Search found 124 matches

by barreg
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is the cost of renting private rooms in San Francisco Bay Area so cheap?
Replies: 26
Views: 4608

Re: Why is the cost of renting private rooms in San Francisco Bay Area so cheap?

The 4th link is just barely inside San Francisco and not exactly in a desireable area
by barreg
Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New AC Unit broken or "feezing". HVAC company says it's my fault for "running it too hard". What can I do?
Replies: 55
Views: 6135

Re: New AC Unit broken or "feezing". HVAC company says it's my fault for "running it too hard". What can I do?

The line from our compressor to our condenser froze right shortly our new A/C unit was installed a few years ago. It turned out that there was a leak in the condenser and the HVAC company replaced it for no cost.
by barreg
Fri May 11, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insight Card (APY 5%) full personal review
Replies: 63
Views: 8745

Re: Insight Card (APY 5%) full personal review

My wife and I each have 2 Insight cards and we were able to link to/ACH from both Ally and Discover checking accounts. We're using Ally to avoid inactivity fees, since they'll allow scheduled $1 ACH transactions, where Discover has a minimum of $25 for scheduled ACH transactions.
by barreg
Sat May 05, 2018 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting my (financial) Excel spreadsheets to MS Access DB?
Replies: 17
Views: 1846

Re: Converting my (financial) Excel spreadsheets to MS Access DB?

If you could post some specifics on issues you're having, we might be able to provide more helpful suggestions. Another option is just to "import" the spreadsheets as linked tables, so the data doesn't really live in Access, but Access can query the spreadsheets, but depending on what prob...
by barreg
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen Faucet & Sink recommendations?
Replies: 55
Views: 8711

Re: Kitchen Faucet & Sink recommendations?

I hate our Delta faucet. It was great for about 6 months, but eventually it got the point where it was really difficult to find the exact handle placement to turn the water completely off. The handle has wide range of movement but there is only one place where it won't drip, and that place is not ea...
by barreg
Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to italy.........
Replies: 19
Views: 2925

Re: Traveling to italy.........

There are few good ways to limit/minimize tourist hordes when visiting Cinque Terre. -We stayed at a VRBO apartment in Sestri Levante, just north of Cinque Terre. There were a good number of rental/hotel options there, lots of restaurants, a beach, and it's an easy train ride to either Cinque Terre ...
by barreg
Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 2647
Views: 264775

Re: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show

I just finished the Frankenstein Chronicles, which I thought was very good. Following the political players wasn't always easy, but Sean Bean was great.
by barreg
Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rome-Florence-Venice-Prague summer vacation
Replies: 54
Views: 4222

Re: Rome-Florence-Venice-Prague summer vacation

I did not read all of the replies. My advice two weeks in Rome and maybe go to Pompeii. I've been to Italy four times as well as Venice and Prague. You will spend a lot of time travelling and not learn to understand one place in depth. I spent two weeks in Rome once. I stayed at an inexpensive plac...
by barreg
Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to think about your house from a financial perspective
Replies: 89
Views: 9685

Re: How to think about your house from a financial perspective

I think about my house as a money pit. There's always another expense coming down the road (though if I could just get my wife to stop watching HGTV, that would help). When we eventually sell, if we make money off it, that would be a bonus, but not something I'm counting on. We've made lots of impro...
by barreg
Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frequent Flier Miles 101
Replies: 53
Views: 7899

Re: Frequent Flier Miles 101

If you’re someone who can go with the flow then rewards points are great. If you’re someone that has to travel on exactly X day, to Y location, and stay at Z hotel, you will be less frustrated with cashback. What he said! I've struggled to find flights on several airlines for less than 40k round tr...
by barreg
Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Your bond allocation when you were 48
Replies: 125
Views: 9656

Re: Your bond allocation when you were 48

Roughly 35% bonds at 48. Putting most new money into bonds since stocks keep going up so much
by barreg
Thu Jan 25, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What will you do with your tax refund?
Replies: 87
Views: 8140

Re: What will you do with your tax refund?

I plan my W2 withholding so that my annual tax rebate or amount due is fairly negligible (under $100 either way).
by barreg
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legal to pay yourself to earn credit card bonuses?
Replies: 25
Views: 3583

Re: Legal to pay yourself to earn credit card bonuses?

