Posts by Jeanie Ahn

  • What to do when daycare costs more than college

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 5 mths ago

    Dalia Gokirmak, 31, and her husband Oscar, 41, always wanted a big family. But when they found out they were having twins when she was pregnant for the second time, reality sunk in immediately. “I’ll be honest, I pulled out the calculator right away,” Oscar says.

    Though they would’ve preferred to stay in Hoboken, N.J., the couple knew they would not be able to afford $1,600 a month per child, the going childcare rate in the area, plus the cost of moving to a bigger home. So they packed up and moved to the neighboring town of Union City where daycare rates are around $600-$700 a month.

    But unlike college, where you have years to save up, the sticker shock of daycare leaves families scrambling to make ends meet. “We’re seeing a huge shift of families postponing buying a house, having kids, and saving for retirement,” says McCready.

    Help for low-income families

    Only 1 in 6 low-income families that are eligible for government subsidies are taking advantage of the financial help available to them, according to Child Care Aware. That’s a result of low awareness of financial aid and long waitlists for daycare.

  • The most expensive diamond engagement rings

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 5 mths ago

    Popping the big question can be one of the priciest events of your life. According to a recent report by Jewelers of America, couples spend an average $4,000 on the engagement ring alone.

    But when celebrity couples get engaged, their often public declaration of commitment is symbolized by a rock that can easily get into seven-figure territory.

    Here are some of the most expensive and extravagant engagement rings out there:

    1) When NBA player, Kris Humphries proposed to Kim Kardashian, he went straight to her favorite jeweler, Lorraine Schwartz. He bought a 16.21 emerald-cut center stone ring with 1.8 side diamonds that cost $2 million. When the marriage didn’t work out, it was sold for $749,000 at a Christie’s auction in New York.

    More from Yahoo Finance:

    12 celebrities making frugal choices

  • $50-and-under Valentine’s Day gifts for him

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 5 mths ago

    You have less than a week to shop for a Valentine’s Day gift. If you’re still not sure what to get your man, Redbook magazine’s Cristina Pearlstein offers something for every kind of guy at the perfect price point – under $50.

    1. Wrangler Checked Flannel Shirt - $20 at Walmart and Kmart This soft flannel from the iconic American brand, Wrangler, comes in several colors including red, blue and gray. For $20 or less, the bold checkered pattern can be layered with other comfortable favorites in his closet.

    2. UNIQLO Ultra-Light Down Vest - $49.90 at UNIQLO Practical and stylish, this down vest is a great way for him to try out a layered look, says Pearlstein. The slimmed-down V-neck design can be worn as an inner or outer and is available in six colors he’ll love.

  • 5 Valentine’s Day gifts under $50 she’ll actually like

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 5 mths ago

    Valentine’s Day is fast approaching – do you know what you’ll be giving your significant other on Feb. 14? For under $50, Redbookmagazine’s market director Cristina Pearlstein guarantees these gifts will impress your sweetheart (no trip to Victoria’s Secret necessary). 1. Metallics Away Clutch at - $44 with promo code “REDBOOK20” for 20% OFF. (Original price: $55) Most women are picky when it comes to things they wear – but this is an extremely versatile, universal cross-body bag that works with almost any outfit. It’s a great day-to-night accessory that she can take to work or to an event at night. It has the look of a small clutch but more than enough room for your wallet, cellphone, keys, and more.   2. Tocca Eau de Parfum Viaggio Travel set - $45 at Nordstrom If you’re with someone you haven’t been dating long, this is an elegant gift and isn’t too personal. “This set gives her three scent options to choose from so you aren’t putting all of your eggs in one basket,” says Pearlstein. The packaging is also classy enough that you don’t need to wrap it – toss a bow or tie a ribbon on it and you’re good to go. 3. Aqua Stud Earrings - $45 at with promo code “REDBOOK” for 10% OFF. (Original price: $50)

  • The most important money conversation you’re not having

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 6 mths ago

    When Rosemary Flanagan died two years ago at the age of 84, her family was stunned. She led an active lifestyle and showed no signs of slowing down before passing away in her sleep.

    Although she was a mother to seven sons, none of them knew what to do with her estate. “I was planning on having this conversation with my mother about her estate planning, making sure that the lawyer was on board and that all of her accounts were up to date, but she died suddenly,” said one of her sons, Thomas Flanagan, 50, who lives in Chicago, Illinois where his mother also lived.

    After discovering that their mother’s lawyer was no longer practicing and her will had not been updated in six years, the Flanagan family had no idea where to begin. While mourning their mother, Thomas and his siblings scrambled to find any documents that could shed light on her financial situation. It took a week to find her wallet, months to track down all of her IRAs, and more than a year to close all her bank accounts.

    While death and estate planning can be a sensitive topic for families to broach, not having a plan in place can become an even bigger regret.

