Posts by Jeanie Ahn

  • Giving flowers this Valentine's Day? We tested delivery services.

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    Looking to wow your loved one with that perfect bouquet on Valentine’s Day? We ordered a dozen roses from four different delivery services and asked Denise Porcaro, top-notch florist and founder of Flower Girl NYC, to tell us who did it best. Here’s how they ranked:

  • 4 ways we’re flushing money down the drain - in the bathroom

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 9 days ago

    We all go to the bathroom for relief, but our wasteful habits result in loads of money and natural resources down the drain. For some economic relief, here are four small habits you can change to save big and lead a greener lifestyle. Install a water-saving showerhead Get this: the average American family uses about 40 gallons of water just to shower each day, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And 20% of that running water goes down the drain while we wait for the water temperature to get just right. We’re not saying you should jump into a cold shower, but if you switch your showerhead to one with a “WaterSense” label, it could save your household 2,900 gallons of water per year. And with less water to heat, you’ll save on energy, too. If every single U.S. household were to switch over, we’d instantly save close to $5 billion a year, as the EPA estimates a collective annual savings of $2.2 billion in water utility bills and $2.6 billion in energy costs to heat it. Use less toilet paper It turns out that wiping away our own waste is a big waste of money. In one year alone, Americans spend $6 billion on toilet tissue -- that’s about 50 pounds of toilet paper per person. It takes a forest of 384 trees to make enough toilet paper for one man to use in his lifetime. Now that you know, doesn’t it make you want to use less when nature calls? Free your toothpaste A study by Consumer Reports found that up to 13% of toothpaste can be left behind by failing to squeeze out the trapped toothpaste. For a few bucks, buy a reusable tube squeezer that can easily help you get to what’s remaining. You also don’t need more than a pea-sized dab of toothpaste when you brush because the abrasives in the paste can be damaging to your enamel. Skip the 2-in-1 shampoos We all love twofers that save money and space, but shampoo/conditioner combos may not be worth it for a number of reasons. Not only can the product build up faster on your hair, leaving your hair heavier and dull, but all that conditioner on your scalp can make your hair flat and greasy sooner than if you were to shampoo your scalp and condition your ends. Feeling greasier faster results in more showers, and the cycle of waste continues. WATCH MORE: 4 diets that are a waste of money

  • 6 must-have drugstore beauty products under $10

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 12 days ago

    Women can spend hours trying on makeup in stores, but spending hundreds of dollars on designer cosmetics simply isn’t an expense most of us can afford. But beauty doesn’t have to come at such a steep price. One of Yahoo’s very own makeup artists, Maria Ortega, says there are plenty of high-quality products you can get right at your local drugstore. Here are her top 5 drugstore swaps for designer cosmetics. 1. Simple Nourishing 24hr Day/Night Cream = $10

    This moisturizer is the perfect base for your makeup and lasts all day. It keeps skin hydrated and allows makeup to remain intact for 24 hours. Ortega says something comparable at a department store would cost at least $40.

    For a full list of all the drugstore makeup products Maria used for this makeover, see below:

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  • Are online stylists worth it? We tried Stitch Fix and Trunk Club and here’s the truth.

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 18 days ago

    Stylists aren’t just for celebrities anymore. Today anyone can get outfitted by the pros through online stylists who promise to up your fashion game, and without you having to trek to 9 different stores to find the perfect black dress. Once they get to know your style and size, you get a boxful of clothes and accessories selected just for you. But how well do these services deliver on their promise to customize outfits tailor-made for your budget and lifestyle? A few of us at Yahoo Finance tested popular online stylist sites, Stitch Fix and Trunk Club to find out. How Stitch Fix works: After filling out an online survey, you wait a few weeks for a delivery “fix” of 5 items. Within 3 days, you buy what you like and return the rest. The average price per item is $55. There is also a $20 styling fee, but it’s applied as a credit toward anything you keep. If you decide to keep all 5 items, there is a “Buy 5” discount of 25%. How Trunk Club works: After you sign up for the service on the site, you chat with your stylist over the phone. They send you a preview link of the items they’ve chosen for you and you provide feedback about what you like and don’t like. With that feedback, they send you 15 items within 1 to 2 weeks. Truck Club’s is Nordstrom so everything they source is from that department store. Prices range from $50 to several hundreds of dollars per item. You have 10 days to try the clothes and send back what you don’t want. All three of us have different body types, styles, and budgets. Check out the video above to see how we fared. Justine’s take: Out of 10 items from Stitch Fix, I kept one piece. Out of 15 items from Trunk Club, I kept 4 pieces. While the prices of my Stitch Fix items were lower than those from Trunk Club, the quality of the items was so poor that I found them to be more overpriced than Trunk Club. In terms of bang for your buck I would rate Stitch Fix a C and Trunk Club a B-. By using these services I am "paying for a stylist," which saves me the time and hassle of shopping, so expectations for getting a great deal might be unreasonable. Nicole’s take: Stitch Fix was affordable, but I felt like I was getting Forever 21 clearance items for Zara prices. They really didn’t get my style at all. They may as well have sent me a velour tracksuit. I didn’t keep any items. But I do want to be fair -- the stylists are supposed to get to know you over time. I bet if I kept sending things back and discussing what I liked and didn’t like with my stylist, the Stitch Fix shipments would get better. But I’m not going to do that because the first shipment was so off the mark. Trunk Club felt better than Stitch Fix from the get-go. I had a phone conversation with my stylist, who was really nice and personable. I feel like she got me. I liked the clothing though there wasn’t that much diversity, I think nearly everything I received was some version of a black sweater. It was also very expensive-- like $400 shoes expensive. Still, I kept a skirt and a shirt and got lots of compliments when I wore the outfit to work. I was happy with the service, and think that I can afford to keep an item or two every other month. I’ve spoken with my stylist and we’ve scheduled another shipment. I hope she doesn’t hate me after she finds out I was secretly making a piece for Yahoo Finance! Jeanie’s take: I was really impressed that everything from both boxes fit well, because my petite recently-had-a-baby body isn’t the easiest to dress. Overall, I like Stitch Fix better because the items they sent were flirty, but professional, while Trunk Club’s pieces were more practical, good quality, staples like pants and solid-colored tops. In the past 4 months, I’ve received a “fix” each month and I keep an average of 2 items per box. From the last fix, I’m keeping one sleeveless black and red dress. From Trunk Club’s 15 items, I’m keeping 1 pair of pants. For a tally of all our ratings, check out the chart below.

  • Switching careers later in life: What you need to know

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 1 mth ago

    Getting laid off can be devastating, especially when it happens in your 60s. But for 72-year-old Alice Longworth, her layoff 10 years ago was the best thing that ever happened to her.   “When I was laid off, I felt like jumping in the air and clicking my heels together,” Longworth says. Even though she loved her colleagues at the nonprofit where she worked as a fundraising associate, she craved a more creative role and knew she couldn’t go back to the same type of data-driven work. After some self reflection, she recalled a time when she enjoyed her work as a typesetter, combining images and texts on a page, and decided it was time to build up her skills in graphic design.  

    “I knew I would have to work until I dropped. I wanted to be doing something I really enjoyed,” says Longworth. It was then, at the age of 62, that she decided to make the leap and start over.

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  • It's possible to save on quality childcare. Here's how.

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 1 mth ago

    Finding trustworthy, quality childcare is tough enough, but factor in what it can cost you, and you’ll never want to go out. But families everywhere are getting creative and figuring out ways to make it work on a budget. Here are some of my secrets to saving on childcare. Split the cost of a nanny with a nanny share If you want to hire a nanny but you can’t afford one, a nanny-share may be just what you need. The more kids being cared for, the higher the cost. But a nanny’s rate won’t double because she’s watching two kids, so the savings for your family can be significant. How does it work? You can either have one nanny watch both kids at the same time or you can divvy up the nanny’s time throughout the week. If you don’t already know of a family you want to start a share with, start by reaching out to your network. Parenting groups on Facebook and Meetup.com are a great resource; parents frequently post status updates seeking and giving advice, recommending excellent nannies, requesting baby items, and also just venting to one another. Before you commit to a share, spend time getting to know the other family’s parenting styles and expectations. It’s important to iron out all the details (and there are many) about how much you want to pay a nanny, what to do about vacations and meals. If your children get along and the chemistry between the families is in sync, this can be a great arrangement because your child will get more one-on-one attention than in a daycare where they typically have one caregiver watching four children at any given time. And having a playmate around will help your child with socialization and development, too. Have room in your house and enjoy company? Consider hosting an au pair. It’s important to note that au pairs are not live-in nannies. While live-in nannies are more experienced childcare professionals, au pairs come to the United States on a cultural exchange visa to live with a host family and care for their children. Because you’re paying for room and board, an au pair’s salary averages about $360 a week or $19,000 a year. And most au pairs are insured by the agencies that place them, so you don’t have to worry about covering their health care. But they are living with you, so expect the monthly heating, food, and water bills to go up. Hire babysitters through your local university If you have kids in school and you need after-school care, go through your local university for college students looking for part-time babysitting work. For instance, some of the local colleges in my city, like Barnard and Hunter, have dedicated programs to match students to local jobs. Their rates are typically lower, but they can keep up with the high energy of your little ones and they’re probably better at helping out with homework than you are. Join a babysitting co-op For the nights you just need a date night, join a babysitting co-op or start your own with friends you trust. I joined one with four other families. No money is exchanged, just time. The closer you live to one another, the easier it is to babysit. With our co-op, you get one point for every hour you watch someone’s child – and you lose a point when someone watches yours. If you’re at -10 points, you can’t ask anyone to watch your child until you gain more points by watching someone else’s child. And all of this is tracked on a shared spreadsheet. What are some ways you’re saving on childcare? Tweet me your tips @jeanie531 or in the comments below.

  • Interview confessions of a former recruiter: 5 things to avoid

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 1 mth ago

    Time and time again, former recruiter Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio has seen job candidates get far along in the job application process just to fail during the interview round. Now as a career coach and co-founder of SixFigureStart, Thanasoulis-Cerrachio, who worked at Merrill Lynch, educates people on the mistakes to avoid in the job search and interview process. Here are some of her best pieces of advice. #1 Don’t be overconfident and wing it “Recruiters have a sixth sense of when candidates are winging it,” says Thanasoulis-Cerrachio. If you’ve made it far enough in the job process to land an interview, make every effort to prepare for it. Far too often, she’s seen candidates who should’ve snagged the job, but fail to do so because they were underprepared and overconfident. #2 Don’t take the phone interview lightly A lot of recruiters will start the job interview process by screening candidates over the phone. Phone interviews are basically like open-book tests, says Thanasoulis-Cerrachio. “It’s an opportunity to have all your notes in front of you, you just have to prepare and get those examples ready to go.” And making a good impression over the phone will get you in front of them for the next round face-to-face. #3 Don’t forget to focus on quantifiable results When sharing an example of your strengths and successes, lead with quantifiable results. Often candidates will begin by sharing one success story and jump to another before completing their first thought. “Instead, if you’ve increased revenue by 50%, lead with that statement and then go into the story because now you have my attention,” says Thanasoulis-Cerrachio. #4 Don’t just prepare responses to the tough questions Before walking into an interview, most people will have answers prepared for the tough questions about their biggest strengths and weaknesses. But when employers ask, “Can you walk me through your resume?” you’ll be surprised at how many people stumble, she says. The best way to answer this basic question is to be concise and to the point, as well as enthusiastic and positive about your accomplishments. #5 Don’t be shy about how much you want the job “As a recruiter, I always want to hire the people that really want the job. If I’m going to extend an offer, I want to know that you’re going to accept,” says Thanasoulis-Cerrachio. After expressing your interest, end the interview by letting your interviewer know how you can bring significant value to this role. Have a job-related questions? Reach out to us at YFmoneymailbag@yahoo.com. READ MORE:

