South Bend, IN
I'm a chartered retirement planning counselor and finance writer.
That's exactly right. If they quote you something the first time that doesn't jive with the current rate environment, chances are they are going to just be aggressive while trying to sell you on how they can help you out to bring the rate down so that it seems like they are doing you a favor or giving you a deal. In the end, all you're probably doing is paying higher origination fees, buying points, etc.
2 years ago on How to Prepare for Refinancing Your Home Mortgage
@carpe135 Thanks, I'm glad to hear it! And the adjustments sound good. Never thought of using cheese like that. Great idea.
2 years, 5 months ago on Award-Winning Steak Chili Recipe to Feed a Crowd for Under $25
@sanderson I'd call this chili middle of the road as the recipe stands. It's not going to have you searching for water after a few bites, but you do feel the heat as you eat it. If you want to kick it up a bit, try adding a few diced jalapenos (seeds and all) into the marinade mixture. Adding one diced serrano instead also adds some nice heat. And if you don't have fresh chilies, you can always up the amount of cayenne. Good luck!
@Christian L Thanks for the comment, Christian. I actually forgot to update the author of this post as it was actually written by one of my guest contributors, Charissa.
But I'm with you. It is pretty rare to encounter a situation that warrants a poor tip. But I have no problem leaving just a 10% tip if the service is just awful. Doesn't happen often though. Otherwise I almost always tip around 20%. And when possible, I try to leave a tip in cash even if I'm paying for the meal by credit card. I know servers usually appreciate that.
2 years, 5 months ago on Do You Tip Too Much at Restaurants?
I'm guilty of public record stalking. Used our public property tax record website, and recorded document database to research all the homes and neighborhoods when we were buying a house a few years ago. Very valuable tool! Unfortunately, it can become a habit. I started looking up more and more info. Saw that we overpaid on our first house we bought back in 2005. That sucked.
We also had some new neighbors move in early this year, so curiosity got the best of me. I was thinking, hmm, I wonder how much that house sold for. I better go check! So I did, and was pleased to see how high it sold for. Then I looked up the owners to see who they were. Looked like a married couple, but their names were different. Interesting, so one thing led to another and I found out all about them, where they went to college, where they work, when they got engaged, etc. Linkedin/fracebook/google leads to some quick answers!
I've never used this information in a public situation so it's mostly for research and idle curiosity. I still poke around in the records these days, but that's only because I'm constantly on the lookout for a new investment property opportunity. So if I drive buy a new building for sale I'll come home and look it up and dig up all the history on it to see if it's a good deal or if there's some sort of hidden nightmare.
2 years, 5 months ago on Stalking Property Tax Records
I'll jump on the more coffee bandwagon. It was a bit disappointing that the coffee usually ran out by the time the first speaker started. I like to drink coffee all day, so having it available at least up until lunch would be nice.
2 years, 6 months ago on #FinCon12 Post-Conference Survey Results
@blockermarty Yep, just double everything. Two large cans, two small cans, two peppers, etc. Should be good, just make sure to do two batches in the processor so it doesn't overflow.
And the salsa lasts about a week just fine in the fridge, but in my experience it's eaten long before that.
2 years, 8 months ago on Homemade Salsa Recipe – Cheap and Easy
@blockermarty Is this just going to be one of many items being served, such as for chips and salsa? If so, probably doing a double batch would be plenty so that everybody gets a decent serving. I've done just a single batch as per the instructions here for groups of about 10 and it worked out well. If you're going to be using the salsa as a condiment for other foods as well as for dipping chips you might want to make just a little bit more.
In my opinion, Spotify is one of the greatest things to happen to music in a long time. I started with the free account last year, but after just a few months I hopped on the premium plan. I love that I have my playlists and music is available from any device, anywhere. From my computer to my phone while I'm on the road, it's there. Even better is we recently bought a new sound system for the home theater, and it has built-in bluetooth. So now I can pair my iPhone with my sound system and listen to and control the music throughout the house with the phone in my pocket. How cool is that?
2 years, 10 months ago on Five Places You Can Listen to Music for Free
@POR Oh, and I just wanted to also add to my other comment that most good policies will include some debris removal under Coverage A, but the limits are generally quite low. But it's at least worth checking to see how much is covered before opting for additional coverage.
2 years, 11 months ago on Protect Yourself from Catastrophic Loss With an Umbrella Policy
@POR An umbrella policy is for liability, not the replacement of damaged property. It is true that standard homeowners coverage will cover the replacement value of the structure, but not specifically things like debris removal. You can add this coverage with your insurer, so if this is a concern for your situation I'd check with them to see how much it would cost. I suppose it might be possible for an umbrella policy to cover something like this, but I'm only aware of the liability protection so you may want to ask your insurer about that as well.
@matertenebrarum Being it's smaller, it certainly won't take as long. You can probably easily shave a few hours off the time and be fine. I'd probably start with 4 hours and then begin checking the meat to see how tender it is after that. If it has a bone in it, a sure test is to try to pull the bone out. If it slides right out of the beat, it's done. If it doesn't, you can rely on pulling it apart with a fork and sampling to see how tender it is.
2 years, 11 months ago on Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork Recipe for Under $15 – Easy and Frugal
@anymtr Loan payments are in addition to any regular contributions. So if you kept your 401k contribution where it is you'd have a total $550 deduction from your paycheck. Hope that clears it up for you.
3 years ago on The 401k Loan: How to Borrow Money From Your Retirement Plan and What You Need to Know
@timelessfinance I used to spend a bit of time on the Ontario highways, but that was many years ago so I can't compare that to today. But these days, I really enjoy the slower pace you can find on rural highways instead of the major interstates. Not a fast way to travel by any means, but there is so much history and amazing sights to be seen off the beaten path.
3 years, 1 month ago on How to Take an Inexpensive Road Trip
@howsmarriedlife I hear ya. I'm still waiting to hear back from my accountant about this year's return, but I think we will be getting a little something back this year. Some of it will probably get saved for some upcoming travel and then the rest will probably go into one or both 529 plans.
3 years, 1 month ago on How to Spend Your Tax Refund
So, how much money would it take to get in? Say you wanted to buy $100,000 worth of Facebook stock, would that be enough to get grab the attention of the firms behind the offering? Or is this simply going to be such a hot IPO that unlike UA in your example, investors will need to come to the table with significantly more money?
3 years, 1 month ago on Like This: How to Buy Facebook IPO Shares
@bwarfield Nothing to be very concerned about in terms of taxes. As long as you roll it over properly into an IRA there are no tax consequences for doing so. And once the money is in the IRA it remains tax-deferred until the money is withdrawn. So you can buy, sell, trade, receive capital gains and dividends, and all of that within the account and it will not trigger a taxable event. Instead, you defer all taxes to withdrawal, at which time the money you take out is then taxed as income.
3 years, 2 months ago on How to Roll Over Your 401(k) When You Leave or Lose Your Job – The 401k Rollover
@meloweee Unfortunately, this is one of the big drawbacks of 401k loans. These loans are tied to that specific plan, and rarely do new providers assume existing loans. The same is true if you lose your job or leave a company before the loan is paid off. You generally only have a specific amount of time to repay the loan in full or else the balance gets treated as a premature distribution and would be subject to taxes and/or penalty.
3 years, 2 months ago on The 401k Loan: How to Borrow Money From Your Retirement Plan and What You Need to Know
@vaveni That time frame looks fine. As long as it gets a good overnight marinade and then a solid few hours simmering on the stove to bring it all together, then there's no problem with just heating it back up the next day to actually serve it. Good luck!
3 years, 2 months ago on Award-Winning Steak Chili Recipe to Feed a Crowd for Under $25
@vaveni I use the mild beans, so you should be all set.
How is that book? Embarrassingly enough, I've had E-Myth Revisited sitting on my bookshelf for over a year and haven't even started reading it yet. :(
3 years, 4 months ago on 5 Things To Do Before Starting a Business
This is a good one. Nobody wants to envision their business failing, but it happens more often than not, so being prepared and having that exit plan or backup plan in place can be crucial.