Blog Posts by Farnoosh Torabi, Yahoo! Finance

  • Turn Your Shopping Addiction into Cash



    Shopping can be a total wallet-buster, unless you know how to work it. Kim Zaruba, a stay-at-home mother of three, rakes in approximately $3,000 dollars a year consigning her old clothing and baby gear.

    Her consignment savvy dates back to just a few years ago when her family was forced to shore up cash following her husband's layoff. "We wound up selling our wonderful home that we loved dearly…spending was pretty much at a standstill," says Zaruba. "We had to reevaluate and work with what we had." That meant no more expensive items for the house or upscale labels for Kim, who started looking for ways to cash in on her cashmere.

    [Related: Make money from junk in your attic]

    From a community flyer at her daughter's pre-school, Kim discovered Just Between Friends, a network of national consignment events for children, maternity and baby gear. Founder Shannon Wilburn started the organization in her living room 15 years ago. Today, the group spans 24 states with franchisees hosting

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  • Wedding Costs: Who Should Pay?

    When it comes to weddings, who writes the check? Is it solely up to the bride and groom to pay, or are family members expected to pitch in?

    If you go by tradition, then the bride's family pays, but keep in mind this is a throwback to the days of dowries and pre-arranged wedding negotiations. In today's modern culture, most marriages are for love, not money. In fact, research shows brides and grooms have been paying for the majority of their wedding costs on their own -- including the ceremony, reception and honeymoon. According to a 2010 survey in The Wedding Report, brides and grooms, on average, each pay about 29% of the wedding costs, for a total of 58%. From there, parents, friends and relatives make up the rest.

    For example, when Katherine and Gary Gomez got married last summer both of their parents offered to help contribute to their big day, which included over 200 guests. In total, the New Jersey couple's wedding amounted to $32,000. Katherine and Gary contributed $22,000,

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  • Can I Afford a Baby?

    There's no denying that babies are cute, but they can also be quite expensive. In fact, according to Babycenter.com, raising a new baby in the first year on average costs more than $10,000, including formula, diapers and daycare. Fortunately, for expecting parents there are strategies you can take to prepare for your new addition and make parenting affordable.

    Reduce Debt
    Managing debt should be the first item that should be on all expecting parents' to-do lists. As a new parent, you'll need to make room for unexpected costs and if you don't make debt reduction a priority now, it could fall through the cracks down the road. If you need help, check out the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and meet with a local credit counselor. It's free.

    Don't Move
    Don't assume you have to find a bigger space right away. One of the biggest misconceptions of being a first-time parent is that you need a separate room for the baby. But an infant can safely and easily sleep in a

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  • Safe and Easy Ways to Find Stay-At-Home Jobs


    In today's changing economy, self-employment is rapidly becoming the new employment. In fact, 40% of the country's work force is expected to be self-employed by the end of the decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And particularly for stay-at-home parents, self-employment can offer the best of both worlds: a chance to pursue your passion and spend more time with your family.

    Take Shoba Viswanathan. The 44-year-old has been doubling as a stay-at-home mom and marketing writer for almost four years. "I really enjoy the flexibility of working from home and managing my mom and work commitments at the same time." A former editor in the 9-to-5 world, Viswanathan now finds social media and copywriting work through Elance.com. She works about 30 hours per week, submitting copy to clients while her kids are in school or napping. She earns less than what she did before, but some of her biggest expenses - namely, childcare -- have also fallen, thanks to her new work lifestyle.

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  • Easy Do-It-Yourself Kitchen Upgrades

    Considered to be the heart of the home, the kitchen is where your family likely spends the most time, and, it's one of the most important rooms to potential homebuyers. Therefor, it's worth investing in some upgrades in this space. Experts say even a minor kitchen facelift can earn you back more than 80% of the cost. Leslie Grete, the star of TLC's While You Were Out and Trading Spaces, offered the following easy kitchen upgrades that, together, cost less than $1,000!

    Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

    "This is probably the easiest and most affordable project you can take on as a homeowner to deliver the biggest bang for the buck," says Segrete. "For $40 a gallon you can buy a really good quality paint, and all you need is a couple of hours or a weekend and you can really transform your space."

    Refinish Your Cabinets

    "If you're unhappy with your cabinets, you're going to be unhappy with your kitchen," says Segrete, who upgraded her own cabinets when she bought her home eight

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  • 5 Costly Wedding Mistakes

    Speaking as a bride-to-be, it's easy to go overboard when planning your wedding. Getting married is an emotional time and the wedding industry has us wrapped around its $40 billion finger, insisting we spend every last penny to ensure the most perfect day. In fact, the average wedding costs more than $26,000 - even more in pricey cities like New York and LA. But remember, you're getting married, not weddinged! Here are 5 costly mistakes to avoid when planning your Big Day. 1. Assuming You Have to Stick with Tradition
    You may be pressured to do things a 'certain' way by 'certain' family members, but if you're footing the bill, you get to decide. Keep in mind that a traditional sit-down reception and multi-tiered cake can easily add up. A recent Bride Magazine study found that the average reception costs $13,367 and a wedding cake $480. To save, consider having your wedding on a night other than Saturday. Or, rather than offering a full meal, why not throw a chic cocktail

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  • 5 Things to Buy in February

    Smart shopping is sometimes all in the timing, and if you're currently in the market for certain items, now may be the most strategic month to strike. Here are five of the best things to buy in February. Read the article here

  • Healthiest Fast Food Meals for Under $5

    No matter how healthy we try to be, there will always be times -- at the airport, on road trips -- when we have no choice but to take advantage of the inexpensive convenience of fast food. "The minute you opt for fast food, you're vulnerable," says Lisa Gosselin, Editor-in-Chief of Eating Well Magazine. "You're generally hungry, you're pressed for time and you walk into this environment where everything is trying to make you eat and spend more money."

     While the big chains have enhanced the quality of their menus, it's hard to really know which items are really healthy. It's only until the end of the year when the FDA will require all major food outlets to post caloric values on all menu items.

    In the meantime, here are some fast-food tips and healthier picks at the top chains to help you get the healthiest bang for your buck.

    Taco Bell: Order tacos "al fresco." They'll skip the cheese and sauce and give you a fresh tomato, onion and cilantro salsa on it, instead.

    Burger King: TheRead More »from Healthiest Fast Food Meals for Under $5
  • Save $900 on Cable

    Thought about pulling the plug on your cable bill, but just can't bring yourself to make the move? We barely watch all 200 channels, yet somehow succumb to the costly monthly expense, which on average runs consumers $75 and much when you add up all the premium channels, a DVR box and movie rentals.

    The good news is, there are several alternatives to the traditional cable plan that can offer you and your family a better value. Steve Kovach, an editor at Business Insider who covers gadgets, apps and consumer technology, suggests the following cable substitutes. (A couple strategies, in fact, could save close to $900 a year):

    Digital TV

    If all you watch is the news and Dancing With the Stars, then Digital TV may be your best bet. It's free with the small purchase of a pair of HD antennas. "You won't get the premium channels but your basic broadcast networks -- about 10 or so channels -- is still free," says Kovach. Figure the basic HD antenna costs about $25 - and deleting that

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  • Should You Buy an Extended Warranty?

    As we head to the register to buy a new laptop or cell phone, we face the aggressive sales pitch to buy an extended warranty. But are they worth it? Read the article here.

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