Posts by Mandi Woodruff

  • 3 strategies that can help simplify your life

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 1 day ago

    In their new book, “Simple Rules: How to Survive in a Complex World,” authors Kathleen Eisenhardt and Donald Sull offer strategies to help people simplify complex decisions in their lives.

    Much of the book, released in April, focuses on helping business leaders tackle inefficiencies in the workplace, but we sat down with Eisenhardt earlier this week to find out how everyday people can apply simple rules to one of life’s most complex areas of all: our personal finances.  

    Simple rules work best for financial tasks or decisions we make repeatedly, like monthly budgeting and retirement saving, Eisenhardt says. You can spend hours trying to calculate your ideal “retirement number” or you can create one simple retirement rule: I am going to save 10% of my pay each month and have done with it.

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    To come up with simple rules, Eisenhardt and Sull suggest using a 3-step process:

  • Money Minute: 3 reasons money isn't making you happy

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 3 days ago

    Money can buy happiness — but only if you spend it right.  In this week’s Money Minute, I explain three reasons you may be earning more but don't feel any happier.

    You value stuff over experiences. Research has proven that spending money on stuff won’t make you happy in the long term . We get used to having the latest iPhone or fancy diamond earrings and over time the satisfaction they bring us fades. Experiences provide enduring waves of happiness that can last for years because they give you something to remember long after you swipe your credit card. I’m not saying you have to do something huge like an African safari or bungee jumping. Just go on a hike with a friend or treat your mom to a nice dinner.

    More money questions? Send me a note on Facebook >


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    5 tips to improve your resume

  • Corinthian school closings leave instructors with many questions, few answers

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 7 days ago

    When embattled Corinthian Colleges announced it would be shuttering its remaining 28 campuses in April, students weren’t the only ones left feeling shell shocked. 

    Roughly 4,000 instructors and staff found themselves out of work and facing a shrinking job market in their field. The closure impacted workers at 13 Everest and WyoTech campuses, as well as the entirety of Heald College, a 150-year-old institution with 11 campuses in California and Hawaii. Corinthian filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early May and it was recently announced that an official committee will be formed to represent the interests of former students . Meanwhile, former instructors who worked at Corinthian-owned schools told Yahoo Finance they were left with many questions and even fewer answers.

    The Monday after de Sola and his colleagues were informed, by email, of the school’s closure, they returned to campus one last time to pack up their belongings. Someone snapped a photo (above) of their group, some of whom still donned Heald College staff badges.

    Facing an unfriendly job market

  • Money Minute: 5 things employers are really looking for

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 10 days ago

    It’s graduation season and that means millions of college grads are on the hunt for a great job. I tell you what skills employers really want in this week’s Money Minute.

    Internships and job experience. Forget your GPA -- job experience is the single most important thing employers are looking for, according to a study by the Chronicle of Higher Education. For college students that means internships or any jobs you held while in school. It not only shows them you’re serious about your work but you are already accustomed to an office environment.

    Volunteer work. Do-gooders have an edge in job interviews. Employers love hearing about volunteer work, especially if it relates to your field. It not only gives you something interesting to talk about, but it shows that you’re a team player.

    Clubs and activities. If volunteering wasn’t your thing, talk about the clubs or activities you’re passionate about. Managers and recruiters want to see that you’re willing to be part of a group and work with others.

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  • How to understand that confusing financial aid letter

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 10 days ago

    College freshmen-to-be are getting their financial aid letters in the mail right about now. For students and their families, deciphering these notices can be the first — and often most frustrating — step toward comparing the costs of different schools.

    Financial award letters are meant to spell out exactly how much a year of study will cost, after taking into account all the different forms of financial aid a student has qualified for.

    It sounds simple, but it isn’t always. As it stands, there is no one-size-fits-all financial aid award letter, which can make it tricky to compare more than one school’s cost of attendance to another. The government recently set up a college cost comparison tool to help, but even so, it’s not much help if families have to translate their student award letter into plain English first.

