Posts by Farnoosh Torabi
- Farnoosh Torabi at Yahoo Finance25 days ago
How closely do you examine your recurring bills? Do you even look at the itemized charges? Even if you’ve opted for the ease and breeze of online billing and paperless statements, don't forget to take a few minutes each month to examine the fine print. Or at least read it. Otherwise, you could be washing away hundreds — possibly thousands — of dollars a year in bogus and disputable charges.
Next time you receive any of these bills either in the mail or in your Inbox, be on the lookout for unnecessary or, in some cases, false charges.
Landline and cellphone bills: Watch out for cramming
- Farnoosh Torabi at Yahoo Finance28 days ago
I love fashion just as much as the next person, but I’m usually too intimidated to walk into a high-end store like Prada or Gucci for fear that I’ll be recognized for what I really am — a bargain shopper. I mean, how many of us could afford $700 pumps or a $1,500 handbag? My natural inclination in these haute houses is to gawk at the price tags, not ask the saleswoman if those shoes come in a size 7.
And while I’m not someone who would normally ever be shy to ask for a discount, doing so at an upscale design house feels kind of inappropriate.
But I’ve recently learned that this, as with so many of our notions surrounding money, is irrational — and counterproductive. Even in the absence of a sale, you can negotiate at Prada and its fellow designer shops, according to the experience and expertise of Mark Ellwood, author of the recent book “Bargain Fever: How to Shop in a Discounted World.”
- Yahoo Finance1 mth ago
It’s a bad habit we’ve all been guilty of -- failing to eat our fruits and veggies on time and creating waste. It contributes to a worldwide waste of roughly 1.3 billion tons of food annually. Follow these simple steps to keep your produce - and cash - out of the trash. Separate Bad Apples from Good It’s said that one bad apple spoils the whole bunch, and it’s actually true! Apples emit ethylene, an odorless, colorless gas, as they ripen. A rotten apple produces more ethylene than a fresh one, so the apples around it will actually ripen and spoil faster. You can delay this process by removing any bruised fruit and storing fresh apples in the fridge to slow ripening. Also See: 5 Ways to Remove Odors from Plastic Add Lemon to Cut Produce For cut apples, slow the oxidation, or browning, by dipping them in lemon juice and storing in the fridge. This works for avocados, too. A cut avocado can stay in good shape for days as long as it’s refrigerated and the pit is kept in tact. A sprinkle of lemon also keeps it from browning. Separate Ethylene-Emitting Produce Bananas are another fruit that produce ethylene. To extend the life of your bunch, separate and wrap the stems with plastic wrap and keep them on the counter at room temperature. Also See: 5 Food Labels to Ignore The same goes for fellow ethylene producers tomatoes and avocados. Just make sure to keep them away from cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, lettuce and greens. These veggies are sensitive to ethylene and can spoil or wilt more quickly when exposed. Also See: How I Save My Community Millions on Groceries Revive Thy Lettuce Wilted lettuce can be revived by soaking it for five to 10 minutes in cold water and adding one tablespoon of lemon juice. Just rinse and enjoy. How do you keep fruits and vegetables fresh?
- Yahoo Finance2 mths ago
“My personal finance problems will just sort themselves out.” It’s a common mindset trap to assume that a windfall of money or some other stroke of luck will one day resolve your financial issues. It’s just wishful thinking and an unhealthy way to manage your money. It’s a sign you may be too scared to face reality. In fact, a new poll from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that 80% of us admit to making the worst decisions when it comes to our finances, since we’re afraid to reality and make tough changes. Also See: Financial Documents You Should Never Toss “I’ll just buy now and pay later.” A separate NFCC poll found that more than half consider overspending to be their biggest financial regret. And you can bet there’s a little voice in their head that says, “I can buy it now and just afford it later.’ Also See: Signs You Suffer from a Financial Disorder But with the average credit card balance among those with debt surpassing $15k, that’s a dangerous rabbit hole to go down. Making minimum payments at, say, 18% interest, it would take 13 years and $6,800 in interest to pay off that balance. “I can’t afford to save for retirement.” Another money lie we often tell ourselves is “I can’t afford to save for retirement yet.” But actually you can’t afford not to. Also See: 4 Bills You Should Never Autopay Time is money. The compound interest your money will earn over the years will yield a bigger balance when it comes time to retire. For instance, if a 25 year-old saves $5,000 a year, earning a 3% annual return, in 40 years there will be more than $300,000 in the bank. But if this person waits five years to begin saving and invests the same amount of money, she’ll wind up with $75,000 less by age 65. What are some other money lies you’ve caught yourself believing?
