Posts by Mandi Woodruff

  • Money Minute: 5 ways wedding guests can save money and stay sane

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 2 days ago

    Forget the bride and groom -- weddings can be expensive for guests, too! The average wedding guest will shell out nearly $700 to see their loved ones walk down the aisle, according to the latest data from American Express.

    Finding the right gift is only half the budget battle. Here are a few tips to help you save as a wedding guest.

    1. If you were too late to lock in the group hotel rate, you might still have options. Get at least 10 people together and you can try reserving your own block at a discount. Or try booking a group through sites like Priceline or . Or, skip the hotel and get a rental from Airbnb or The average hotel rate for wedding guests is about $170 a night, so use that as a good baseline when hunting down deals.

    2. All those pre-wedding festivities can really add up. You’ve got engagement parties... bridal showers...bachelor parties in Vegas...ugh! Listen -- If you aren’t super close to the bride and groom, skip one (or all) of these events and save your money. No one will hold it against you.

    Read more:

  • Arianna Huffington: 'We need a third women's revolution'

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 4 days ago

    Arianna Huffington is as much a media mogul as she is a feminist icon. Two weeks away from celebrating the 10-year anniversary of The Huffington Post, its Editor in Chief is not shy about looking back on both her successes and shortcomings as a woman balancing family, career and her personal well being.

    “Things have improved [for women in the workforce] but not sufficiently,” Huffington said in a recent interview with Yahoo Finance. “We need a third women's revolution. The first one was the right to vote. The second was giving us access to every job and the top of every profession… The third is women saying we don’t just want to be at the top of the world, we want to change the world.”

    In the opening scene in her bestselling book, "Thrive," Huffington describes the moment when, in 2007, she collapsed in her office from exhaustion, breaking her cheekbone on her desk as she went down.

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

    Follow Mandi on Facebook >

    Read more:

  • Americans are deluded about when they will retire

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 4 days ago

    Americans may be feeling more confident than ever about their chances of securing a comfortable retirement, but there’s one thing we are seriously delusional about: when we will finally call it quits.

    There’s a big gap between when workers expect they will retire and when people who’ve actually retired say they left the workforce, according to the latest retirement confidence survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Half of retirees say they retire earlier than they planned.

    Fewer than one in 10 workers say they expect to retire before age 60, when in fact 36% of retirees say they stopped working before 60. Comparatively, only 29% of workers retired between the ages of 60 and 64 and only 9% retired at the traditional age of 65. The odds of making it until age 70 and still working — which more than one-quarter of workers say they want to do — are even slimmer. A mere 6% manage to last that long.

    When people THINK they will retire...

    When retirees say they ACTUALLY retired: 

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

  • Walmart denies claims it targeted wage protestors with store closings

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    Less than a week after Walmart (WMT) said it would close a handful of locations and lay off more than 2,000 employees, the retailer is now fending off accusations from disgruntled workers who say they were being unfairly punished for protesting the company’s employee practices.

    Citing prolonged plumbing issues at five stores in California, Texas, Oklahoma and Florida, Walmart told employees it had no choice but to close. Repairs could take up to six months or longer, according to Walmart .

    “We understand this decision has been difficult on our associates and our customers and we aim to reopen these stores as soon as these issues are resolved and improvements are made,” Walmart said in a statement provided to Yahoo Finance.

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

    With the Pico Rivera store’s closing, more than 500 employees were laid off, including Venanzia Luna, a 36-year-old deli manager who has worked at the location for eight years.

     “This has nothing to do with plumbing,” Luna told Yahoo Finance. “They wanted to get rid of us one way or the other.”

  • Mika Brzezinski and celebrity pals teach women how to negotiate

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    Hoda Kotb, Brooke Shields and Andre Leon Talley may seem like unlikely career advisers — they do have day jobs, after all — but they had plenty to give to more than 600 women who attended the launch of Mika Brzezinski's "Know Your Value" tour in Philadelphia earlier this month.

    The five-city conference tour was the brainchild of Brzezinski , who co-hosts MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and wrote the New York Times bestselling book, “Knowing Your Value.”  Attendees shelled out $225 a pop to see Brzezinski, her famous pals and a roster of career experts offer strategies on how to overcome common workplace roadblocks.

    Brzezinski is not the first celebrity author to take her message on the road — Winfrey, Arianna Huffington and Sheryl Sandberg have all launched lucrative conference tours aimed at helping women manage their careers, personal life and health. Brzezinski’s tour is more narrow in its focus: h elping women learn how to ask for more pay and better benefits at work.

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

    Read more:

  • YAHOO FINANCE EXCLUSIVE: Google Wallet funds are now FDIC-insured

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 5 days ago

    Google (GOOGL) is making a big change to its mobile payment service, Google Wallet, Yahoo Finance has learned. Funds that are left in Google Wallet will now be FDIC-insured, which means Google users’ money is now a whole lot safer — and they probably never even knew it.

    Here’s why this matters: when you stash your cash in mobile payment apps like Venmo, PayPal and Google Wallet, that money is not FDIC-insured. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation protects funds held by banking institutions up to $250,000. This is a good thing because, as history has proven time and again , banks can fail and when they do, the little guys need someone looking out for them.

    These hot new money transfer services fall under the category of “non-banking institutions,” which includes the likes of payday lenders and prepaid debit cards. As a nonbank, they aren’t legally required to be federally insured.

    Read more:

  • Money Minute: 5 signs you're too cheap

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 8 days ago

    Everyone loves to save but some people take penny-pinching way too far. Here are 5 signs you’re too cheap.

    Skimping on your health. If you’d rather “self medicate” or you’ve ever cut your pills in half to save money on medicine, then here’s a wake-up call: you’re cheap! Health care is ridiculously expensive, we get that, but you shouldn’t sacrifice your health to save a buck. Not taking the right dose of medication now or skipping the doctor's office when you're ill could lead to bigger -- and more expensive -- health issues later.

    Wasting time saving money. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your time and sanity just to save money. When you spend money on a housekeeper, a laundry service, or a REAL plumber to fix that leaky faucet, you’re buying yourself something valuable in return — time.

    Not investing in activities that make you happy. What good is saving money if you’re completely miserable all the time? You should spend money on activities and things that you actually value. You may not find double coupons for a relaxing day at the spa, but there is value in investing in activities that make you HAPPY. You can’t put a price tag on a relaxation.

    Read more:



  • Vouch: A new lender that judges borrowers by their 'social network'

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 9 days ago

    A new lending startup called Vouch has been getting a lot of buzz for the unique way it vets potential borrowers. Rather than focusing solely on traditional criteria like FICO scores, debt levels, and income, Vouch lets borrowers prove their creditworthiness by getting friends and coworkers to “vouch” for them.

    The folks who vouch for you (called 'sponsors') become a part of our Vouch 'social network' and have a big impact on how much you are allowed to borrow and how low your interest rate will be.

    Becoming a sponsor does not come without risks, however. When you agree to vouch for someone, you decide how much money you are willing to front if they fall behind on their payments. The average loan sponsor commits $110, according to the company. From that point, the vouch system is a lot like cosigning a loan — the sponsor signs a contract and agrees to pay whatever amount they have vouched for if the borrower falls behind. The advantage of this model versus traditional cosigner rules is that if the borrower misses payments, the cosigner won't be on the hook for the entire loan, only what he originally vouched for



  • Richard Branson, Peter Thiel take aim at Western Union

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 10 days ago

    Look out, Western Union. A new startup is making it easier – and a lot cheaper — for Americans to send and receive money overseas and it's attracted funding from big name investors like venture capitalist Peter Thiel and Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson.

    Typically, U.S. banks impose fees as high as 12% per international transfer, while money transfer juggernauts like Western Union and MoneyGram’s average fees of 9% of assets sent.

    TransferWise, a UK-based startup that opened its first U.S. office earlier this year, uses a clever loophole to make it possible to send money to other countries.

    “There’s just no need to charge as much as many of these companies do,” says Joe Cross, general manager of TransferWise’s US operation.

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

    Jordan McKee, a mobile payments analyst, says TransferWise is “nimble and opportunistic” enough to pose a serious threat to traditional wire services.  


  • Carl Richards: How to create a one-page financial plan

    Mandi Woodruff at Yahoo Finance 17 days ago

    You may know certified financial planner Carl Richards simply as the “napkin guy,” thanks to the popular New York Times column that features his no-nonsense financial tips illustrated on cocktail napkins. 

    Richards, who lives in Park City, Utah and is also the director of investor education at the BAM Alliance , has a distinctive modus operandi: radically simplifying the laborious financial questions that often stump the average person. His latest effort to demystify the mysteries of personal finance is new book, released March 31, called the “ The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way To Be Smart About Your Money .”

    For a book about a one-page plan, it’s pretty hefty, clocking in at 208 pages. After reading it, what becomes immediately clear is that putting together a basic financial plan is not the hard part. Richards dedicates most of the book to coaching readers on how, once the ink on our new plan has dried, we can stop ourselves from screwing it up.

    We recently spoke with Richards to discuss his book. Here are some highlights from our chat: