Search found 1182 matches

by centrifuge41
Sat Sep 25, 2010 6:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discover Card Bonus Time
Replies: 11
Views: 2872

My problem with them is the tiered rebate formula. I don't remember the tiers, but I believe they start with only a 1/4 % rebate, then increase to 1/2 %, then 3/4 % and then finally top out at 1%. Discover card's normal cash back is 0.25% from $0 to $1500, 0.50% from $1500 to $3000, and 1% after 3k...
by centrifuge41
Wed Sep 22, 2010 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Allowances..........did you get one or give one now?
Replies: 52
Views: 6639

I received a small allowance starting in middle school - maybe $5 a month then, with a $5/month increase every year. Towards high school, my folks sometimes forgot about it, but no sweat! I generally could ask my folks if I wanted to buy stuff, and they'd buy it for me without making me spend my all...
by centrifuge41
Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Feedback from Page Plus Customers
Replies: 23
Views: 3292

If I purchase a phone and have a Page Plus number 'randomly' assigned to it, can I at a later date port an existing number over to that same phone? I believe that should be fine - just note that you'd lose any credit attached to your "temporary" number. The quality of the calls should be the same a...
by centrifuge41
Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you contribute to an HSA (Health Savings Account)?
Replies: 26
Views: 5691

Yes, I have an HSA. I am young and in good health (no expected routine costs), so I opt for the lowest cost option with my employer, which happens to be a high deductible plan. The deductible isn't even that bad - I can't say 2k is really that high of a deductible. My employer uses Optum Health Bank...
by centrifuge41
Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Feedback from Page Plus Customers
Replies: 23
Views: 3292

We have a year to go with two phones so termination fee is $230 @ $115 per phone .. that and getting new phones+activation will likely offset most of the savings. If you port your number, activation is free anyway. Activating a new number is free if you do it through Keith Wireless instead of Page ...
by centrifuge41
Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepaid Phones and Plans
Replies: 45
Views: 6814

Could I get a used verizon droid phone from ebay and use it with the page plus $29.95 1200 minute/text plan or $44.95 unlimited minute/text plan? Yes, I believe you can get a used Droid and use it on PagePlus. However, you'll blow through 50 MB pretty fast. I don't personally use data with Page Plu...
by centrifuge41
Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for Feedback from Page Plus Customers
Replies: 23
Views: 3292

FrugalInvestor and Chuck T, I just switched from a Sprint family plan to Page Plus a few weeks ago after doing some good research. Verdict? So far so good. Page Plus has cheap enough rates that even if you call a moderate amount, say up to 500 minutes a month, you can come out ahead. Since it's on t...
by centrifuge41
Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepaid Phones and Plans
Replies: 45
Views: 6814

Oh, the thing that really pushed me over to using prepaid was the announcement a few weeks ago that Google Voice has free US/Canada calling :) If I want to make lengthy chat calls, I'll wait till I get home then use my PC. I have a box that converts a phone RJ-11 cable to 3.5mm speaker/microphone ca...
by centrifuge41
Mon Sep 20, 2010 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prepaid Phones and Plans
Replies: 45
Views: 6814

I just switched to Pageplus recently. Bought a $50 card on eBay to have 1000 minutes for 4 months - if I have tons left over after 4 months, I'll top off with a $10 for 100 minutes card. Pageplus's per minute rate of 4 to 6 cents for the $25 to $80 cards is low enough that I'll come out ahead of a t...
by centrifuge41
Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: financial aid for college process
Replies: 40
Views: 4203

Remember (IMO), getting loans and "work study" is worthless, so unless you get free money you didn't get any financial aid. If you have a 7 figure net worth, you don't need a loan to pay for college. And you don't want your child working during school. Make them dig ditches and work their butt off ...
by centrifuge41
Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: financial aid for college process
Replies: 40
Views: 4203

