Posts by Jeanie Ahn

  • Here's how to pay less than $10 on top-rated wine

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    As if we needed a reason to pop open a bottle of wine on hump day, today is National Wine Day. Not to be confused with National Drink Wine Day, National Chardonnay Day, or any of the other 20-plus “holidays” dedicated to this grapey goodness, it’s clear that Americans love their vino. Last year, Americans consumed a total of 380 million cases, a 2.5% jump from the year before. And increasingly popular among younger drinkers, millennials drank up 42% of all the wine that was consumed, according to the Wine Market Council (WMC). Not only are they are drinking more than any other generation, but they’re also spending more as 17% of all millennial drinkers bought a bottle costing more than $20 in the past month, compared to only 5% of boomers. But good wine doesn’t have to drain your wallet says Gillian Sciaretta, a tasting coordinator at Wine Spectator. At the magazine, reviewers taste close to 20,000 bottles each year and find just as many award-winning wines under $20. To get our spirits up about drinking and saving, Sciaretta sat down with me to share some of her secrets to saving on wine.   The second-cheapest wine on the menu could have the highest markup Trying not to look cheap, many diners go for the second-cheapest wine on the menu. Knowing this, restaurant owners will often mark it up the highest. So the next time you’re about to make a selection, share that fun tidbit with your friends. And know that no one will turn their nose up at you if you go for the absolute cheapest on the list. “The cheapest wines tend to be the ones that the sommeliers, or the wine experts at the restaurant, are most excited about,” says Sciaretta.   Go for grapes you’ve never tried before Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are two of America’s top favorites, according to retail sales reported by Nielsen. But going against the current can really pay off as wineries often offer deals to encourage consumers to try their new blends.

  • 4 hot summer travel trends and the savings you can’t beat

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    Summer is the most popular time of year for vacations, and folks everywhere are planning their getaways. Consumer analyst Vera Gibbons joined us in our New York studios to share how you can get the biggest bang for your buck on some of this season’s hottest travel trends. Roadtripping With gas prices 46 cents cheaper than they were a year ago, more families will be packing up their cars and hitting the open road. While driving along the many adventure-packed routes, it’s important to be savvy about where to get your gas. “Prices at the pump are always changing. They’re volatile and vary from one gas station to the next,” says Gibbons. To find the best prices, she recommends the free GasBuddy app that pinpoints your location and directs you to the cheapest stations around. It’s likely that more drivers will be making stops at national parks as it’s the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service this year. To honor this centennial, there will be commemorations and events held at parks throughout the country. Parks are getting a record number of advance reservations, so the sooner you book, the better. Epic lines at airport security Because of reduced staffing from federal budget cuts, a busy travel season and efforts to fix screening lapses, you can expect to be in line for hours. To make sure you don’t miss your flight, Gibbons recommends arriving three hours before international flights and two hours before domestic. The best way to improve your chances of avoiding long lines is to get enrolled in the US Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program, which costs $100 for five years and includes PreCheck access, which costs $85 on its own. The application process consists of submitting basic personal information, fingerprints for a background check, and an interview with a customs agent, but you don’t have to worry about filling out those blue customs forms anymore and going through security will be much faster as well—at least until millions of more people sign up and those lines become just as long. Cold feet Recent reports of devastating airline crashes, terror attacks in Europe, and worries about the Zika virus all amount to travelers getting cold feet and cancelling their trips left and right. Many Americans are forgoing vacations in Europe and tropical Caribbean islands for less risky destinations. If you’re worried about any of the above, getting a travel insurance policy on sites like insuremytrip.com or travelguard.com could save you in the long run. But before purchasing additional coverage that could cost anywhere between 4% to 12% of your trip, check with your current credit cards to see what they already offer so you’re not paying anything more than you need to. Dollar-strong destinations To take advantage of the strong US dollar, some of the hottest destinations for travel this summer include countries like Peru, Argentina, Turkey and Norway. But the winner that’s top-of-mind for many Americans is Canada. It’s clean, safe, family-friendly, and a third of the population can easily drive there. “With the value of the Canadian dollar as weak as it is, you can expect to save 25% to 35% off shopping, restaurants and activities,” says Gibbons. WATCH MORE

