Posts by Mandi Woodruff

  • Money Minute: 5 things every college freshman should know about money

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    Classes are starting soon for the class of 2019, so we dedicate this week's Money Minute to you guys. Here are 5 things every college freshman should know about money:

    Student loans aren’t free . Many students make the mistake of borrowing more than they need, so keep this in mind: the less you borrow, the less you’ll have to pay back after you graduate. Sure, you can use student loans to pay for your student fees, books, room and board and meal plan, but there are ways to cut those costs and lower the amount you need to borrow. For example, you could ditch the dorm and rent a place with friends to save on housing. You could get a job as a resident assistant and live in the dorm for free. To save on food, try skipping the meal plan and learn to cook instead. Your books don’t have to be brand new either. It might make better financial sense to spend a year or two at a low-cost community college and transfer to a more expensive four-year school to finish your degree.

  • Would you buy an engagement ring from Etsy?

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 6 days ago

    Newlyweds today spend one-fifth of their wedding budget on the perfect engagement ring, which, at an average price of $5,855 , is four times what the typical bride will spend on her own wedding gown and second only to the venue as the most expensive part of their big day.

    But some couples are bucking this trend, looking for affordable alternatives to the traditional diamond engagement ring on Etsy ( ETSY ). The online marketplace, which went public in April, is probably better known for crafty wares like handknit scarves and small batch soaps than its growing legion of independent jewelers. A company spokesperson declined to share exact figures on its jewelry market, but a search of the site turned up 1.2 million results for “handmade rings,” which made up about 13% of all jewelry listings.


  • 15 non-fast food jobs that pay less than $15 an hour

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 7 days ago

    New York City found itself at the center of the minimum wage debate last week, when lawmakers proposed a plan to raise fast food workers’ wages to $15 per hour over the next five years, effectively giving them a 71% pay bump in the process. The city is the latest to join the $15 minimum wage club, which began with Seattle last year and now includes San Francisco and Los Angeles, along with the University of California school system.

    But fast food and retail aren’t the only industries where workers earn much less than a $15 hourly wage. We analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics data to find 15 jobs with the greatest number of workers earning less than $15 an hour. Take a look at our graphic below.


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  • Money Minute: 5 credit card perks you never knew you had

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 10 days ago

    Your credit card is good for a lot more than paying bills and racking up miles. Here are five little-known perks you never knew you had. 

    Lost baggage protection. I f you book a flight using a credit card, you may be covered for up to a few thousand dollars if the airline loses your bags. Even if your baggage is only delayed a day or two, you’re probably covered as well. Some credit cards will reimburse you for a few day’s worth of clothing and toiletries. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card covers up to $100 per day for five days when baggage is delayed more than six hours. Just be wary of annual fees these cards may charge. The Sapphire card gives you one year fee-free but charges $95 thereafter.

    Have a money question? Hit us up at



  • Accenture is the latest major company to ditch dreaded annual reviews

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 12 days ago

    Global consulting firm Accenture announced it is making a bold move this fall: It’s eliminating annual performance reviews.

    What’s that you hear? It’s the collective sigh of relief coming from the company’s 330,000 employees. Along with the performance review system, Accenture (ACN) is also disbanding its rankings system, a common way of comparing employees to one another based on their performance. Rather than having managers rank and review workers once per year, the new initiative — called Performance Achievement — calls for informal reviews that can be given at the manager’s discretion, for example, after a worker has completed a specific project.

    “It’s huge,” Accenture CEO Pierre Nanterme told the Washington Post.“We’re going to get rid of probably 90% of what we did in the past.”

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

  • American families spent 16% more on college this year

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 14 days ago

    Americans say they spent 16% more on college expenses during the 2014-15 school year than the year before, according to Sallie Mae’s annual “How Americans pay for college” report.

    Families shelled out an average of $24,164 to cover college costs during the 2014-15 school year, compared to $20,882 the year prior. It’s the first time in five years that families have increased college spending year over year, according to Sallie Mae.

