take one 8-9 hour nonstop flight than significantly increase my flight time by adding connections, even if it is 'free'. -Steph Your same...
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 10, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2721
Views: 541787

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Anyone have any experience with the new Avianca credit card (https://www.lifemilescreditcard.com/WLInternet/avianca.aspx#!)? I am looking at a family trip to South America, seems like a good card to get - 60,000 points. I hadn't heard of this card but just looked it up. Assuming you're based in the...
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2721
Views: 541787

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Anyone have any experience with the new Avianca credit card (https://www.lifemilescreditcard.com/WLInternet/avianca.aspx#!)? I am looking at a family trip to South America, seems like a good card to get - 60,000 points. I hadn't heard of this card but just looked it up. Assuming you're based in the...
by SRenaeP
Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2721
Views: 541787

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Anyone have any experience with the new Avianca credit card (https://www.lifemilescreditcard.com/WLInternet/avianca.aspx#!)? I am looking at a family trip to South America, seems like a good card to get - 60,000 points. I hadn't heard of this card but just looked it up. Assuming you're based in the...
by SRenaeP
Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2721
Views: 541787

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Not necessarily. I got the 30 day message and eventually got approved without calling. Chase sent a letter stating they would need to reconfigure my credit lines before approving the card and to let them know if I didn't agree. -Steph Steph, how quickly were you notified of the reconfigured credit ...
by SRenaeP
Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Converting Roth to Traditional IRA?
Replies: 16
Views: 1171

Re: Converting Roth to Traditional IRA?

aristotelian wrote:
Other possibilities to look into would be voluntary contribution to 401k, HSA, charitable donation, 529 contribution for yourself or family member, etc.
It's too late to make 401k contributions or donations for TY2016.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2721
Views: 541787

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Not necessarily. I got the 30 day message and eventually got approved without calling. Chase sent a letter stating they would need to reconfigure my credit lines before approving the card and to let them know if I didn't agree. -Steph Steph, how quickly were you notified of the reconfigured credit ...
by SRenaeP
Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 2721
Views: 541787

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

I tried for CSR by becoming Chase Private client and got turned down. Very disappointing. Sorry to hear that. Did Chase tell you immediately or only some time after you became a CPC? SO applied for CSP online. Decision is pending, which is a bit disconcerting. Response said that decision could take...
by SRenaeP
Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best way to fund your Donor Advised Fund
Replies: 38
Views: 3174

Re: Best way to fund your Donor Advised Fund

Thanks to all for the discussion/advice. I got the brokerage information from my charity of choice and have now completed the form to donate the shares from Vanguard. My only complaint would be that I actually have to sign/mail a paper form vs doing it online but I would suspect Vanguard has a good ...
by SRenaeP
Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Prepaid debit card to use in Europe?
Replies: 5
Views: 822

Re: Prepaid debit card to use in Europe?

I haven't used it but I've heard good things about the Travelex Cash Passport card.

https://www.travelex.com/cash-passport

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it better to get a mortgage from a local/small lender?
Replies: 27
Views: 3212

Re: Is it better to get a mortgage from a local/small lender?

You should go with the lender offering you the best rate, whether it's a local one or not. Most banks re-sell mortgages on the secondary mortgage market anyway. So it's likely that regardless of which bank you use, you'll one day receive a letter informing you that a different bank now owns your ho...
by SRenaeP
Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ Digital Subscription - a bargain!
Replies: 114
Views: 36573

Re: WSJ Digital Subscription - a bargain!

An aside for those who plan to let their magazine subscriptions lapse - if you still would like to read the magazines, check with your local library. I have digital access to a number of magazines (including Kiplinger, since I saw that mentioned).

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401k and Taxable Investing
Replies: 10
Views: 1651

Re: Help with 401k and Taxable Investing

I make an extra payment every year on my mortgage, that should bring the total payment down a few years. Do you think its still wise to refi? My husband and I are probably close to the high end of the 28% tax bracket, so I'll have to redo the calculations to see if it works in our favor to switch t...
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:41 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Metro Atlanta Bogleheads Local Chapter
Replies: 66
Views: 13411

Re: Metro Atlanta Bogleheads Local Chapter

Thanks to everyone who came out to the last meeting! I just realized that we neglected to select a topic for the next meeting. Feel free to post any suggestions here or e-mail me at atlantabogleheads at {Google's e-mail service}.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Car Insurance VS Umbrella Insurace
Replies: 16
Views: 2960

Re: High Car Insurance VS Umbrella Insurace

Also, consider taking a defensive driving course. This will lower your premium. The certification lasts for three years, IIRC, and is only ~$50.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best way to fund your Donor Advised Fund
Replies: 38
Views: 3174

Re: Best way to fund your Donor Advised Fund

Do you only donate appreciated shares if you were going to sell them anyway? If not, it seems (and I may be oversimplifying) that you're saving a little on taxes now in lieu of saving a lot on taxes later. -Steph You can always buy the securities back with money you set aside for the charity. You g...
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best way to fund your Donor Advised Fund
Replies: 38
Views: 3174

Re: Best way to fund your Donor Advised Fund

mcraepat9 wrote:
(b) seems better
Can you elaborate? All the comparisons I've seen compare donating stock vs selling the stock then donating cash. I haven't seen any numbers for donating cash and continuing to hold the stock.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best way to fund your Donor Advised Fund
Replies: 38
Views: 3174

Re: Best way to fund your Donor Advised Fund

Do you only donate appreciated shares if you were going to sell them anyway? If not, it seems (and I may be oversimplifying) that you're saving a little on taxes now in lieu of saving a lot on taxes later. -Steph You can always buy the securities back with money you set aside for the charity. You g...
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 32420

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

"I use my American Express and chase aapphire exclusively through the year and put every purchase on it, even utilities." I am curious where in the US you can put utility bills on a cc without triggering and extra fee? We will be relocating in the future and never considered that some utilities wou...
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 32420

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

Value: about 40k annually Actual spent: about 10-12k annually I use my American Express and chase aapphire exclusively through the year and put every purchase on it, even utilities. I usually end up ammasing several hundred thousand points, which I turn into first class international airfare and 5 ...
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 401k and Taxable Investing
Replies: 10
Views: 1651

Re: Help with 401k and Taxable Investing

Since you're in the 28% bracket now, I would consider shifting your 401k contributions to pre-tax. This would probably drop you down into the 25% tax bracket. Then with the improved cash flow, I'd refi the mortgage to a 10 year to get a lower interest. Only then would I contribute to a taxable accou...
by SRenaeP
Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best way to fund your Donor Advised Fund
Replies: 38
Views: 3174

Re: Best way to fund your Donor Advised Fund

Real life transaction example: Bought a mutual fund for $4000. Value went down to $3000 Tax-loss harvested $1000: Savings of $400 at my tax rates Invested in similar but slightly different fund Held for 1 year, 1 month Value went up to $5200 Donated to my donor-advised fund. Savings of $2080 at my ...
by SRenaeP
Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for advice on a reading device
Replies: 13
Views: 1339

Re: Looking for advice on a reading device

I prefer to read books on my old Kindle e-reader. The e-ink allows me to read without any eye strain. I read magazines on my Kindle Fire tablet. If reading is your primary use for the device, I would go with one of the Kindles rather than paying a premium for an iPad. -Steph You can buy both a Kind...
by SRenaeP
Thu Feb 02, 2017 8:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for advice on a reading device
Replies: 13
Views: 1339

Re: Looking for advice on a reading device

I prefer to read books on my old Kindle e-reader. The e-ink allows me to read without any eye strain. I read magazines on my Kindle Fire tablet. If reading is your primary use for the device, I would go with one of the Kindles rather than paying a premium for an iPad.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Get $250 from Wells Fargo
Replies: 83
Views: 14725

Re: Get $250 from Wells Fargo

FYI. be careful, if you haven't already applied, the wording about who is eligible has changed. http://www.doctorofcredit.com/wells-fargo-250-checking-bonus-adds-new-targeted-language/ Looks like I got in under the wire. I just signed up a few days ago. At first I wasn't going to because I hate WF ...
by SRenaeP
Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spendthrift Daughter
Replies: 44
Views: 4831

Re: Spendthrift Daughter

Wow. What a slap in the face... If there is no rift in the family now, it will certainly cause one. I would think it would only cause a rift between the daughter and deceased father. I'm kind of in the same boat, only I am single, no kids and I have a couple spend thrift sisters that I don't want t...
by SRenaeP
Tue Jan 31, 2017 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 32420

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

Based on my reading, I think many people are reporting a one year vacation spending, not the annual vacation budget as the thread title said. I'm not sure I understand your comment. Are you saying one year vacation spending = actuals vs budget = planned? If that is indeed the case, perhaps it's bec...
by SRenaeP
Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fire extinguishers
Replies: 45
Views: 3273

Re: Fire extinguishers

One in the pantry, adjacent to the kitchen, and one in the garage.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for new credit card (with attractive minimum spend bonus)
Replies: 41
Views: 3672

Re: Suggestions for new credit card (with attractive minimum spend bonus)

i understand your reluctance to enter password info into award wallet..in that case, why not just use a spreadsheet on your own? a lot of their value is in checking all your accounts automatically and keeping track of expirations and such. Their process isn't perfect, but it works for maybe 80% of ...
by SRenaeP
Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drivers License May not be good for air travel?
Replies: 47
Views: 5721

Re: Drivers License May not be good for air travel?

No one on this forum should be sans a passport. Get one. You're assuming everyone on this forum has the good health, resources, and desire to travel. I am assuming everyone on the forum is working towards having the resources and having a passport is the best answer to ID questions in America. Whet...
by SRenaeP
Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MFJ vs. MFS
Replies: 5
Views: 1031

Re: MFJ vs. MFS

The simple answer is to prepare your tax return both ways and see which way will cost you the least amount of money. I suspect the answer is MFJ but it's only speculation until you actually run the numbers.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for new credit card (with attractive minimum spend bonus)
Replies: 41
Views: 3672

Re: Suggestions for new credit card (with attractive minimum spend bonus)

Are there really some utilities or similar that will let you pay with a credit card and not impose a fee? Actually, I know that my home insurer will allow that (or at least has in the past). That's part of the $4-5000 in upcoming bills I will soon have With the exception of the natural gas bill (sm...
by SRenaeP
Thu Jan 26, 2017 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for new credit card (with attractive minimum spend bonus)
Replies: 41
Views: 3672

Re: Suggestions for new credit card (with attractive minimum spend bonus)

The merrill lynch card offers a $500 bonus, or 1k if you redeem optimally within their rigid rules. No annual fee. A good card for a churner to exploit. Thanks. Not sure I'm so keen to engage with Merrill. Nor would I. In my application I picked "zero to 19k" assets with Merrill, and that BoA may n...
by SRenaeP
Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell service abroad, what did I do wrong
Replies: 29
Views: 2852

Re: Cell service abroad, what did I do wrong

If you have mobile data, not having cellular voice is a mere workaround. You can make calls via a variety of apps.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting the best current mortage interest rate
Replies: 10
Views: 1625

Re: Getting the best current mortage interest rate

I have found the discount online mortgage brokers to have the best terms and rates (aimloans, guaranteed rate) but their service might not be the best (there are natural challenges when everything is done via fax/email). If you have absolutely 0 issues with qualifying (20% down, great credit score,...
by SRenaeP
Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:31 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Metro Atlanta Bogleheads Local Chapter
Replies: 66
Views: 13411

Re: Metro Atlanta Bogleheads Local Chapter

mol3dad wrote:Hi Steph,

Is it in the same location as last time?

Thanks for the update!
Yes. I will send an e-mail tonight with all the details.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell service abroad, what did I do wrong
Replies: 29
Views: 2852

Re: Cell service abroad, what did I do wrong

If you travel much internationally, consider a switch to Google's Project FI: https://fi.google.com/about/plan/#works-internationally On a trip to Norway this past summer, Google Fi worked flawlessly for Voice, SMS/MMS, and Data (including GPS). The pricing transparency/simplicity (including credit...
by SRenaeP
Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell service abroad, what did I do wrong
Replies: 29
Views: 2852

Re: Cell service abroad, what did I do wrong

I haven't been to Australia but local SIMs work differently in different places. In Thailand and UAE, I was able to purchase a SIM card for $10-20 at a kiosk run by one of the local service providers. This included a set amount of minutes, text and data. I handed the employee my phone and they insta...
by SRenaeP
Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carribean island most like Hawaii
Replies: 63
Views: 9944

Re: Carribean island most like Hawaii

I grew up in Puerto Rico, and go back and visit family several times per year. I have also been to most of the islands in the Caribbean many, many times. I have never once felt unsafe or had any issues with theft/crime during all my travels in the Caribbean. I have felt more unsafe in cities like N...
by SRenaeP
Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carribean island most like Hawaii
Replies: 63
Views: 9944

Re: Carribean island most like Hawaii

The carribbean is a poor substitute for Hawaii. Plan to be disappointed. If you went to Hawaii looking for a Caribbean experience you would also be disappointed. Some of the islands that have been mentioned have small populations and are somewhat remote so getting more than basic medical care could...
by SRenaeP
Mon Jan 23, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you check your credit reports annually?
Replies: 48
Views: 3939

Re: Do you check your credit reports annually?

I pay my bills, reconcile my accounts, and jump on fraud. I have no need to suck up to the credit report scam artists--never have, never will. -- Tet That doesn't mean erroneous information won't get reported for you. I suspect some accounts get associated solely by address, not by name or SSN. I h...
by SRenaeP
Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carribean island most like Hawaii
Replies: 63
Views: 9944

Re: Carribean island most like Hawaii

Drew777 wrote:Not an island, but I think Costa Rica would meet your criteria.
+1

Also consider St. Lucia.

-Steph
by SRenaeP
Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annual Vacation Budget
Replies: 320
Views: 32420

Re: Annual Vacation Budget

average vacation spending in this thread seems really high We (family of 2) just got back from 10 days in Hawaii. While the lodging was cheap since we stayed with others, total cost was about $1k with $700 of that being for the flights and $100 in souvenirs. For food, we hit up costco and generally...