Biography

Gregory Karp covers airlines and writes the biweekly Spending Smart column. Before joining the Tribune, he was a business editor and ...

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Gregory Karp

Gregory Karp

Spending Smart

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Think through your phone preferences with early-upgrade plans

July 10, 2014

Smart consumers know that when a sales pitch involves convoluted math, chances are it's not a good deal. That alone is a warning sign against early upgrade plans being sold by the four major mobile phone carriers during the past year.

  • Avoid fear factor in financial purchases

    June 26, 2014

    Fear is a powerful motivator for consumers, and it underlies more of our spending decisions than we'd care to admit.

  • Life insurance doesn't have to be a mystery

    June 12, 2014

    The topic of life insurance doesn't have much going for it. First, it's about insurance, which many people find boring and complicated. Second, it can involve paying money for something you may never use.

  • Money maxims: What dads can tell grads

    May 29, 2014

    "Neither a borrower nor a lender be;

  • Why buy when you can borrow instead?

    May 15, 2014

    How would you like to download the latest hit single by Justin Timberlake to play on your iPhone for free, or a read a best-seller by David Baldacci on your Kindle for free, or browse the latest digital issue of The Economist or Marie Claire on your tablet computer for free, or access the LexisNexis database for free?

  • Trends that could affect credit score, wallet

    May 2, 2014

    In the bustle of everyday life, it can be difficult to keep abreast of all the trends and issues that affect consumers — paying off credit cards, outlet shopping, banking, dealing with debt collectors and switching insurers, for example.

  • Get more mileage out of used bike

    April 27, 2012

    Like new cars, new bicycles depreciate dramatically the moment they leave the cycle shop. So buying used can be a better value for your money, especially if you can score a decent ride for less than $100.

  • Drive auto insurance lower

    November 4, 2011

    The ideal way to save money is to exert effort once and automatically reap savings over and over again, every month. That's why examining your car insurance makes a lot of sense.

  • Don't get taken for a ride on car repairs

    September 2, 2011

    For consumers, information is power. But smart shoppers can't be expected to be experts in all categories of buying. That's why one of the biggest benefits of using the Internet is to lift the veil of ignorance that leads to bad purchases.

  • New sites, apps that might be worth consuming

    June 3, 2011

    Technology is a huge help for consumers to spend money smarter.

  • Is it a good idea to lease?

    May 31, 2011

    Consumers who lease vehicles are confronted with a decision after a few years of ownership. Do I give back the car after the contractual lease period ends, or do I buy it?

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