  • What it’s like to be a minority in the workplace today

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 1 mth ago

    America is more diverse than ever -- and only getting more so.  According to the Census Bureau, more than half of children in the U.S. are expected to be part of a minority race or ethnic group by 2020. But even though we have more cultures in the mix, age-old racial stereotypes still hold some people back both personally and professionally. Sure, at work most people are on their best behavior, censoring their words and behaviors. But it’s not uncommon for minorities, who make up 21% of the workforce, to experience racial slights on a daily basis. To better understand what it’s like to be on the receiving end of these biases, Yahoo Finance spoke with a diverse group of professionals and found that most have been, at one time or another, victims of racial bias in the workplace. Munir Jawed, a 29-year-old Indian-American and founder of “The Regulars,” a payment platform for freelancers, says potential investors would constantly ask him who his co-founder was, expecting him to be the tech guy. Nilsa Salgado, 25, a soft-spoken introvert working as an educator, says her colleagues expect her to be “sassy” and “opinionated” because she’s Hispanic. On the other end of the spectrum, Tamara Best, an African-American media professional, told Yahoo Finance, “As a black woman in the workplace, if you are passionate about what you do, or you’re passionate about what you’re talking about, that can sometimes be labeled as “angry.” Real estate broker Benjamin Eversley, 30, says he works twice as hard to prove himself and show people that black men are educated. Even with the best of intentions, Eversley says his colleagues typically engage him in conversations based on their preconceived notions. “I like rap music...but that’s the only thing they talk to me about. They really don’t want to talk to me about real issues, about what i really care about,” he says. Cat Sandoval, a 34-year-old Asian-American journalist, says she feels the pressure to be smart and know everything at the office: “I’m human, I’m just like everyone else, and I’m free to make mistakes.” Faced with the challenge of creating a welcoming, productive working environment for all, many companies are working to improve their corporate diversity programs. Whether they're instituting new "unconscious bias training" programs to help banish biases like Facebook and Coke, or creating a diversity task force to tackle the problems, corporate diversity is a hot topic.

  • Resume confessions of a former recruiter

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    What are employers really thinking when looking at your resume? To find out, we asked former recruiter and co-founder of SixFigureStart, Caroline Ceniza-Levine. It’s a myth that resumes get you in the door “While your resume is one of the things you need to have, don’t expect it to open doors for you,” says Ceniza-Levine. Instead, hone in on the companies you want to work for, and try to tap people in your network who are connected to those companies. When searching for the right candidate employers prefer getting referrals from their friends and colleagues and searching on sites like LinkedIn. Your online profile is more important than your resume These days recruiters are looking online for the right candidates, so prioritize your online profile before your paper resume. Employers focus most on the “experience” and “summary” sections, so use descriptive keywords about your skills and industry expertise, advises Ceniza-Levine. For example, if your goal is to land a marketing position, sprinkle in as many related keywords like “strategy” and “brand” throughout your entire profile. Online peer endorsements can help, but references matter more It can certainly help that former colleagues gush about how awesome you are to work with on your LinkedIn profile, but if a recruiter is seriously considering you for the job, what your references say will trump any online peer endorsement. Be strategic about what you put on the first page of your resume If you have over 10 years of experience, your resume will probably spill over onto a second page -- and that’s OK. But be strategic about what you put on the first page because recruiters only spend 5 to 7 seconds skimming your resume, says Ceniza-Levine. “The summary is the first thing that people see, so don’t try to make room on your resume by taking space away from this section,” she says. Most employers don’t read cover letters, but the ones who do really care If recruiters are only spending a few seconds on your resume, they’re probably spending even less time on your cover letter. But if they’re looking at all aspects of the candidate, some employers can look carefully at your cover letter so you still need to write a strong one, says Ceniza-Levine. As most pros advise, your letter should be tailored to each position and company you apply for, but writing them shouldn’t be too time-consuming; you can use the basic structure for each one and tweak the relevant parts for different jobs. READ MORE:

  • Put a ring on it for less: 5 secrets to saving when diamond shopping

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    (Check out the video above for an exclusive Yahoo promo code on diamonds.) A diamond is forever, or so they say. But no one wants to pay off a diamond forever. With engagement season in full swing, many are looking for a special sparkler. To get the most for your money, Blue Nile CEO Harvey Kanter shares his secrets to saving hundreds, if not thousands of dollars when shopping for a diamond. Buy right below the half-carat marks

    Diamond prices increase disproportionately at the carat and half-carat marks, so Kanter advises that shoppers try to buy just shy of these critical weights. For example, instead of a one carat diamond, look for a .95. That will save a significant amount of money, and the slight size difference won’t be noticed. Can you guess which diamond is worth more?

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