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


Airline industry poised to fly high in 2015

December 19, 2014

The airline industry in 2015 is likely to be healthy again thanks to mergers and falling jet fuel prices, and while consumers might be stuffed into slimmer seats in coach at least they will be able to enjoy new and upgraded planes and more onboard amenities, such as Wi-Fi and streaming video.

  • American to hire 250 at O'Hare as it revamps schedule

    December 18, 2014

    American Airlines will hire an additional 250 people as it revamps its flight schedule at O'Hare International Airport in the spring to group flights closer together, according to a company memo distributed Thursday.

  • Businesses welcome shift on Cuba

    December 18, 2014

    Since Phil Ledbetter started working at Up Down Cigar some 14 years ago, he's regularly asked the same questions: Where are the Cuban cigars? In the back?

  • Holiday tipping: Who gets paid and how much

    December 8, 2014

    Tipping a service person is illogical if you stop to think about it. Why would rational people voluntarily pay more for a service than they must?

  • Choose your payment methods wisely for holiday shopping

    November 21, 2014

    With holiday shopping gearing up, a plethora of stressful decisions includes not only what you buy and how much you spend but how you pay.

  • Common heating myths that can raise energy bills

    November 7, 2014

    Advice about saving money on home heating costs abounds this time of year, but some of it is oversimplified, marketing hype or just plain wrong, while some long-standing myths persist about keeping warm on the cheap.

  • Simple antenna can help kick costly cable TV habit

    October 31, 2014

    As more people rethink ways to get television programming outside the traditional cable and satellite companies, the unsung TV antenna is becoming a fundamental component of their cord-cutting strategy.

  • 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?

  • 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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