Episode-2357- Listener Calls for 1-10-19 — 21 Comments

  1. eBay has great opportunities when it comes to buying hand tools. I buy all sorts of ancient USA made stuff that not only works, it’s actually fun to collect and hand down to the young guys.

  2. As far as keeping track of your fixed + variable expenses & profits in a business, I would really advise not trying to roll your own models & formula in Excel.  Why not just use something like QuickBooks?  It will ask you questions & figure all that stuff out for you.  Then if you do start having employees and such, it’ll handle the other “fun” things that come with being a small business, like filing & paying payroll taxes.  You really don’t want to be wasting your time as a business owner trying to do that stuff on your own.

    • Mainly because it locks you into things that may not be of benefit to you.  I will leave it there.

  3. Butcher Block etc.   My dad grew up in the depression, both of his parents were suffering from mental health issues, they were destitute, living in a rural area between a couple of Indian reservations.  He was often hungry, cold, didn’t even own a shirt at the age of 12 until he talked his mom out of a flour sack and made something. Often didn’t have shoes.   When looking for something to get them for Christmas, this issue came up.  They have enough stuff, phone calls, sending them pictures, etc is much appreciated.

    They have money, my dad has always been careful with money, raised an amazing garden, stored, prepared. When I talked to him a last fall, he was concerned because they were eating too many TV/microwave dinners.  He was like we canned 80+ qts of grape juice and had no energy left to cook ourselves meals. I was thinking if I canned that much grape juice, I would be tired too.  My parents (in their upper 80’s) have their canning system down, I watched/helped them a couple years back when visiting. My mom uses a walker, and uses it to also help with moving stuff around in the kitchen. 

    Sadly my nieces, nephews, son who live in the area do not have the time or desire to learn these canning skills from them. To them eating out is a luxury/splurging, they are not safe driving themselves beyond their neighborhood.  Thankfully there are a several stores, and places to eat out. They do not want to impose on others. They are used to eating home cooked meals much from their garden, homemade bread, etc.  Thus convenience meals are like eating cardboard.

    My sister lives next door and was bring them meals over when she could, but later they were like no thank you, but pick up our groceries when you pick up yours.  I found out it was because my sister cooks with rice a lot, and they are not rice fans and were missing out on potatoes.  I let her know, and she is bringing them non-rice meals from time to time.

    We got them gift cards to their favorite place to eat close enough for them to drive themselves safely. It was much appreciated.   As looking for options on meal delivery, most of the delivery services where fast food.

    • Hey TX Mom, remember this episode.

      You just may be able to use something like this to help out.  Not my go to for meals but way better than grocery store crap.  Would ship well with some planning and a large if it ships it fits box could keep the cost down.  Just a thought.  Or if you dive there on occasion drop off a few cases and just have them put the empties in the box and swap each time you visit.  Super easy to do.

      • That’s a thought.  Heavy to ship though. Odds are they already have the canning jars and some of the dried foods. At one time they had lots of canned soups and stews with veggies from their garden and would just open a jar of those, but as they got older they aren’t able to do as much.   Don’t grow as many veggies as they once did, but the grapes, and fruit trees continue to produce more than they use by themselves.

  4. I would not suggest Ridged tools.  They fall apart easily and their batteries also crap out rather quickly.  Sure there is a warranty on them (make sure you register your tools in order to return them) but it is rather difficult to get them repaired under the warranty.  Also only batteries that are bought in a pack with tools are covered under warranty… and when you get your batteries back after replacement or repair they are no longer covered.  At least this is the way they ran it a few years ago when i invested in them.


    If you are looking for an alternative to DeWalt i would go with Milwaukee.  Solid tools and their batteries seem to keep up especially when going with a larger amp hour.  They also have a ton of tools that work on their system (Even a table Saw).

    • Sorry I find that to be absolute nonsense.  I know multiple contractors that run hundreds of jobs a year using Rigid and none of them have a bad thing to say.  This sounds like you got a bad tool or two and blamed the entire line.

      I do agree though that Milwaukee tools are very good, Bosh as well.

      • Was a contractor with several ridged tools.. the tools mostly did okay (not as good as other brands) but the batteries constantly crapped out.  Like to the point I’d have ten or so batteries and you would have to throw them on charge at the beginning of the day so you could use them even if you charged them at night.


        And multiple contractors that run hundreds of jobs a year? With nothing bad to say about ridged?

  5. Regarding 529 plans.  While I understand some of the shortcomings of 529 plans, in some states (Indiana for example) you get a 20% state income tax credit, up to $1,000, on your contribution.  Contribute $5,000 and get $1,000 back is not a bad deal.

        • Well you just locked up the money and it is going to cost you more than that 20% go get it back out to use if for anything but what they state says you can use it for.  It is also now locked into an investment vehicle where they can change the rules if they want to.

          If you insist on a program a ROTH IRA would shelter the gains and still leave contributions available for no penalty withdrawal.

          Additionally as the state (lower case s) is doing wanna bet it is a special 529 and you are required to use in in said lower case s state?

        • Worse than I thought, not only do you have to use the funds in Indiana you get no control over the investments. They do it for you, so they are likely forcing you into Indiana bonds, which are likely tax free muni bonds in the first place.

          So while you get the grand back they control how your money is risked and your rate of return. And the ability to grow tax free means effectively nothing. In other words Uppgrayyedd is gonna get his money.

  6. Hi Jack – I appreciate your insight and feedback.

    This is the Indiana plan I am referring to.

    I do get control over the investments and there are different investment options to choose from.  (Most being Vanguard Index funds)  The savings can be used at any college or vocational school in the United States.

    There very well may be plans with the restrictions you outline above.  And, I don’t disagree with you that a ROTH is a viable option.  I would have gone with the ROTH option if the 20% tax credit was not available to me.  And although nothing is set in stone, I am relatively sure at least one my two children will pursue a college or vocational education where this money can be used.  But, you are absolutely correct in that it could possibly cost me more than 20% if I were to withdraw the money for a non-qualified expense.  A risk I am comfortable with.

    Thanks again for all you do!

  7. One thing to keep in mind if going with cordless tools, the Porter Cable line could very well be phased out by Stanley Black and Decker since they now have the Craftsman V20 line. Multiple ‘tool sites’ thinking there is too much redundancy. Just a thought as once you are in on one line, hard to switch.

    • Good point but I don’t see them getting rid of that line, the installed base in money in the bank and they don’t have squat in the nail gun world without it.

      • Lowes does not own any part of Craftsman.  Craftsman is a brand owned by Stanley Black & Decker and sold through various retailers – Lowes being one of them.

      • It’s a very confusing transition period to be sure. You can find Craftsman ‘V20’ tools at Lowes and other retailers now, but still (for as long as they remain open) find 20v tools at Sears sold as Craftsman and not compatible with each other.

        I agree with you this is not a sure thing and probably not anything to worry about, but with SB&D now having so many power tool brands (dewalt, craftsman, PC, black and decker, etc) it seems like one may end up on the outside looking in….not meaning to scare anyone just thought id mention it. If anything maybe the caller could find good deals on whichever line starts to fade.