  • Here’s the most important advice from executive-level women of color today

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    While companies are increasingly diversifying their workforces, it can still be tough for women with diverse backgrounds to climb to the top. Today, women of color make up 18% of the US population, and a third of the female workforce. Yet less than 5% are in executive positions, according to a recent report by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Working Mother magazine has for years recognized corporations leading the way with diversity efforts at every management level. Its annual list of Best Companies for Multicultural Women, published this week, highlights 25 companies at the forefront of recruiting, retaining and advancing diverse women. These companies -- led by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, IBM (IBM), Procter & Gamble (PG), Prudential Financial (PRU), and Verizon (VZ) -- won top honors for sponsoring and promoting women of color and offering affinity programs to help educate and develop their careers.

  • 5 tricks for your next salary negotiation from an ex-recruiter

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 2 mths ago

    You’ve spent long months on an exhaustive job search, sending out resumes and dutifully attending networking events. You finally got an offer for a job you wanted. Victory, right? Hold on, your work isn’t quite done. Before accepting the new gig, you still have an important task: salary negotiation. The fear of losing the offer and the stress of haggling are common roadblocks to asking for more. In fact, 59% of American employees accepted the salary they were first offered, according to a recent Glassdoor study. And as study after study shows, women are much less likely to negotiate than their male counterparts. “Money is emotional, but following a well-disciplined strategy can help take the emotion out of it,” says career coach Connie Thanasoulis-Cerrachio of SixFigureStart. Here are five her of negotiation tips to get you to market value. Don’t lie about what you’re currently earning

    7 things young professionals can do to earn respect at work

  • 3 money-saving tips for your next family trip

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 3 mths ago

    Family vacations are only fun during the actual trip. Before and after? Not so much. Between all the travel bookings beforehand and the credit card bills upon return, I’m often left wondering: Why did we ever go in the first place? If you’re like me, knowing that I’m saving some money along the way can make the entire experience more enjoyable. Here are some money and sanity-saving tips that have worked for me. #1 Skip the last class ticket Have you heard of last class? It’s the unofficial name for seats that are worse than those in economy class. You’re typically paying 10 to 20% less for tickets because there are no seat assignments, no refunds, and no upgrades. Major airlines like Delta and American Airlines are rolling out with these fares in order to compete with popular budget airlines like Spirit and Frontier. If you’re traveling alone and don’t care where you sit, this could be a good option for you. But to compete with popular budget airlines like Spirit. But for families, it’s not worth the savings, because you’ll likely sit apart from your kids. Instead, just book smart to save. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are not only the best days to book your tickets, they’re also the optimal days to depart and return from trips. Related: Top 5 ways we waste money on air travel #2 Skip paying for a separate seat for your child If you’re traveling with a child under the age of two, skip paying full price for a separate seat and go with the free “infant in arms” option. Why? Because you can probably get the additional seat for free. Before my son turned two, we flew five times with him during high travel seasons and always got his seat for free. How? When choosing seat assignments, select a window and an aisle seat in the same row, leaving the middle seat empty. Once you’ve boarded the plane, the person in the middle seat will gladly move to any empty seat they can find because, let’s face it, no one wants to be stuck next to a fussy baby on a flight. If the flight is completely booked, you can probably just switch seats with the person who’s in that middle seat and be close to your family. But in my experience, even when they say flights are completely booked, there are always one or two seats left open. Flight crews are usually willing to help you play musical chairs so that everyone can have the best possible experience while in the air. #3 Skip traditional rental car companies Once you’re on the ground, skip traditional rental car companies and rent a car through FlightCar or Turo.com. They’re like Airbnb for cars — no-fuss, peer-to-peer car rental services. On FlightCar, you rent cars from folks who want to park at the airport for free while making some money on the mileage they get from your rental. When I tried this service, my family was picked up at the airport in a luxury SUV, driven a few miles outside the airport to a parking area, where we rented a car (even better than the one we booked: a BMW SUV), with a carseat thrown in for half the price of Hertz’s $65 charge for the week. On Turo.com, formerly RelayRides, there are a ton of options to rent larger vehicles like minivans. During the holidays, these vehicles book up quickly and cost two or three times less than traditional rental services like Hertz or Budget. Worried that you won’t be able to pick up the car at the airport? Fear not! For a fee, many car owners will drop off cars at the airport. And you can see owner ratings and read reviews from previous renters on profile pages. Note that if you need a carseat, this service might not be the best for you because there’s no way to filter out which cars have them. But if you’re lucky and find one that mentions a carseat, those who do have car seats mostly throw them in for free or charge a small fee. What are some of your secrets to saving money on family vacations? Share them with me here.

