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Consumer News

The question on the table is: is your house your greatest asset? Yours truly says yes, it is; our guest, consumer expert MEL ZELENAK, says no, it's not. What do you think and why? June 27, 2019

Consumer expert MEL ZELENAK takes a page (or two) out of one of his favorite books, 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' by Robert Kiyosaki, to guide our conversation about becoming financially independent. June 5, 2019

As usual, our conversation with MEL ZELENAK covers a wide range of topics for the smart consumer, and today is no different. On the docket: the 'Silver Sneakers' program, auto-paying monthly bills, investing in low-cost index funds and more! March 18, 2019

2019 is well underway, but that doesn't mean you still can't set a few financial goals, including - and yes, this pays off, literally - exercising regularly! That's just one of three resolutions shared by consumer expert MEL ZELENAK in this interview that also touches on investing in index funds. February 25, 2019

2019 is almost here! Financial expert and retired University of Missouri professor MEL ZELENAK tells us how we can kick-off the new year with a little extra green in our pockets. December 3, 2018

Trevor and Lindsey are thinking about a cruise, so they contact a travel agent. They find a great deal on a cruise from Athens, Greece to Miami, Florida. Two tickets for the flight to get to Athens and then home from Miami (to St. Louis) cost $5,862. Not wanting to pay that much (to find that flight, they looked at both matrix.itasoftware.com and the cruise's website), Trevor and Lindsey are faced with two options: cancel the trip or look again. At guest MEL ZELENAK's suggestion, they look again, this time searching for one-way tickets instead. The savings? Not to be believed! October 15, 2018

Taking a vacation this year? Don't book your flight (or your cruise) through one of those third-party websites you see advertised on TV all the time; instead, MEL ZELENAK wants you to use one of these three carefully-chosen websites designed to save you time and money! September 20, 2018

From the best dates to take a cruise to the benefits of an airline credit card program, MEL ZELENAK shares just enough travel tips to fit on an index card, and that's a good thing. July 12, 2018

If you've never been to Olivet Christian Church's annual chicken and mutton barbecue (dine in or drive thru!), you're really missing out on a "great experience." Find out why! Guests: JOE REEDER and RITA REEDER | Also, our consumer expert MEL ZELENAK wants to give back. If you're a young couple looking for advice when it comes to financial management, Mel is here to help - for free! Watch for details. (3:43) June 7, 201

Today Paul Pepper and MEL ZELENAK continue their discussion about financially-sound resolutions you should be making for 2018. Topics covered include: how to keep a healthy skepticism in the marketplace; investment advice from Dan Solin; buying life insurance and more! February 7, 2018

Today Paul Pepper visits with our resident money man, MEL ZELENAK, about good financial resolutions you should make right now for 2018! Get his take on low-cost index funds and the American Heart Association's amount you'll save by staying healthy. At [4:44] SCOTT MINIEA, Insurance Counseling Services, talks about a special enrollment period for those who, for example, let their 2017 Affordable Care Act plan lapse. Other circumstances apply - watch for details! January 16, 2018

Today Paul Pepper visits with our consumer and travel expert, MEL ZELENAK. Mel touches on a number of topics, including: fee-only financial planners, where to find the best return on your investments (according to Jack Bogle), the "world's largest cruise agency" and a look ahead to 2018! December 7, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with MEL ZELENAK about ways you can identify, and then plan for, extra costs that maybe you don't see coming when you travel. Maximize your vacation budget with these helpful tips! October 18, 2017

Today Paul Pepper and MEL ZELENAK talk about owning the whole stock market. Well, via mutual funds, anyway. Test your knowledge with Mel's 'true or false' questions about expense ratios, transaction costs and other potential fees paid to financial advisors. August 17, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with consumer expert MEL ZELENAK. Have you ever been in a situation where, after taking your car in to be serviced for a recall, they tell you they've found other problems that need to be addressed? Find out why Mel says you should tell them to wait on doing any additional repairs. Plus, advice on buying life insurance for your child. July 5, 2017

Today Paul Pepper and MEL ZELENAK talk about the best ways to enjoy a cruise vacation. From selecting the right ship to booking to packing to onboard gambling, Mel's got easy tips and tricks for even the most novice of travelers. May 25, 2017

Today Paul Pepper and MEL ZELENAK talk about taking a cruise. Mel tells us that it's his favorite mode of vacation transportation, and therefore has a lot of experience hitting the high seas. Tips include how much to pack, how much to spend and how much effort put into choosing the cruise line. April 11, 2017

Today Paul Pepper and MEL ZELENAK talk about the recent addition of United Airlines to the Columbia Regional Airport, and what that might mean for it's aging facilities. Also, have you ever considered traveling with just a one-way ticket? It might save you thousands of dollars - watch for details! March 15, 2017

Today Paul Pepper and MEL ZELENAK, retired home economics professor at the University of Missouri, trade travel talk and tell us what you should not agree to when renting a car (that will save you a few extra bucks). Plus, Mel talks about fiduciary relationships and whether or not the Trump Administration will uphold a ruling set forth by the Obama Administration; as well as how to develop passive income. February 2, 2017

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back our resident consumer expert, MEL ZELENAK! Mel delivers part one of his New Year's resolutions: save even more money in 2017. Get his thoughts on fiduciary relationships with financial planners (yes!), passive investing (maybe!) and "paying yourself first" (absolutely!). December 19, 2016 

Today Paul Pepper visits with our resident consumer/travel expert, MEL ZELENAK, about sharing ideas. Does your neighbor or friend know of a way to save a buck or two? Do you? If so, pass it on! Mel also delves more into his favorite bit of advice for young investors: avoid the financial planner. Watch! November 21, 2016

Today Paul Pepper and travel guru, MEL ZELENAK, talk about more ways to save a buck while seeing the world, all before you leave the house! Find out about Mel's favorite website in which to book a flight, as well as advice on reading the fine print. October 14, 2016

Today Paul Pepper and MEL ZELENAK, retired professor of economics at the University of Missouri, talk about asset allocation. Investing on your own may sound like a scary endeavor, but according to Mel, cutting out the middle man (i.e. the financial planner) will help you save 60%-70% a year in fees. Mel says, "you can get a little bit of help, but if you do it on your own, it literally takes three hours a year." Find out how! August 17, 2016

Today Paul Pepper and MEL ZELENAK talk about supply and demand when it comes to booking travel. The trick? Keep checking back because the price will fluctuate. Plus, Mel encourages everyone to take advantage of those safety recall notices, but be careful of any "free" safety checks that are offered as a result - find out why! July 18, 2016

Today Paul Pepper and MEL ZELENAK, retired economics professor at the University of Missouri, talk about what Mel calls the best value vacation possible: cruising. Follow his tips to avoid the usual headaches and to save yourself some money! June 15, 2016

Today Paul Pepper and MEL ZELENAK, retired economics professor at the University of Missouri, touch on Helaine Olen and Harold Pollack's new book, "The Index Card: Why Personal Finance Doesn't Have to be Complicated." Haven't read it yet? Mel briefly shares what he thinks are the most important takeaways - watch! April 27, 2016

Today Paul Pepper welcomes back retired economics professor MEL ZELENAK, who - on this visit - encourages us to Google 'matrix airfare search' before booking your next flight. Find out why! March 8, 2016

Today Paul Pepper visits with retired money expert MEL ZELENAK about why you should use a fee-only financial planner (there are two in Columbia) and the best days to travel. Domestic and international flights are cheaper on certain days of the week - we tell you when and how to find the best deal! February 4, 2016

Today Paul Pepper and consumer expert, MEL ZELENAK (who is also a retired economics professor at the University of Missouri), talk about consumer fees. The biggest takeaway: always consider the total cost! It's good information that's easy to follow - watch! December 28, 2015

Today Paul Pepper and retired economics professor, MEL ZELENAK, talk about saving money for the future. "The financial advisor is typically not working for the consumer," warns Mel, who shares his tips and tricks that "anybody can do!" November 6, 2015

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