Ravenous Wolf

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Everything posted by Ravenous Wolf

  1. Okay, I got myself a mountain bike for Christmas. But back in the Dark Ages when I was a kid, all you needed was just for your feet to turn the pedals. However, I imagine that a lot of stuff is needed just to ride a bike, like helmet, etc. So what is the cheapest way to go to get all the accessories (and what are). I also realized that I do not have enough space in the back of my SUV to put the bike back there so what is the best thing to buy to attach to the end of my vehicle.
  2. Thanks for all the feedback. Now I simply divide by 2080 to get an hourly rate (or multiply the hourly rate with 2080). I figure that "2087.14" is the correct number but 2080 is probably the best answer since I imagine that that is what a lot of employers use.
  3. What is the correct or the best accepted way that most employers calculate hourly pay? I want to derive the “hourly rate” from an annual base salary although there will be some assumptions. So is the following equation the way that most employers compute it: Base annual salary divided by 52 (which is fifty two weeks in a year). Take the sum of that value and then divide it by 5 (which is for five days in a work week). Finally, take the sum of that value and then divide it again but by 8 (which is eight hours in a day). For example: Annual base salary: $70,000.00 $70,000.00 divided by 52 (weeks) equals 1346.1538461538461538461538461538 1346.1538461538461538461538461538 divided by 5 (which is for five days in a work week) equals 269.23076923076923076923076923077 269.23076923076923076923076923077 divided by 8 (which is for eight hours in a work day) equals 33.653846153846153846153846153846 Then that amount is rounded off for this hourly wage hour is: $33.65 Of course there are assumptions that I am not taking into account like working more hours in a day, if you did not work a particular day (like Christmas) then you did not get paid for it, etc but I am only concerned about the generally accepted practice for calculating that amount from a given annual amount. And part of my confusion is because 7 (days in the week) times 52 (weeks in a year) equals 364 (for the number of days in a year). Also, another question is which place in this equation is the accepted practice to "round off" for the calculation. In the above equation I only rounded off at the very end to get an hourly wage; but where does the rounding off happen and does it really matter? I also need to know about whether or not the inverse of that equation is still true. That is, take an hourly wage, multiply it by 8 (eight hours in a day), then multiply that sum by 5 (five days in a work week), and finally multiply that value by 52 (fifty two weeks in a year). For example: An hourly wage of $32.00. 32 X 8 = 256 (a day's pay in an eight hour day) 256 X 5 = 1280 (one week's pay of a five day work week) 1280 X 52 = 66,550 (which is the annual amount if someone worked each day of a five day work week times 52 weeks) Hence, the amount of pay for an entire year is $66,550 based on working $32.00 an hour for five days in a work week and then multiplying that sum by 52 weeks. I am also ignoring the assumptions but is the above equation the generally accepted practice that most employers use. Any feedback or comments would be greatly appreciated.
  4. I am also from the state of Texas and my second lien is held by Dyck O'Neal. The amount is so small but I am paying off other bills first before I get to it.
  5. That is really good news!!! One key advice that struck me years ago: If you don't ask, you don't get... So even though you still had to pay something, it is sure much better than having to pay everything. And that is the result of asking (sometimes firmly asking).
  6. Also, something I always wondered about (because of so many horror stories I heard from the people I have known who described what happened to their relatives) is that it entirely depends on you die. For example, nearly all policies do not cover what they consider dying doing a dangerous activity. One co-worker from years ago explained that her brother drowned at a nearby lake that was always popular with boaters, families, etc during the summer. Well, swimming is considered a dangerous activity since you can drown in water; so the life insurance policy of her brother didn't cover that. A project leader of mine who enjoyed flying a Cessna explained that getting life insurance to cover him for flying was outrageously expensive; since that can be a dangerous activity. So getting cheap life insurance with plenty of loopholes is still not worthwhile. But I don't know what would be considered good coverage?
  7. My co-workers told me a litany of tales about that so it was a rude awakening for me. For example, making a mortgage payment means having a big wad of cash in the bank which sits there since many electronic transfers takes a while to process. So some of my co-workers "thought" they still had plenty of money available and bought a big ticket item. BAM... they got hit with reality. Banks always had a FIFO system because it required powerful software to turn it into LIFO. My work experience of years ago was with mainframes so this kind of computing power doesn't come cheap. However, times and technology has changed. The cell phone that an elementary school kid toys with is much more sophisticated and powerful than what people could only dream of twenty years ago.