- Yahoo Finance2 mths ago
Americans spend roughly $5 billion on household cleaning supplies every year and growing. But do we really need all those detergents and liquids? One cleaning expert says you can skip the store and save money by employing some basic products sitting in your cabinets at home.
- Yahoo Finance2 mths ago
From wine corks to broken electronics, make 2014 the year of making more by cashing in on the things you really don’t need. Look around your house and you might find you’re just sitting on a pile of money…starting with that broken blender or busted washing machine. These items may not be worth much to you, but there’s a market for these run down items on eBay and Craigslist, according to the smart shopping experts at All You Magazine. “There are people who look for these items just to use their parts. They may try and repair them. You never know, you might get $50 for a completely broken phone that you didn’t think was worth anything,” says Rachel DeSchepper, Director of Digital Content, All You Magazine. Next, craft enthusiasts will pay for unconventional materials, like wine corks, paper towel or toilet paper rolls and buttons. “Who knew? You can get up to $20 for crafting supplies, things that you might have around your house. Crafters are always looking for these things. If you go onto Etsy, just list them there, on your own Etsy shop, and you can make money,” says DeSchepper. Finally, cash in on clutter or even holiday gifts including electronics, gift cards and kids’ clothes online. Also See: 4 Sneaky Retail Tricks If you got a new camera for the holidays, list the old one at usell.com, a site that compiles offers from dozens of other resale sites so you can snag the best deal. And, if you got a gift card for a store you don’t really like, get up to 92% of the value within a day from Cardpool.com. Also See: Easy Ways to Replace Missing Pieces “And if you have a lot of kids’ or women’s clothing around, and you want to sell those, rather than going to a consignment shop, there’s a site called Thredup.com. They send you a bag for free. You can fill it with all of the gently used clothing you want to get rid of. Send it back, no postage required, and they will evaluate the clothes and pay you from 25 to 40% back. It’s just so easy. It’s so convenient. There’s no reason not to do it!” says DeSchepper. What are some ways you’ve cashed in your personal items online?
- Yahoo Finance3 mths ago
In this day and age, is it worth shopping at a brick and mortar store like Best Buy? To compete with online giants like Amazon, Best Buy rolled out their competitive “Renew Blue” campaign this past year that price-matches and is improving both the in-store and online shopping experience. But is that enough to compete? Also See: Sneaky Retail Tricks Since the campaign, Best Buy shares have been on the rise and customers seem generally pleased with the service. The retailer’s in-store sales have risen by about 2% this year. And CEO Hubert Joly said its Blue Shirt representatives are receiving high marks and making positive movements in closing sales. If you want the item now for the lowest price, Best Buy price-matches. But the limit is one item per person and you need to show proof of the lowest price from a select group of retailers. Meanwhile, more and more people are shopping online and overall customer satisfaction for online shopping is up for a second year in a row, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, and in first place among e-tailers: Amazon. Also See: Earn Money When You Shop Online Amazon’s patented one-click shopping experience makes it too easy to pass up, but Best Buy has made steps to close to the gap. With a better search function, an option to pick up purchases in store, and a shorter checkout process, Best Buy has seen a 15% increase in online sales since last year. It’s tough to compete with Amazon’s double-digit growth rates, but brick and mortar stores aren’t going away anytime soon and Amazon may even go that route with small boutique retail spaces where they can showcase their own proprietary products like the Kindle Fire. Also See: The Best Cell Plans for Kids Bottom line: If you want your item in hand immediately, Best Buy is your best bet because you can test it in store and walk out with the lowest price. If you prefer to read reviews before you buy an item and enjoy one-stop shopping, Amazon is one click away. Where do you prefer to buy your electronics?
- Yahoo Finance3 mths ago
The average family of four throws out 132 pounds of food a month, wasting close to $2,000 a year, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. While some of that food’s spoiled and should get discarded, we’re tossing far too many fresh items out, partly due to confusion over expiration and “use buy” dates. Neither the FDA nor USDA requires or regulates expiration dates on groceries, with the exception of baby food and infant formula. Instead, manufacturers determine ‘Best by,’ ‘Use By,’ and ‘Sell By’ dates and all it means is that it’s the last day the food maker will guarantee flavor, quality or freshness. Food date labels can lead to confusion and waste, according to a report from the NRDC and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic. Here’s a rundown of foods that, if stored properly, are fine to consumer days or even months after the printed date. Also See: 5 Ways to Remove Odors From Plastic Peanut Butter After the ‘best before’ date, an opened jar of processed peanut butter will last six to eight months stored in the refrigerator or three to four months in the pantry. Natural peanut butter is good an extra five to six months kept in the fridge. Dairy Next, dairy items are probably the most commonly tossed foods that can actually remain fresh longer. Eggs can usually be consumed for three to four weeks past the carton’s ‘sell by’ date, and hard-boiling extends their life another seven days. Milk stays fresh up to a week after the “sell by” date. And, best to store it on a middle shelf – instead of by the door - where it’s cooler. Also See: How I Saved $6,000 with Coupons Butter, meantime, lasts up to two weeks after its been opened, and it can be frozen for an extra six to nine months. And, yogurt doesn’t need to be eaten before the ‘sell by’ date either. An opened package will last up to a week, and unopened containers of yogurt stay fresh two to three weeks after the printed date. Greek yogurt is usually fresh for another one to two weeks. Meat & Poultry When refrigerated properly, no need to toss meat and poultry as soon as the date’s up. Raw chicken, beef and turkey are usually safe to prepare for one to two days after the printed date. After cooking, these will keep up to seven days in an airtight container to lock out moisture and contaminants. Raw or cooked, these can be frozen for six to eight months, too. You’re generally safe to eat fresh deli meat five to six days after the printed date. Processed, packaged lunchmeat lasts up to 10 days, and bologna can stick around for one to two weeks after the printed date. Also See: 5 Disappearing Brands in 2014 Condiments & Canned Items Finally, FDA0 and canned goods have the longest shelf lives. Unopened canned items including
- Yahoo Finance3 mths ago
We stopped by Iris Lingerie in Brooklyn to put shapewear to the test. Check out our top three recommendations, the best you can buy for less. Instant Slimmer First up, if you’re looking to trim your waistline and hide some of that belly bulge, try this Instant Slimmer by Maidenform’s Flexees. The thicker material and piping can make it a tad uncomfortable to wear, but it does offer extra firm support that cinches your waist, sucks in your stomach, and even gives your bust a little lift. Plus, it fits nicely over your bra. For $18, no wonder it’s a best seller. Also See: The Best Way to Buy Perfume Lace and Smooth Body Briefer Next, if you’re looking for moderate support that’ll smooth out the lines in your silhouette, consider a bodysuit like this Lace and Smooth Body Briefer by Bali. The lace is soft and breathable and has built-in underwire cups so you don’t need a bra. Consumers love the feminine design that’s comfortable enough to wear all day. Originally priced at $52, we found it on sale for roughly $20 on Amazon. Also See: 5 Questions to Ask Before Buying Your Next Piece of Jewelry Mid-Thigh Shaper Worried about the lower half of your body? You can help firm up the look of your thighs, tummy, and your backside with this Mid-Thigh Shaper from Assets By Sara Blakely. The material is not as thick as Spanx, but for $18, you get double the support you’d find in a pair of control top pantyhose. Also See: Sam’s Club Versus Costco: Store Brand Match-Up Finally, no matter how much you spend on shapewear, make sure to hand wash all your pieces. Throwing garments in the wash can damage the elastic. What are some of your shapewear favorites?