Hands down best way is to open checking accounts and fund them with the credit card. You don't lose anything to fees; at most you'll pay $15 to open an account at a credit union. You have to do research to find out if your card will count it as a purchase or not. https://www.doctorofcredit.com/does...
by barreg
Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much house can we afford (Madison WI area)?
Replies: 25
Views: 2978

Re: How much house can we afford (Madison WI area)?

Think it was mentioned already, but if you want to stay in the Middleton school district, Cross Plains is considerably less expensive and the same district. Didn't realize how many Sconnie's were BHs
by barreg
Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Legal to pay yourself to earn credit card bonuses?
Replies: 25
Views: 3583

Re: Legal to pay yourself to earn credit card bonuses?

Hands down best way is to open checking accounts and fund them with the credit card. You don't lose anything to fees; at most you'll pay $15 to open an account at a credit union. You have to do research to find out if your card will count it as a purchase or not. https://www.doctorofcredit.com/does...
by barreg
Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Capital one 360 money market New $500 bonus
Replies: 44
Views: 10523

Re: Capital one 360 money market New $500 bonus

Hi..I just received a letter offering 1.3% interest if I open a new capital one 360 money market account and an additional $500 if deposit amount is $50 k or more. The interest is over 10x what my bank currently pays. It does not offer a debit card or checking and transfers to my checking account a...
by barreg
Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to buy new printer. Suggestions for best value?
Replies: 33
Views: 4329

Re: Need to buy new printer. Suggestions for best value?

Another vote for the Brother laser printer
by barreg
Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where do you get your auto loans?
Replies: 34
Views: 9423

Re: Where do you get your auto loans?

Another vote for PenFed Credit Union. I'm about a year into a 3 yr car loan for 1.49%. In the past, I've also taken Toyota dealer financing when they had 0% financing available.
by barreg
Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: help me optimize new snow tires
Replies: 30
Views: 2102

Re: help me optimize new snow tires

We don't have a second set of rims and just pay Costco ~$48 to do a seasonal tire swap in the winter and spring
by barreg
Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping a checkbook register
Replies: 122
Views: 11270

Re: Keeping a checkbook register

I track my checking account with an Excel spreadsheet. We write very few physical checks, but I generally try to keep a minimum $1k balance in our checking account (and the rest in a higher yield money market account at a different bank). Keeping it in Excel lets me track out planned spending for th...
by barreg
Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: European Cities that don't interest you
Replies: 187
Views: 16570

Re: European Cities that don't interest you

We spent three days in Venice this past summer, one would have been plenty. Wrong time of year and you probably only visited St Mark's Sestiere? You have to see Venezia off peak and get out into the other quarters . Otherwise the crowds are just overwhelming. Florence was the city I found to be no ...
by barreg
Thu Dec 14, 2017 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Tires? Worth it?
Replies: 147
Views: 10155

Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

The answer partially depends on the vehicle. Our Camry handles just fine in the snow with all season tires, but our Odyssey is almost undriveable in the snow unless we have snow tires on (but it handles great with snow tires)
by barreg
Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor
Replies: 76
Views: 10177

Re: Dad Needs Help Buying Wedding Liquor

PVW wrote: Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:26 pm White Zinfandel is generally very reasonably priced - but don't get the cheap stuff just because you think all White Zinfandels (and it's drinkers) are the same.
Isn't all White Zin "the cheap stuff"?
by barreg
Wed Nov 29, 2017 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Daughter did Summer job
Replies: 20
Views: 2362

Re: Daughter did Summer job

Similar to some other posters, my wife and I told our teen daughter last year that we'd match whatever amount she wanted to put into a Roth IRA. She opted to put in half of what she'd earned so that it would max out the Roth contribution. With regards to filing a tax return, the incentive for filing...
by barreg
Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Going from Post Pay to Pre Pay Phone service (Verizon to Total Wireless)
Replies: 3
Views: 704

Re: Going from Post Pay to Pre Pay Phone service (Verizon to Total Wireless)

I also plan on moving our family to Total Wireless in about a month, so thanks for the info and please come back and post again if you find more to share!
by barreg
Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beware Amazon Price Gouging
Replies: 74
Views: 11532

Re: Beware Amazon Price Gouging

I think I remember hearing about this a while ago. I don't remember the specifics. I will say that if you don't have Prime and take the regular free shipping, don't plan on getting items anytime soon. I ordered items last week and the latest is that they may start shipping tomorrow, so roughly 1.5 ...
by barreg
Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you budget for vacation?
Replies: 94
Views: 9224

Re: How much do you budget for vacation?

With a family of four, we usually take one weeklong vacation per year of about $5,000-$6,000 and several shorter vacations (usually long weekend) for a few hundred $$ each.
by barreg
Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifts for a marathoner
Replies: 25
Views: 2728

Re: Gifts for a marathoner

I'll second the suggestion of the Running Warehouse gift certificate. They free 2 day shipping, free returns, good selection, and shoppers can usually find a 10% off discount code online.
by barreg
Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need compact point and shoot camera recommendations
Replies: 32
Views: 3150

Re: Need compact point and shoot camera recommendations

I bought the Panasonic ZS100 for an international trip and it worked well for me. I wanted a camera with a 1" sensor for good image quality, but also with a decent zoom and the ZS100 was the only camera at the time that fit the bill (10x zoom). Thanks! I have been considering this because it s...
by barreg
Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need compact point and shoot camera recommendations
Replies: 32
Views: 3150

Re: Need compact point and shoot camera recommendations

I bought the Panasonic ZS100 for an international trip and it worked well for me. I wanted a camera with a 1" sensor for good image quality, but also with a decent zoom and the ZS100 was the only camera at the time that fit the bill (10x zoom).
by barreg
Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question for swimmers: Do Swim Jets work?
Replies: 12
Views: 5882

Re: Question for swimmers: Do Swim Jets work?

It's essentially the equivalent of a treadmill for swimming, but at least for a treadmill, you can quickly/easily change the speed and have a TV nearby to stave off boredom. During an average swim workout, each set I do is usually a different speed, so I would think it would be a pain to constantly ...
by barreg
Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving a car [in] Italy, any suggestion?
Replies: 56
Views: 6363

Re: Driving a car Italy, any suggestion?

I recommend the HERE app for using your phone as a GPS, without connecting to mobile data. Download the maps at home, before you leave. Google Maps has similar functionality, ability to download maps offline and use just use GPS (not data). However, I'd recommend buying a local SIM card and data pl...
by barreg
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Kitchen Remodel Price/Contractor Dispute
Replies: 37
Views: 5269

Re: Kitchen Remodel Price/Contractor Dispute

That looks awful. Whoever attached those baseboards was a hack. Any semi-competent contractor, carpenter, or DIY homeowner could have done way better. WTH is up with all the inside and outside corner trim?
by barreg
Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV show recommendations?
Replies: 573
Views: 235979

Re: TV show recommendations?

I haven't seen Glitch mentioned, currently on Netflix. People in a small Australian town start coming back from the dead, but it's not like Stephen King's "Pet Sematary" as they're not evil when they come back. Good sci-fi and the trailer for season 2 was just released. https://en.wikipedi...
by barreg
Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Italy in August Trip (Rome, Florence, Venice)
Replies: 43
Views: 3982

Re: Italy in August Trip (Rome, Florence, Venice)

Book as many sightseeing reservations/tours in advance as you can and try for the earliest available times. Temperatures aren't too bad early in the AM, but by 11am, it will be baking hot in Rome and Tuscany. We did the Colosseum Underground and 3rd Ring tour (buy from official Coop Culture website)...
by barreg
Wed Jul 19, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Costco/TrueCar auto shopping experience
Replies: 47
Views: 70833

Re: My Costco/TrueCar auto shopping experience

It's been a few yeas, but TrueCar was not a great deal. It also resulted in many high pressure phone calls from a participating dealer. My best deal was found simply emailing dealers. It took a few hours of time, but it was worth it. I'll second this. TrueCar was a good deal when it first came out....
by barreg
Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories
Replies: 71
Views: 6927

Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Chain tool. You will be walking if your chain comes apart. This goes in the small under seat bag. Hmm, I've never had a chain come apart while riding in 30 years of cycling. Chain tool is good to have when you want to replace your chain, but I wouldn't carry one with me on my bike in the unlikely e...
by barreg
Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations...Italy
Replies: 29
Views: 2871

Re: Recommendations...Italy

Rome in August is Hell. Yes, late summer in Italy can be brutal - except maybe mountains and far north. Not just late summer, pretty much mid-June to early September. However, getting to sights (e.g. Colosseum) as early in the day as possible helps some, as at least it's generally cooler and less c...
by barreg
Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations...Italy
Replies: 29
Views: 2871

Re: Recommendations...Italy

We did a 2 week family trip to Italy last summer, all of which was self-planned, and had a great time. Some of the best advice we received before the trip was: 1) Limit your itinerary. This was very difficult advice to follow, as you want to try to see as much as possible, but the day you arrive, th...
by barreg
Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Personal liability insurance in retirement
Replies: 24
Views: 2834

Re: Personal liability insurance in retirement

Suppose you have roughly $500K in retirement, your income is asset alone + your SS and a Pension. How much liability do you carry. Now suppose you cause a large accident like running into a bus and causing injury to everyone on board. If they win, do they garnish your SS and pension and seize all o...
by barreg
Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: August Vacation With Kids
Replies: 33
Views: 4314

Re: August Vacation With Kids

squirm wrote:Disneyland/world.
Disneyland (CA), maybe, but I can't think of anywhere with more miserable weather than central Florida (Disneyworld) in August.
by barreg
Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a rental car.. Any new experience?
Replies: 76
Views: 10988

Re: Buying a rental car.. Any new experience?

Yes there is a chance that car was abused a little, however no more than car from dealer lot. Most cars are being rented by business people that want to go from point A to B and don't abuse cars for fun. Agree with this. I traveled for work every week for years and rented about a billion cars with ...
by barreg
Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Actual physical ATM access internationally, and then changing notes
Replies: 26
Views: 2571

Re: Actual physical ATM access internationally, and then changing notes

I've never quite understood this obsession with avoiding ATM fees. On a typical trip it might amount to $10. Big deal. People don't want to pay for something which can be had for free. Call me obsessed Especially when it's really easy to setup a Schwab account and not ever have to pay any ATM fees
by barreg
Wed Mar 01, 2017 2:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated
Replies: 124
Views: 15386

Re: Traveling to Italy - 3 weeks in 2017, advice appreciated

Just a note that if you're looking at a Viator tour, they don't run the tours themselves, they're essentially just a reseller. In most cases, if you can purchase/reserve through the group that is actually running the tour, it's cheaper.
by barreg
Thu Feb 23, 2017 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler
Replies: 28
Views: 2377

Re: Looking for suggestions for a Wine Cooler

I can recommend Marvel wine coolers. We've had our 50 bottle unit for over 15 years and it's still going strong.
by barreg
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 5101
Views: 962119

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

My wife and I recently both applied for the Chase Reserve card for the 100k point sign up bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. Our next payment will put us over that $4000 limit on each card, so we'll get the points. I'm hoping to open another Chase credit card to use it for the sign ...
by barreg
Tue Feb 14, 2017 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Terrible negotiator - need help with words to use [Buying a car]
Replies: 103
Views: 11578

Re: Terrible negotiator - need help with words to use [Buying a car]

Count me in the just take the offer group. I go in with the range of "good prices" from the Internet sites like TrueCar. If it's in that range, then I say let's get it done. Maybe ask to throw in some all-weather floor mats or something similar for free. I have no interest in emailing ton...
by barreg
Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Silicone mat for small sheet pans !2"x 9"
Replies: 13
Views: 1512

Re: Silicone mat for small sheet pans !2"x 9"

I just use parchment paper in the bottom of my pans when baking. Around the holidays each year, Costco sells a large 2 pack of parchment paper, which tends to last me the whole year.
by barreg
Tue Jan 10, 2017 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit Card Advice for Large Purchase
Replies: 10
Views: 1827

Re: Credit Card Advice for Large Purchase

If you are a Costco member, the Costco Visa card gives a 3% rebate on travel. http://www.costco.com/credit-card.html The Costco card also charges a foreign currency transaction fee, so while he could pay for the large purchase with the Costco card and earn a decent cash back bonus (assuming that he...
by barreg
Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of your belly........
Replies: 82
Views: 13844

Re: How to get rid of your belly........

If the plan for losing weight is "a diet", it will eventually fail because going "on a diet" means that you will inevitably go off that diet. If you can think of it more as a lifestyle change, you're more likely to have success. You don't have to cut out any one thing completely,...