Thanks. I thought so but just wanted to confirm. Can kids take out loans to fill any gaps in this situation or is that part of financial aid? Let's say school costs 50k, including tuition, fees, room, board, and some other stuff they budget in (food, transportation allowance, etc). Say school says ...
by centrifuge41
Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm done with Tmobile, any suggestions?
Replies: 23
Views: 3901

Walmart Straight Talk Plans No contract,,,Its Trac phone with VERIZON coverage,,,,Ive used them for 6 months now ,excellent coverage and plan prices are very good.you have to buy a straight talk phone .Im using the 30 dollar a month plan,1000 ,minutes talk,,,1000 text....30mb of web .No problems ht...
by centrifuge41
Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How watch real TV using computer's screen ?
Replies: 17
Views: 2840

Thanks for replies. Regarding HaupPauge product ... it sais "No need to open your PC: just plug into your USB 2.0 port". Does that mean the computer that is power-offed will still run it? Think that means you don't have to install a card (like a video card, sound card, etc) in your PC. Correct. Thi...
by centrifuge41
Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How watch real TV using computer's screen ?
Replies: 17
Views: 2840

What you'll need is called a "TV Tuner". It lets you feed incoming signal, whether coaxial, S-Video, composite, etc, to your monitor.

If you have a desktop, an internal one that runs off of PCI would be good. Some USB ones are a bit laggy and/or the video gets out of sync.
by centrifuge41
Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: GPS map update
Replies: 9
Views: 1601

New map for $50? Which GPS model do you have? I'd say probably not, if you have an inexpensive GPS. For example, say I have a Garmin Nuvi 255w from 2008. It'd probably make more sense for me to sell it for, say $80 on ebay (pocket about $65 after shipping/fees), the buy a refurb 255w for about $90. ...
by centrifuge41
Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I bought my computer
Replies: 40
Views: 4359

Definitely backup your personal files (docs, pics, movies, etc.) onto a separate hard drive (either commercially available desktop or portable drive or online backup system). other than that, you are pretty much good to go! While not a replacement for backup onto another drive, I recommend setting ...
by centrifuge41
Tue Aug 31, 2010 7:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I bought my computer
Replies: 40
Views: 4359

Congrats on your new purchase! I would install two free programs for spyware prevention: Spybot Search and Destroy (teatimer is optional - I don't use it), and Spywareblaster. The former has an "immunize" function, setting up your browser to block off a lot of known bad domains and sites. The latter...
by centrifuge41
Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much to spend on a vacation?
Replies: 30
Views: 5514

Well, you only live once. But then again, there is balance to all things. We went to Paris (and London) a few months ago. Granted, we found a <$400 round airfare from Newark to London, and from Luxembourg back to Newark. This part of the trip deal might not be replicable. But everything else wasn't ...
by centrifuge41
Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it time to buy a new car?
Replies: 47
Views: 6919

There's an old joke that I fear may become true, something along the lines of: when an idiot-proof device is developed, Mother Nature will come up with an improved class of idiots to deal with it... OP has a lot of liquid savings, so should not feel bad buying a new car. But, a few logical things I...
by centrifuge41
Mon Aug 30, 2010 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: e-Bill Pay: how do you handle this?
Replies: 36
Views: 9959

If a bill takes a credit card (typically, cell phone, tv/internet) I will use a credit card to earn cashback. I'll pay manually because this allows me to burn up rebate Visa gift cards, as they come in. If a bill does not take a credit card, I will use e-bill to have my bank account push the account...
by centrifuge41
Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How would you respond to market timers?
Replies: 31
Views: 3658

Ok, this is a rather "expressive" diagram, but it is terribly funny! Could be relatively accurate for some market timers too.

Image
by centrifuge41
Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any coupon moms out there?
Replies: 32
Views: 3866

Hmmm ,I don't subscribe to any newspapers so I don't use coupons, May be worth it to get the Sunday edition. I find that printable coupons are often of a higher value than those in the Sunday paper, and easier to find too, as there are archives with links to them, and they are linked right off of d...
by centrifuge41
Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any coupon moms out there?
Replies: 32
Views: 3866

I'm coupon dude. I find that the bulk of my savings happens in a few transactions. Of particular note are mega sales from the Kroger family of stores. YMMV by geography. By reading Slickdeals and Hotcouponworld, I can see when the match-ups are insane: sale, coupon, e-coupon, and catalina (pieces of...
by centrifuge41
Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Vanguard Fund for 18-22 year olds.
Replies: 7
Views: 1520

Interestingly, the underlying composition looks the same as VFIFX (TR 2050) for now, but the expense ratio is 1 basis point lower. I guess I'll switch to this in my 401k, from TR 2050, as soon as it's available :)
by centrifuge41
Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Used Appliances a Good Idea?
Replies: 31
Views: 6662

When we moved, we found a nice W/D "set" on Craigslist for $225. The washer was 7 years old, but it was a Kenmore with dual cycle wash. The dryer was a digital dryer. Also, the seller was only 3 or 4 miles from our place, so it was easy to haul the two pieces back, one at a time. There's a lot of W/...
by centrifuge41
Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: anyone play the lottery?
Replies: 90
Views: 9753

Haha, nope, I've never bought any lotto tickets. I generally don't like doing things that have a negative expected value (health insurance, auto liability, etc aside - I'll just say that those have a positive expected utility). :)
by centrifuge41
Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best SAT preparation/practice books?
Replies: 39
Views: 7742

Indeed, College Board has a first party "10 Real SATs" book. Unfortunately, only 2 or 3 of the practice exams are in the new 2400 point format. The remaining tests are all older 1600 point tests. I found a Kaplan book that has 10 practice SAT's in the new 2400 point format. However, I can't say how ...
by centrifuge41
Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mail in rebates
Replies: 14
Views: 2122

Last I read, mail in rebate redemption rates hovered around 54%. If you are diligent, you will come out ahead with MIR's, probably because lazier/less meticulous people are subsidizing your good deal item purchase. Sample scenario: store Big Box B has a product for $100 - $50 MIR. You are diligent, ...
by centrifuge41
Thu Jun 03, 2010 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Washington, DC vs Charlotte, NC
Replies: 42
Views: 9402

One other thing that worries me is that I work in finance and I see a 11.9% unemployment rate in the Charlotte metro, which has been hard hit due to the heavy banking concentration, versus a 6.7% unemployment rate in the DC metro. It seems like if either of us were out of the job it would be relati...
by centrifuge41
Wed Jun 02, 2010 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Washington, DC vs Charlotte, NC
Replies: 42
Views: 9402

Re: Washington, DC vs Charlotte, NC

Where in DC do you live? How is the commute? What about the rent situation? Charlotte is indeed much cheaper, as are most cities in the SE outside of Florida. Your commute should also be a lot easier. While Charlotte isn't devoid of traffic, it's a lot more compact than DC. Even if live near I-485, ...
by centrifuge41
Mon May 17, 2010 11:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Separating value/growth to minimize taxable dividends?
Replies: 9
Views: 1376

I'm looking up the small cap growth index (VISGX) on Google finance. For the past 10 year period, the alpha is 7.1 and the beta is 1.17. I've heard in the past that it is good to focus on the four corners of the 3x3 for asset allocation (large growth and value; small growth and value). Any data or e...
by centrifuge41
Mon May 17, 2010 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Separating value/growth to minimize taxable dividends?
Replies: 9
Views: 1376

Separating value/growth to minimize taxable dividends?

Hi all! Sorry if this is a repost - I'm not sure if the forum provides a way to search solely by subject/title instead of post body content. Vanguard has small and mid cap indices broken up: Small cap value (VISVX) Small cap growth (VISGX) Small cap index (NAESX) Ditto for mid cap value, growth, and...