    The rising cost of college is certainly one factor that could be contributing to this significant bump, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. The average cost of college tuition and fees rose by just 2% for the 2014-15 school year, according to the College Board, which tracks college costs nationwide. Sallie Mae’s numbers are likely to be different because its report, which surveyed 1,600 participants, asks about overall spending, including transportation and additional expenses beyond tuition, room and board.

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

    Who’s really paying more?


  • The 5 jobs with the worst gender wage gap

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 17 days ago

    Nothing was sweeter than watching the U.S. National Women’s soccer team bring home their first world championship in 16 years earlier this month. But their victory also put a spotlight on the shocking pay gap that divides female and male athletes today.

    Women soccer players can earn as little as $6,000 per year. Male players earn a minimum of $60,000. This is one of the most dramatic examples of wage disparity today, but what about women working off the soccer field — in hospitals, courtrooms and offices around the country?

    In the video above, we take a look at the 5 jobs with the widest gender pay gaps in America, according to the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning think tank:

    5. Housekeeping supervisors

    4. Money managers

    3. Stockbrokers

    2. Physicians and surgeons

    1. Financial advisors

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

    Read more:

    22-year-old college student blows $90,000 college fund, blames her parents

  • 22-year-old college student blows her $90,000 college fund and blames her parents

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 17 days ago

    Atlanta radio show “The Bert Show” had a guest on this week who has managed to incite the rage of just about every millennial in the state of Georgia (and beyond, the show is syndicated in 11 states).

    The woman, a 22-year-old college junior named Kim, who did not give her last name on air and was allowed to use a voice disguiser to even further shield her identity, came to the three hosts with a confession: in just short three years she had managed to blow through a $90,000 college fund left to her by her grandparents. Kim has one year left of school and no way to cover her remaining $20,000 tuition balance.

    Read more: 3 reasons money isn't making you happy

    The show’s hosts try to give Kim the benefit of the doubt. She’s come to them (for some untold reason — perhaps a financial aid officer would have been a wiser choice) in a time of great need and they at least want to try to help her.

    “Maybe [my parents] should have taught me to budget or something. They never sat me down and had a real serious talk about it.”

    “I have to go inside the bank to get a loan?”

    Kim: "That’s embarrassing."


  • Who killed Heald College?

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 18 days ago

    Last fall, in the midst of a two-year accounting program at Heald College’s Fresno, Calif., campus, Feliciano Castaneda started to worry.

    His school was on the brink of closure, according to news reports. Heald’s parent company, Corinthian Colleges, Inc. was the target of several federal and state investigations into whether vocational schools it owned routinely lied about their graduates’ chances of finding jobs and aggressively courted low-income pupils to maximize their access to federal student aid. Regulators had given the company a year to either close its remaining campuses or sell them--including Heald, a 150-year-old junior college with a dozen campuses in California, Oregon and Hawaii.

    Castaneda, 19, asked Heald administrators about the reports. They brushed him off.

    “All I kept [hearing] was ‘our parent company is in trouble, not Heald College,’” Castaneda said. “‘Our school is not being affected and it will not be.’”

    “The well-meaning board of trustees and management really didn’t understand how to operate a career college,” said Eeva Deshon, who was president of Heald College for four years before its closure.

    In Deshon’s mind, they had successfully “righted the ship.”

  • How much $100 is really worth in each state

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 19 days ago

    In a fascinating look at the cost of living in all 50 states and hundreds of metropolitan areas, the Tax Foundation shows exactly how much — and how little — 100 bucks is worth depending where you live.

    California and New York are among the worst states for greenback carriers — $100 in each state is worth just $89.05 and $86.73, respectively. But they have competition from high-priced Washington, D.C., where $100 is worth only $84.96.

    Cash goes much further in the pockets of Southerners and Midwesterners, where the cost of living tends to be much lower, according to the report, which is based on Bureau of Economic Analysis data from 2013.

    Residents can buy much more in Mississippi with $100 than any other state ($115.21), followed closely by South Dakota, where $100 is worth $114.16.  Ohio is another low-price state, where $100 is $111.61.

    “You could think of this as meaning that Ohioans are, for the purposes of day-to-day living, 11% richer than their incomes suggest,” says the report, co-authored by economists Scott Drenkard and Alan Cole.


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