  8. A big part of it that I remember from the business law classes (before the era of everything going electronic) I took in college is that a "check" is a very different animal; a negotiable instrument. So that in of itself, for decardes, has a legal standing that is far different than overcharing a credit card. Not only do you owe something, it also has serious legal ramifications and potential that will land you in the can with somebody who wants to start calling you Susan. There still is no debtors prison but a negotiable instrument is treated far differently. In essence, even if you didn't do it (and that includes an inactive account), you are still on the hook. Over time laws have gotten better and they have gotten worse, depending which state you are in. That being said charges and fees are not negotiable instruments. But having an inactive still has all the potential of something happening that you will be liable for. But probably less so today with electronic banking although financial institutions are still eager to charge fees.
  9. Here is an interesting article about that written in 2004: How the Other Half Banks The depressing, amazing "payday loan" business. Posted Monday, May 10, 2004 http://www.slate.com/id/2100276/ What strikes me is how long ago it was written but it is still so relevant and timely.
  10. Granted, I have been out of banking world for a long time and the new toxic atmosphere has totally changed in how many, if not most of the banks operate. But I got my first two bounced checks YEARS... I called up the customer service rep and they looked in the history of my account and she agreed that I never bounced a check before so they reversed the two NSF charges (but they won't do it again). They also gave me a brief explanation of their process. I knew the money was there but I was running low on funds. Consequently, I transfered money from another checking accounting (which I am trying to build an emergency fund) to what is more or less my primary checking account (the account that was running low). Besides, there was still enough cash to cover most of the stuff that was pending. Now here is where I am unclear. Maybe it has always been this way but I just don't remember it being so. The banks I worked at operated in a FIFO system. That is, first in, first out, so as along as the cash was in there, regardless if it was when it was put deposited, then it would be used to cover the pending transactions that became due. But what the customer service rep described to me sound more like a LIFO system, last in, first out. So in other words, even if there was cash sitting in my account, a pending transaction claimed that particular cash until the transaction was finally processed. And since one of my bounced transactions was a "checkcard" transaction, it was "pending" for a very long time (some check card transactions do remain as pending for a long while). So in other words, if it is indeed a LIFO system (from check card transactions), then I definitely have to know what was in there and who it was for. I know it is no longer possible to float checks. I used to be the King of Floating, but those days are long past me with how everything is electronic. But I was just curious to how the banking operates in that respect, especially in what has chanced since I have been in the business.
  11. I thought that the only flipping that was going on was the one finger salute. But I hate to imagine the pain that a lot of people went through when the real estate market went down the tubes. A lot of house flippers got burned.
  12. House flipping makes a comeback Flippers swoop in at public auctions of foreclosed homes, buying from banks eager to move the troubled properties off their books. http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/Extra/house-flipping-makes-a-comeback.aspx
  13. I have been so curious about this now that I am getting older. All of my insurance policies have been through work but I have never had one on my own. I need to get serious about now that I am an older parent with three small kids. So I am very interested as well.
  14. A long while ago I wanted to file for bankruptcy but my BK attorney said that I had to get caught up with my mortgage payments first because my house is something that could be taken away from me. And he advised me to stop making payments on everything else before I file for BK. Unfortunately, it took a couple of years to get caught up on my house payments because it took so long to finally get funded for a second mortgage. Long story short, I want the money I paid to my BK attorney back (because I won’t ever have to file for bankruptcy). The BK attorney has never done anything for me but he has consulted me a couple of times. And more or less that was it (so in other words, he helped me ruin my credit). And this BK attorney is also impossible to get a hold of. He has laid off his paralegal, his legal secretary, and finally laid off his part time morning receptionist. No one answers his office phone anymore but the couple of times I dropped by his office this year I just found the light on to his office. Also, the last couple of times I spoke to his part time receptionist before her last day of work she said that he does everything himself (especially since he laid everyone off) like filling out paperwork, etc; she wasn’t a legal secretary, only a receptionist. And because of a new job I have I cannot try to “surprise” him by popping into his office. So what is an effective way to get my money back (since years have elapsed and he has never done anything for me)? I don’t want to treat him like a debt collector because he has something I want (my money). And in a previous lifetime I was an office manager and an accountant for a law firm. Their attitude was not to pay any of their bills (unless it was something that could be taken away from them like their copier). They felt that since they were lawyers these vendors were never going to sue them. So that is why I want to handle this matter very gently and diplomatically (and this money could come in really handy right now). Any comments and feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  15. I remember when the CRAs stopped the practice of piggybacking; using someone else’s good credit to be an authorized user on his or her revolving credit account (usually a stranger who paid a huge fee). The result was that the good credit would tremendously help the person with bad credit. I also remember that there was a huge uproar because of this blanket action against spouses who were in no way trying to “piggyback” on an account that belonged to a total stranger. And I remember the CRAs relenting on the issue so people can now piggyback if and only they are piggybacking with their spouse. However, I have been so out of touch with CRA developments that I don’t know what their current position is on the issue. So does someone’s good credit still help their spouse’s bad credit if the spouse with bad credit becomes an authorized user? If so, how does a CRA determine if an authorized user is a spouse? And how does someone with bad credit ensure that he or she will still reap the positive benefit of a spouse’s good credit?
  16. It has been such a long time since a creditor deleted a trade line for me but how is credit information completely removed from a credit report? I know any subscriber to a CRA that has this feature enabled can delete stuff. However, I only remember original creditors doing this for me and the only upgrade module that I can remember is Bull’s Eye (for Experian). I am still trying to locate a rare and old letter from an OC stating that they are going to delete all of my “lates” but if nothing happens, then send the CRAs a copy of this letter (that was a long time a go and CRAs no longer accept documentation with any kind of letterhead on it). But what are the names of all of the CRA products that subscribers use to update or remove trade lines? I don't know if Bullseye is still an Experian product? And what is the correct lingo for this procedure since I have been out of the loop for such a long while?
  17. Who are the people trying to collect? If it is a CA (like a junk debt buyer) and they own it (since it is years old), then they are blowing smoke up your [EXPLETIVE DELETED] because they only bought for pennies on the dollar. And if they are a junk debt buyer then they will try to make all kinds of claims that you owe this huge amount even though that is amount is non-existent. But you got to try to find out who owns the debt and who is the one collecting on it.
  18. Is there anything that shows up on your credit report? If so, what does credit report say about this trade line (like the debt collector who is trying to get money from you)? There are a lot of dirt bag collectors trying to collect on stuff that has absolutely no documentation for it (or for stuff that has already been collected or paid).
  19. A while ago Bank of America gave me a second mortgage but it took forever and a day to get it funded. It was through a home saver program (not sure which programs are currently out there). And there were so many hassles to get it even though getting approved for it was not really the issue. There were just so many hoops to jump through (they needed a fee paid or this or that done). Aso, it took an endless number of phone calls that lasted several months and one SNAFU after another even though their customer service rep said that everything was processed. And then out of nowhere, BAM, my second mortgage got funded. And this second mortgage doesn't even show up on my credit creport. It is actually a collection agency that I make the payments to (it is a 15 year note). I could have paid it off a long time ago but that is on the back burner for me because I am paying off other stuff first (stuff that will impact my credit). I don't want the interest to pile up but I am addressing some other serious needs first. So it can be done but it takes an enormous amount of patience and a heck of a lot of persistence.
  20. Unfortunately, I think the automatic answer from a sleep study is the CPAP machine for the rest of your life. And that wasn't the solution for me so I opted for the surgery after the results from the second sleep study (which was done with the CPAP machine). I had the uvilectomy, tonsilectomy, and the septoplasty (all done at once). My insurance denied the PPP? (I don't remember what the fourth character is). The laymans term for it is "trimming the palette" which is the MOST effective of all four procedures (which will stop the snoring and the sleep apnea). However, even with the three procedures it still went a LONG way to help me. I recently had a sleep study and it was determined that I had no sleep obstruction so I didn't need a PPP? surgery (even when I was hooked up to a CPAP machine for that sleep study). I also lost over thirty pounds and I now have a better diet and I exercise regularly so that helps a lot too. But yeah, I think it is very suspicious that the only answer seems to be a CPAP machine (for the rest of your life). The outfit that was offering me the CPAP machine hounded me every day for a few weeks to when I was going to drop by and get one. I went to a totally different place for that very recent sleep study that wasn't in any way connected to the outfit providing CPAP machines.