    To help, here’s a quick guide to understanding the most important elements of a financial aid award letter:

    What they say it costs...and what it actually costs

    Money that’s free

    Money you have to work for

    Don’t stop at the award letter


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  • Money Minute: 5 resume tips to help you land the job you want

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 14 days ago

    Did you know that employers spend just six seconds looking at your resume? I’ll tell you how to keep their attention in this week’s Money Minute.

    Put links to your professional website or Linkedin page up high. Make sure they’re hyperlinked, too, for easy clicking. You shouldn’t include Facebook or Twitter but definitely clean up any photos or posts that might turn someone off.

    Center your headings. Research has shown that employers look down the middle of a resume when scanning it. So make sure your headings — like "professional development" and "work experience" —  are centered.

    Get rid of old high school and college achievements. Unless your Glee Club championship or college newspaper gig are relevant to the job you're going for, nobody will care. The same goes for awards, student activities and scholarships.

    For more money tips, follow Mandi on Facebook >


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  • When graduate school pays off — and when it doesn't

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 15 days ago

    Pursuing a graduate level degree can definitely give a boost to one's future earning potential, but new research from Georgetown University shows it isn’t always the greatest long-term investment.

     “Generally, there are two kinds of graduate degrees,” says Tony Carnevale, director of Georgetown’s Center on Education and the Workforce. “One is a graduate degree you’d better get or you’re not going get a solid middle-class wage, like psychology and humanities...and in other cases, like in business, one that you don’t have to get but if you do, you’ll probably earn more.”

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    “If you’re going to go to graduate school, you need to get as much information as you can on what the career prospects are and what it’s going to cost you,” Carnevale says. “You don’t want to make your loans too big, especially if you’re not going to be too big of an earner."

    'The degree itself matters less and less'

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  • 5 genius ways colleges are tackling the student debt crisis

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 16 days ago

    The government requires colleges and universities to counsel students on student loan debt, but clearly the message isn’t always getting through. In a 2012 report by NERA Economic Consulting and Young Invincibles, a youth advocacy group, 13,000 college students who carried $75,000 or more in student loans — placing them in the top 5% of student debtors in the U.S. — were asked whether they remembered receiving counseling.  More than 40% said no.

    Meanwhile, college costs are rising and students are borrowing more debt each year. By the time they graduate, the average college degree-holder is hauling a $30,000 loan balance behind them and one out of of every 10 students were behind on their payments at the end of 2014, double the rate just 10 years ago.

    Indiana University

    Western Governors University

    Northwestern University

    New Hampshire public universities


  • Talks sour between Corinthian student debt protestors, government

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 16 days ago

    Are you a former professor/instructor who worked at a Corinthian school? I'd love to hear from you:


    Talks between the federal government and former college students who are fighting to have their student debt forgiven have hit a snag that could undo a month’s worth of negotiating. Meanwhile, Corinthian Colleges made it official and filed for bankruptcy in Delaware on Monday.

    Representatives of the “ Corinthian 100 ,” a movement made up of former and current students of the financially troubled for-profit Corinthian Colleges, Inc., canceled a scheduled May 4 meeting with the Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a protest spokesperson said.

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    An Education spokesperson said they hope the meeting can be rescheduled and that students are their main priority. 

    Tips for students impacted by Corinthian campus closings

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  • How Hillary Clinton might solve the student debt crisis

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 21 days ago

    Hillary Clinton has only been on the (official) campaign trail for a few weeks, but she is in the midst of putting together a plan to tackle the nation’s student debt crisis.

    It will likely be months before that plan is ready for the public eye and her camp did not respond to a request for comment, but judging on her track record, we have a pretty solid idea of what Clinton might have in store.

    In the battle between lenders and borrowers, Clinton has historically been on team borrower.

    On her first official campaign stop last month, Clinton dropped by a community college in Iowa, telling representatives and students she fully supported President Obama’s plan to make community college free. But she said more work is needed.

    “Even if we were successful in making the costs directly associated with going to college free, there are all these other costs people have to figure out how to pay,” she said. “There are all these other costs, whether it’s books or online materials.”

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