Blog Posts by CNBC

  • Rent the Runway Buys into Social Media

    By Amanda Orley,

    Have you ever eyed a movie star on the cover of a magazine and thought, "I wish I could afford that outfit."

    Rent the Runway, a website started by two Harvard Business School classmates, makes that possible.

    Jennifer Fleiss, 28, and Jennifer Hyman, 31, created Rent the Runway in 2009. Their goal was to provide women with "aspirational products from top designers that a woman otherwise wouldn't be able to afford" says Fleiss. Today, Rent the Runway has over 2.5 million members and has raised over $30 million in funding.

    The concept is simple. Create an account for free on Rent the Runway's website for access to over 25,000 dresses and 4,000 accessories. Shoppers can rent a dress (and a second size for free) for four or eight days at a time at prices ranging from $30-$250. Additional fees apply for the eight-day rental period. To return the dress, you simply package it into the enclosed pre-paid envelope and drop it in any USPS blue mailbox-no dry cleaning

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  • Gahhhh! What Stresses People Out the Most at Work

    By Cindy Perman,

    Stressed out at work? Take a number.

    Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of American workers are stressed out by at least one thing at work, according to Everest College's 2012 Work Stress Survey conducted by Harris Interactive.
    You know what gets on people's last nerve the most?

    Gahhhhhh! That just makes my blood boil.Gahhhhhh! That just makes my blood boil. Yup - not getting paid enough. Some 11 percent of those surveyed cited pay as their biggest source of stress, followed by annoying co-workers (10 percent), commuting (9 percent), unreasonable workload (9 percent), and working in a job that isn't their chosen career (8 percent).

    "[A] moderately improving economic landscape and lower unemployment numbers have not yet eased anxiety in the workplace and Americans are still, more than ever, concerned about their job situation," said John Swartz, the regional director of career services at Everest College.

    Other sources of stress included poor work-life balance (5 percent), lack of opportunity for advancement (5 percent), and the boss

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  • 'Rich Kids of Instagram': Overserved and Oversharing

    By Robert Frank,

    First came Paris Hilton. Then the documentary about heirs of the One Percent, "Born Rich," and MTV's series "My Super Sweet 16." Now comes the dot-com version of silver-spoon voyeurism: "The Rich Kids of Instagram."

    The blog on Tumblr features photos set in gilded frames of rich kids and wanna-bes in various states of excess, undress and indulgence, and ever since its launch last month, "The Rich Kids of Instagram" has touched off a firestorm of debate over rich kids and social media.

    One shot shows three teens swimming at a lake - and pouring Dom Perignon into one other's mouths. Another shows a guy sticking a giant foam finger out of his Ferrari, while in another kids slide down a giant inflatable slide attached to the side of their mega-yacht.

    The site also marks the debut of a whole new genre: "receipt porn." Some posts consist of a photograph of a 100,000-euro meal receipt from St. Tropez or a $42,000 bar bill.

    Dom Perignon also features prominently

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  • How to Retire Abroad: Costa Rica

    By Daniel Bukszpan,

    A Guide to Retirement in Costa Rica

    When the time comes to retire, not everyone wants a condo in Boca Raton. Many people want to spend their later years in another culture, one that makes them feel like they've stumbled upon a secret paradise.

    One such place is Costa Rica. Its name means "rich coast," which is appropriate considering its location on the Central American isthmus. Its equatorial setting keeps the climate tropical year-round, and the Pacific Ocean on its west coast and the Caribbean Sea to the east make it everything the retired beachcomber could possibly hope for.

    Just one look at some photos makes the tiny nation look incredibly enticing, but just as there's more to retirement than simply quitting one's job and not getting a new one, there's more to Costa Rica than its beaches. Therefore, those seriously considering picking up stakes to live there should look a little closer. used data from the State Department, the Costa Rica

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  • A Work Email Blackout? Par-ty! Par-ty!

    By Cindy Perman,

    There's a bit of controversy brewing over employees being given company-issued mobile devices and expected to check email after-hours and whether or not it constitutes overtime. Volkswagen got around it with some of its union employees by shutting off their company email half an hour after their shift ends and turning it on only half an hour before their shift starts the next day.

    No work email after-hours? Woo hoo! C'mon, Elaine, this calls for celebration!No work email after-hours? Woo hoo! C'mon, Elaine, this calls for celebration! If you've ever been involved in a work email outage, you know that it generally involves a lot of panic and profanity-laced tirades. You can hear the desperation in the emails that start: "My BB is down. Please email my gmail!!!!!"

    So, when we put it to readers: "What would your reaction be if your company shut off your email after-hours?" with the response choices a) panic, b) relief, c) throw a party, d) not sure, we were sure that panic would be the far and away leader, with a modest showing from relief. We were sure that most people would react like Gina Vergel, who replied:

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  • 10 Most Common Personal Finance Mistakes

    By Jennifer Leigh Parker,

    All of us are guilty of a few bad financial habits, and most of us share a few. When financial advisors first meet with clients, they usually find a familiar set of money-losing miscues, from checking credit reports too infrequently (or not at all), paying too much for insurance, or buying stocks for the wrong reasons.

    Rarely are any of these bad habits alone enough to sink us. But taken together over time, these small leaks in our financial ship rob us of amounts we'd never stand for losing all at once.

    See the slideshow: 10 Most Common Money Mistakes

    We asked several financial advisors to name the most common personal finance mistakes they find, and provide solutions to each. The good news is that some of the most frequently made missteps are also the most preventable.
    Read ahead to see the most common mistakes - and how to stop making them!

    Overpaying for Home InsuranceOverpaying for Home InsuranceOverpaying for Home Insurance
    Odds are the premium on your homeowner's

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  • Why College May Not Be Worth It

    By Albert Bozzo,

    When Noor Siddiqui learned about a fellowship that would give her $100,000 to pursue her dream to create an alternative educational system for the world's poor, she saw her future.

    Noor SiddiquiNoor Siddiqui "I had this moment-'This is the perfect thing for me,'" remembers Siddiqui, who at the time was attending high school in Fairfax County, Va., where she had already helped create a not-for-profit organization.
    She didn't blink at the terms, though she knew her parents would - the Thiel Foundation fellowships open to applicants under 20 years old require postponing college or interrupting it during the two years they work on their project. They must also move to the San Francisco area.
    Siddiqui applied, but didn't tell her Pakistani-immigrant parents. Once accepted, of course, she confronted the inevitable. "My parents thought it was a horrible idea," she remembers.

    Their opposition was one-part immigrant aspiration, one-part conventional wisdom.

    Noor, however, prevailed and

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  • 10 Teen Entrepreneurs

    By Kirsten Chang,

    With today's jobs market in a dismal state, no buzz word has given more hope to the youthful unemployed than the word "entrepreneurship."

    More and more, young men and women are striking gold - armed with a strong innovative spirit, a razor-sharp focus and an ability to hold their own in the marketplace. From coaches, automobiles and limos to T-shirts, street fashion - and, yes, the inevitable social networking tools so embraced by the 21st century, industries across the globe are seeing their very own Mark Zuckerbergs-in-the-making.

    Read ahead to see these budding young entrepreneurs who have already made it big - even in the face of today's daunting market!

    Catherine and David CookCatherine and David CookCatherine and David Cook
    Started business when they were 15 and 16
    Business: Social media

    When Catherine Cook moved to her new high school in New Jersey, she and her brother Dave saw a need for "social discovery" and better tools to meet new people. With the help of a $250,000 investment from their

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  • Would You like a Work Email Blackout?

    By Cindy Perman,

    Do you check your work email on an iPhone, BlackBerry or other smartphone after-hours?

    Take my email away — what? Sorry, I can't hear you.Take my email away — what? Sorry, I can't hear you. Join the club: More than 80 percent of workers say they continue to work from home even after they leave the office, according to a recent survey from mobile-research firm Good Technology. Nearly two-thirds said they check their work email before 8 a.m., and a whopping 40 percent admitted to checking email at the dinner table!

    "All you have to do is go out to a nice restaurant and look at all the people checking their emails in between courses to see how pervasive it is," said Michael Crom, the chief learning office at the Dale Carnegie Institute, a corporate training organization.

    Some people say checking email after-hours helps them get organized, get through the crush of email and better balance their work-family life. Others say it's becoming a huge problem - one that's masking other issues.

    [Related: Best Jobs for Loners]

    "Checking, sending and receiving work

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  • Most Expensive Summer Camps

    By Nicole Frehsee,

    Millions of American kids will arrive home this month from the country's 7,000 overnight camps, full of stories about traditional activities like archery, crafts and waterskiing and the questionable pleasures of bug juice and bunk beds.

    The summer retreats we feature here break that mold, offering campers organic food, golf lessons from PGA pros, and jaunts to New York City for cooking classes, and the odd shopping trip to FAO Schwarz. Their parents pay for the perks. In 2011, the average weekly fee for overnight camp was $690, according to the American Camp Association. The camps that follow charge upwards of $1,025 per week.

    Read ahead to see what some kids were doing while yours were learning to weave friendship bracelets.

    International Riding CampInternational Riding CampInternational Riding Camp
    Cost: $11,800 for 8 weeks
    Location: Greenfield Park, N.Y.

    Geared toward aspiring equestrians, this all-girls camp in the foothills of the Catskills offers an organic, locavore-leaning menu (whole-wheat

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