Archive for April, 2008

Housing crisis advice

As more consumers struggle to pay the mortgage, Sheila C. Blair, chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., offered this advice in a speech I attended this morning at the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers in Baltimore. Blair’s photo is at right:

Work with a reputable housing counseling agency. Many […]

Happy Tax Freedom Day!

Right on the heels of Earth Day, we have Tax Freedom Day. Today is the day American workers stop toiling for the government and start keeping the money they earn.

Looked at on a yearly basis, all of the average worker’s pay from New Year’s Day until today goes to the government. This year, Americans work […]

Free money! Stimulus-check bonus

Several retailers have announced programs to make your government stimulus check worth more.

So far, the likes of Sears, Kmart and supermarket Kroger have said if you trade your stimulus check for gift cards at their stores, they’ll give you an extra 10 percent. So, if you’re getting $600 back, that’s a free $60. Give them […]

Happy Earth Day

Links between Spending Smart going green and are undeniable. Here are some ideas that will have Mother Earth and your wallet thanking you.

Avoid bottled water. Money doesn’t grow on trees but water does fall from the sky – for free. Yet, Americans likely spend in the neighborhood of $16 billion on bottled water. Maybe it’s […]

Spending Smart in NYC

Last week, I appeared on a couple of television shows in New York, talking about my book, “Living Rich by Spending Smart.”

One was at the CBS building for a WCBS morning show, “Eye on New York.” The CBS building seems giant, containing all the CBS-owned networks and shows. I went through the whole make-up thing, […]

Home as investment? Not so much

Jonathan Clements, the great personal finance writer for the Wall Street Journal, is leaving journalism. In a parting “Getting Going” column, he referred to some of his columns that received the most feedback from readers.

Among them was “How Houses Eat Money” from June 2005. The upshot was that our homes aren’t the fabulous investment vehicles […]

Verizon Wireless secret family plan

Apparently inspired by my recent examination of wireless service and subsequent switch to prepaid service, a friend of mine started scrutinizing his own Verizon Wireless Family SharePlan. He too had the smallest bucket of minutes advertised by Verizon, 700 minutes. He too realized it was far more than he ever used, instead averaging about 300 […]

Cooking and taxes

Hormel Foods, makers of Dinty Moore and Spam brands, has interesting survey results released today. It seems a significant number of people would rather do taxes than cook. Specifically, about 30 percent of people say they would rather prepare their income-tax returns than prepare a seven-course meal.

Is it any wonder then that Americans spend so […]

Spending Smart award

The Spending Smart newspaper column won another Best Column award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for columns published in 2007. It previously won the award for columns from 2005.

Judges’ comments:

Greg Karp puts a new twist on following the money. Karp cares about saving his readers much-needed cash, and he’s showing them […]

Hold off on DTV coupons

If you use an over-the-air antenna to receive television signals, your TV will go dark next February. That is, unless you use a converter box to convert the new digital signals into analog signals that your older TV can display. The federal government is offering $40 coupons to help you buy these converter boxes, which […]


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