    An updated will or trust

    Durable power of attorney for property

  • 5 ways to save at Starbucks

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 6 mths ago

    Despite the criticism that Starbucks coffee is overpriced, record sales this quarter indicate that people are willing to pay the price. But for those of you looking to save on your coffee habit, we tested five tried-and-true Starbucks hacks that’ll give you the caffeine fix you need, for less.   1) ICED LATTE HACK Instead of ordering a “grande iced latte" priced at $3.95*, ask the barista for a double shot of espresso (a.k.a. “doppio”) over ice in a grande (medium) cup. At the condiment bar, add your own milk for free.   We tried this at two different Starbucks locations and the baristas seemed to know exactly what we were up to, but didn’t seem to care. We were only charged $2.45, saving a total of $1.50, and there was no difference in taste.   *Tax not included. Menu prices vary by location.   2) ICED TEA HACK The iced tea blends are one of the more affordable beverages on the menu, but there is still a way to save big. For example, instead of ordering a tall passion tea for $1.95, you can ask for a passion tea bag with a cup of iced water and they’ll charge you just 30 cents for the teabag – saving you $1.65. Give it five to 10 minutes for the tea bag to do its work, and it tastes exactly the same as the pre-made blend in their pitchers. 3) CHAI TEA LATTE HACK Instead of ordering a “tall chai tea latte” priced at $3.45, ask for a tall hot tea with an Oprah Chai Tea bag for $2.75. Again, add free milk, sugar, and honey from the condiment bar. This hack will save you 71 cents and is ideal for those who love the taste of chai, but like to control the sweetness.   4) HOT LATTE HACK Lattes are made with espresso shots and steamed milk. An affordable alternative not listed on the menu is the “caffe misto” which is made from fresh brewed coffee and steamed milk.  We were charged $3.25 for a tall latte, while a tall cafe misto was 70 cents cheaper at $2.55.   5) HACK THE CUP Order a smaller size of your favorite blend in the next size up. For example, order a tall (small) Americano in a grande (medium) cup. The baristas will often pour a little more into the grande, giving you more bang for your buck. And when you go to add milk, you won’t need to dump coffee out of your cup. Once you’ve added milk, you’ll have a drink that’s closer to the next size up – and you’ll save about 70 cents.   What’s your Starbucks hack?

  • 5 reasons all dads should take paternity leave

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 6 mths ago

    Most fathers in this country feel they don’t have a choice when it comes to taking an extended amount of time off for the birth of their child. According to a recent paternity leave study from the Boston College Center for Work and Family, only 13% of fathers took more than 4 weeks off, while the average amount of time was two weeks after the birth of their child before returning to work.

    With another mouth to feed, the added pressure to provide can prevent many news dads from taking any unpaid leave. But research shows that there are long-term benefits, both financial and emotional, for fathers who use the time if they have it, and find the time if they don’t. Only 14% of U.S. employers offer paid time off for new dads.

    Here are five reasons why it’s in a family’s best interest for the father to take paternity leave.

    Pregnant with their second child, both Paul and Heather will each take about 12 weeks of leave. “You don’t get that time back. It only happens once – those first few months,” says Heather.

  • 12 celebrities making frugal choices

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 6 mths ago

    With all their fame and fortune, these top-earning celebrities are the last ones you’d think would make frugal choices. But here’s how these 12 celebs are living like the rest of us.

    Celebs who stock up on hotel toiletries

    Jackie Chan and Tyra Banks have been known to stock up on hotel soaps, shampoos, and even shower caps. Chan said he never had soap growing up, so it’s tough for him to see it go to waste. Chan told the Los Angeles Times, “I take the shower cap and wrap the soap in it and travel with it. As for Banks, she’s not afraid to tell the world she’s cheap. “I’m frugal. I’ve always been this way,” said Banks.

    Celebs who drive modest cars

    Billionaire Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg prefers driving his eco-friendly Volkswagen GTI with manual transmission to his office each day. Valued at an estimated $23,000 to $30,000, the GTI is a budget and eco-friendly ride that won the honors for 2015 Yahoo Autos Car of the year.

    Celebrities obsessed with fast food

    Celeb couples who spent less than $200 to tie the knot

    Celebs who still live at home

    More from Yahoo Finance

  • 4 daily money traps to avoid

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 6 mths ago

    Faced with financial temptations at every turn, your daily habits could be keeping you from reaching the money goals you’ve set to accomplish this year.

    “There are six to 10 financial decisions that you have to make a day and there are so many traps we fall into,” says Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of .

    The key to making better money decisions starts with identifying the most common overspending traps, says von Tobel. Here are four to watch out for.

    Money Trap #1: Skipping your morning gym class

    Signing up for an unlimited gym membership may sound like a good deal – even if it costs $70 a month on average. But if your three-times-a-week routine turns into 4.3 times per month , as it does for the average consumer, that’s about $17 per visit – not the most efficient way of maximizing your gym dollars.

    Money Trap #2: Data overages

    Get the Latest Market Data and News with the Yahoo Finance App

    Money Trap #3: Flash sale spending

    Money Trap #4: New home syndrome

    More from Yahoo Finance

  • New scams to watch out for this holiday season

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 7 mths ago

    With holiday shopping season in full swing, not only are retailers after your dollars, but so are scammers.

    Last year alone, there were over two million fraud complaints reported, according to the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network, with consumers paying over $1.6 billion. To better protect yourself, Amy Nofziger of AARP’s Fraud Watch Network says it’s important to be on high alert.

    Here are some of the latest scams she says you need to know:

    1. Parcel delivery scam

    A new scheme to beware of is fake parcel pick-up notices that are either taped to your door or sent as an email notification. The message on the notice will state there was an unsuccessful attempt to deliver a package to your home and prompts you to call a number or visit a website for more information. Nofziger says this is a likely method of collecting your personal information, putting you at risk for identity theft.

    2. Fake online shopping sites

    3. Draining gift cards

    What are some new scams you know of? Tell us in the comments below or email us at