  • ‘Million Dollar Listing’ star broker reveals 5 mistakes first-time homebuyers make

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 3 mths ago

    Think you’re ready to buy your first home? Like so many who are eager to own, you’re probably excited to jump right in and check out some open houses. But before you go anywhere, Ryan Serhant, top real estate agent and star of Bravo’s hit reality show “Million Dollar Listing,” says the smartest buyers take a step back to make sure they’re really prepared. So that you can be taken seriously as a buyer in any market, we invited Serhant to our studios to share some rookie mistakes to avoid. #1 Mistake: Not knowing how much you can really afford Shopping for real estate without knowing how much you can realistically afford is a rookie move Serhant sees on a daily basis. Just because you’ve saved 10% of the asking price and have a good job doesn’t mean you should be hitting up open houses every weekend. Unless you’re a millionaire, you’ll be financing your home from a bank. And getting pre-approved for a mortgage will give you the best sense of how much house you can afford. #2 Mistake: Making an offer without pre-approval “You don’t want to be the person who puts in the offer, wins the bid, but then doesn’t have the pre-approval when they ask for it,” says Serhant. Depending on what bank you use, getting that pre-approval takes time. Some banks can turn around a pre-approval within 24 hours, but others that are more thorough can take up two weeks. Pre-approval is basically a promise from the mortgage lender that you’re qualified to borrow up to a certain amount at a specific interest rate (subject to other factors, like a home appraisal). By getting all of that out of the way ahead of time, you’ll be seen as a legitimate buyer and increase your chance of getting into your dream home, he says. #3 Mistake: Being inflexible Going in with a healthy offer and being flexible on closing terms can give you a leg up on some of the more inflexible offers a seller has gotten. If you’re competing with all-cash buyers with demanding move-in dates, there is potential for you to look like a more favorable buyer if you’re flexible with the timeline, as long as you’re punctual and put-together with all of the financing paperwork as well, advises Serhant. #4 Mistake: Poor credit One of the most important factors in your mortgage loan application is your credit score, so you need to make sure it’s at least in the 600s. In a recent Experian survey, half of respondents had to delay their purchase until their credit scores improve. If the bank brings up your low credit score as a reason to deny your mortgage application, you can try to find a cosigner to back you up. But in the meantime, start by ordering your free credit score on www.annualcreditreport.com and work to improve your score with your creditors.

  • 7 things young professionals can do to earn respect at work

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 3 mths ago

    Need career advice? Email us your questions and we'll answer them LIVE next Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 1:30 p.m. on our Yahoo Finance Facebook page.

    Related: What are millennials really doing with their money? Q: What's an appropriate time to leave the office when work has been finished for the day? Schwabel: If you have extra time before the working day is over, find other people in the office that need help and help them. That way, you're over-delivering, you're building new contacts, forging stronger relationships, and creating more value for yourself which will be invested over the long term. Related: Here's why the first day of work makes you want to crawl under your desk and die

