Mitch's Feed
Mar 12, 2015

Five reasons to beware of autopaying bills

March 12 (Reuters) – Autopaying bills is a no-brainer. You
are never late with a payment, and you do not have to spend all
that time going through stacks of bills, filling out checks, and
then stuffing and stamping envelopes.

But Brent Cumberford learned the hard way that automatic
bill paying is not as simple as setting it up and walking away.

Feb 18, 2015

How to turn your dog into a cash cow

Feb 18 (Reuters) – Your dog may never make it like the
beagle Miss P, winner of the 2015 Westminster Kennel Club’s best
in show award, but he or she may still have a shot at becoming a
YouTube star or nabbing a modeling contract based on an
Instagram photo.

It happened for Tuna, a Chiweenie mix of Chihuahua and
dachshund. This unlikely Internet star, found as a stray at a
California farmer’s market, has more than a million followers on
Instagram ( because of his
cartoonish overbite. A book, “The Underdog with the Overbite,”
goes on sale in two weeks with a list price of $14.95.

Feb 17, 2015

How to trim your Internet bill

Feb 17 (Reuters) – You can cut your land line and sever your
cable TV, but if you want to stream the new season of “House of
Cards,” you need to hang on to your Internet connection.
Whatever savings you might achieve by ditching other services,
you will almost certainly give them back as your bill for Web
connectivity inexorably creeps up.

Consumers now pay an average of $50 a month for a broadband
connection to the Web, which is up from a monthly average of
about $40 a decade ago. But costs can vary widely – ranging from
$10 to $120 – depending on whether the service is bundled with
cable and phone, is an introductory rate, and depending also on
your connectivity speed.

Feb 12, 2015
Feb 11, 2015

Is organic chocolate worth the price?

Feb 11 (Reuters) – If you plunk down some big bucks for
organic chocolate this Valentine’s Day, your sweetie may or may
not be impressed.

Despite what some people say, such candy does not taste
better just because the ingredients are organic, according to
experts. The manufacturing process plays a major part.

Feb 4, 2015

Book your summer air travel now or miss savings

Feb 4 (Reuters) – With snow piling up in much of the United
States, it might seem a bit early to start thinking about
summer. But if you want to take a vacation on your terms, travel
experts say now is the time to get the ball rolling.

Cheaper fuel prices, a strong dollar and an economy on the
upswing mean consumers will have a lot of competition booking
airplane seats for summer vacations. “This is the perfect
storm,” says Rick Seaney, chief executive officer of, which analyzes airfares.

Feb 3, 2015
Jan 28, 2015
Jan 16, 2015
Jan 15, 2015

Crowdfunding for a cause gets cheaper

Jan 15 (Reuters) – The week before Christmas, a fire gutted
the Beverly, Massachusetts home shared by Kevin Wagner, his
fiancée, and their four young children. Most of their basic
possessions were destroyed along with their Christmas presents.

While insurance will cover much of the rebuilding, friends
stepped in right away with cash to fill the gap until the claim
is settled. As is becoming more common these days, they started
crowdfunding campaigns on popular sites – one on,
which holds money in an FDIC-insured savings account, and
another on, which is linked to a personal bank
account. Both sites collect a 5 percent fee from the donations
and pass along a credit card processing fee of about 3 percent.

    • About Mitch

      "Mitch Lipka is editor of and is a veteran consumer columnist, editor and reporter. Most recently, he led a 10-person consumer reporting team at AOL’s personal finance channel, He received the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer writing on the web and is the 2011 Best Friend honoree from Kids in Danger for his work covering child product safety. Mitch has been a reporter and editor for more than 25 years and has worked for The Philadelphia Inquirer, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Consumer Reports. The opinions expressed here are his own."
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