  21. I am finally going to take the plunge and go completely electronic in managing each and every transaction. Consequently, I would like to know the experiences people had using software like Money or Quicken (I am new to this). My intent is to use all of November and especially December to track everything that my wife and I use with our check cards. And then we can have all the kinks sorted out in these months so everything is ready to go on January 1. I don’t need anything complex because I desperately need to track our spending and planning out future expenditures. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  22. If this guy already had a job, then he may not have the need for snatching purses... But it was pretty funny that the woman actually followed the purse snatcher to where he went; to apply for a job...
  23. Mass. police: Victim finds robber applying for job http://www.rr.com/news/topic/article/rr/8459870/9237280/Mass_police_Victim_finds_robber_applying_for_job
  24. You are absolutely correct and I one hundred percent agree with you. In college my accounting classes, especially the auditing and tax law classes, they drilled into us paper trail, paper trail, paper trail. And as my business law professors explained that if you can't document it, then it doesn't exist; and the better documentation, the more irrefutable it becomes (I won't get into verbal contracts because that is a totally different animal). I remember a tax law professor asking the class why drug dealers don't accept checks. The class erupted in laughter but the professor went on to explain traceability and an audit trail. I probably wrote about my experience as being more amusing, especially since I mentioned in my original post about the "esoteric" nature of money and that the federal government doesn't accept its own money as payment. But also in my original post, I was probably more concerned about "Murphy's Law" than anything else because I had to make my tax payment on the last day possible. Due to a miscommunication with my tax preparer, I kept pushing back the date I was going to make my tax payment until it just became the last possible moment. And because I didn't want some kind of SNAFU to pop out of nowhere with my checking account, I just went ahead and pulled out cash. Although just about everything with banking is now electronic, I have personally known two people (before everything became electronic) who bounced checks with the IRS and they were in a world of hurt. And I also stand a far greater chance than average of being audited (I will explain in a moment) so I hated being pushed down to the wire in making my payment. When my employer rehired me as an independent contractor to finish out the remainder of the contracts with the customer, the agreement with the customer is that the customer will pay 75 percent of my wage. And since the customer is now directly footing 75 percent of my wage, they can and have directed me on what I am doing at my job (so my boss is more or less the customer or they have greater say of what I am doing). And since the customer is the federal government, that just put a greater emphasis on ensuring that I made my tax payment on time (my tax preparer wasn't the least bit concerned about me incurring penalties if I was late). Since this was my first tax payment as a consultant, I don't know all the ins and outs of government contracting (but I am carefully tracking everything that is deductable). But you are absolutely correct in pointing out traceability. I just find it a bit amusing that the federal government doesn't accept cash.
  25. This is the first time I have ever been an independent contractor. My employer re-hired me for more money after they laid me off so I could finish the remainder of their contracts. Because I waited until the last day to submit my quarterly tax payment to the IRS, I figured that it would safer if I just withdrew money from my checking account and paid in cash. And because of Murphy’s Law I didn’t want anything strange to pop up with a check since I was making the payment on the last day possible. At the IRS office I waited and waited in line until it was my turn. I then pulled out a bank envelope (it was all in hundreds and an even number so I didn’t need any change back). My jaw dropped to the ground when the clerk explained that they only accept check or money order. Okay, I am a newbie to this process but I couldn’t fathom why our own federal government doesn’t accept its own money for payment. I didn’t want to mess with depositing money in my bank account and then writing a check so I went to the Post Office and got a bunch of money orders. Now I am a firm believer of our banking system (even when many of them crapped out). And taking a number of business law and tax law classes in college I understand the whole concept of checks. But I find it so unusual that our government chooses the banking system over its own money. So now I know. I will make my next quarterly tax payment earlier and with a check. And I completely understand that whatever becomes law, it must be followed. I just remember so many years ago a couple of esoteric topics that my business law and tax law professors taught us about the nature of money. But times have changed so I have to keep up with the times.