    WATCH MORE: Resume confessions of a former recruiter

  • 3 social media money scams you need to watch out for

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 4 mths ago

    Whether we “like” it or not, more and more of our parents are joining us on social media. Many of them are signing up to monitor our status updates, but before you block them you might want to warn them about the latest social media money scams. “The most vulnerable are those 50+ for these social media online scams,” says AARP’s outreach director, Maggie Castro-Stevens. She joined us in our studios to highlight some of the latest you need to watch out for. Coupon scams Each year there are 300 billion fake coupons mocked up to trick you into clicking. On Facebook you might’ve seen a $200 Nordstrom gift card or a $100 coupon from Lowe’s. The coupons look legitimate because they’re mocked up with official logos and professional graphics. “It’s unlikely that businesses offer coupons for triple-digit savings, free vacations -- and a sure bet that if they do, it won’t be on social media,” says Castro-Stevens. The scammers will often prompt you to pass the fake coupon to your friends, ask you to enter your personal information, or even purchase the coupon. But beware that clicking the link to redeem the discount could lead to identity fraud or malware on your computer. How can you tell what’s real and what’s not? If an online coupon is legit, it will likely be living on the company’s website. Also try searching for the coupon online with the word “scam” and see what comes up, says Castro-Stevens. The AARP’s fraud network also recommends checking the Coupon Information Center for a running list of fake coupons. Facebook profile viewer tracking Want to see if your ex, your boss, or your frenemy has been checking your profile? Well, that’s what fraudsters are banking on for this scam. But unlike LinkedIn, there is no program or premium you can pay to track your audience. In fact, this is completely against Facebook’s policy and its website specifically states: “If you come across an app that says it can show you who’s viewing your profile or posts, please report the app.” Clicking on this link can lead you to a page that asks you to enter your personal information, or even download malware onto your computer. Depending on what you download, the scammers can use the information to steal from not only you, but your friends, too. Phishing emails about closed accounts When scammers are phishing, they pose as a legitimate company in an attempt to get your personal information or your password. In this scam, you’ll get an email that looks like it’s been sent by a social media platform like Twitter with a message alert that says you need to reactivate your account because it’s been cancelled or closed. In order to reinstate your account, it will direct you to click on a link or download an attachment. Doing so can result in malware or you may be compromising the security of other personal accounts where you use the same login. AARP recommends you delete an email like that right away and check the official support page of the social media platform where you think your account may have been compromised. Reach out directly to find out if something is amiss. Get the word out to your parents and share this on your Facebook page by clicking here.

  • 3 ways to save at stores that never have sales

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 4 mths ago

    Discounts are probably the No. 1 strategy retailers use to draw customers. But there are some stores where you’ll never find a “% off” sign. But if you’re like me and can’t stand paying full price for anything, here are some secrets to saving at stores that never have sales. Discounted gift cards Make use of the time you’re standing in the checkout line by taking a few seconds to look through Raise ’s app for a discounted gift card. It’s an online peer-to-peer marketplace where consumers can buy and sell unused gift cards. The average customer saves 11% using the app, but I’ve seen savings as much as 38%. I needed a beauty blender so I decided to try the app at Sephora , where they only have sales twice a year. While standing in the checkout line, it took less than a minute to find a gift card for 8% off. Once I bought the e-card, I presented it to the cashier. The cashier had never checked anyone using Raise’s app, but she quickly figured it out and entered the correct numbers saying she was impressed with how easy it was. It all took about 2 minutes from finding and purchasing the card to checking out. This is a game changer for deal-hunters like me who'd love any amount off ...

  • Are you a parent returning to work? How to explain gaps on your resume

    Jeanie Ahn at Yahoo Finance 5 mths ago

    It’s a question that plagues many parents who want to return to work after taking off a few years: How do I address the gap in my employment history? For stay-at-home moms (and dads) looking to re-enter the workforce, answering this question during a job interview can be especially daunting. While some have support systems that allow them to continue working, up to 43% of highly qualified women need to “off-ramp” or take a career detour and take time off for their families. For most, it’s a difficult and complicated decision to make, and many who return to work feel they have to justify how they spent their time. But it’s important to resist the urge to over-explain your choice, says Barbara Turvett, executive editor at Working Mother magazine. “Don’t apologize, overshare, or go into detail. You needn’t make excuses for your gap, you had every right to do what you did,” she says.

    WATCH MORE: