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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 How single people can save on food expenses

How single people can save on food expenses

October 17, 2014

Single people, who now make up the majority of American adults, often have spending and saving concerns that differ from those of married folks. Eating and drinking expenses are among the big ones — buying a 5-gallon jar of pickles at the warehouse club to save money doesn't seem like such a good idea when you're buying for one.

  • Working through phone warranty options

    October 2, 2014

    When it comes to insurance products, extended warranties are the black sheep of the family, regularly derided by consumer advocates as being too expensive for the protection they provide.

  • What you can do with your old phones

    September 24, 2014

    With consumers rushing to buy the new iPhone 6, Moto X or any other late-model smartphone, a related industry is bustling: recommerce companies that will buy your old smartphone, sometimes for hundreds of dollars.

  • When are airport fast lanes worth the money?

    September 4, 2014

    Convenience vs. cash. We pay for all sorts of services to avoid hassle and stress. Should paying for TSA Precheck to speed through airport security screening be one of them?

  • Information you can bank on

    August 21, 2014

    In the bustle of everyday life, it can be difficult to keep up with all the trends and issues that affect your wallet as a consumer. For example, did you know there's potential for a new tax on your Internet service and that the formula for calculating credit scores is changing?

  • Tormented by debt collectors? Fight back

    August 7, 2014

    Despite the upturn in the economy, more than one-third of Americans last year defaulted on debts and bills that later went into collections, which means many of those people were probably hassled by a debt collector.

  • 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;

  • 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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