Emily Guy Birken's picture
Staff Writer

Emily Guy Birken

I remember doing two things as a kid: keeping careful track of my piggy bank, and reading every financial book I could find. I'm very interested in behavioral economics and how psychology affects our ability to make good money decisions.

Latest articles by Emily Guy Birken

3 Reasons Why You're Still in Debt

Avoiding — and climbing out of — debt is pretty simple. But that doesn't mean it's easy. Learn why you're still in debt — and how to get out of it.

Will You Ever Be Able to Retire?

A real retirement seems to be moving further from reach. Bring it closer with good planning and realistic expectations.

12 Smart Ways to Turn $500 Into a Better Future

Got $500 burning a hole in your pocket? Instead of blowing it on stuff, use it wisely to improve your finances, your home, or yourself.

The Simple Way to Save Enough Money for Your Dream Goals

Stop dreaming about a house, a car, or a wonderful vacation. Make those big purchases real with this simple long-term savings strategy.

5 Savings Tricks You Haven't Tried Yet

If saving was easy, we'd all be saving more. Try one or more of these savings strategies and see if the habit doesn't finally stick.

4 Dumb Ways You Are Wasting Money Online

Online marketers are skilled at parting you from your money. Beware of these four marketing tricks — and learn how to defend your wallet from them.

5 Decisions With Unexpected Financial Consequences

Our decisions can leave deep and lasting impacts on our future financial health, even if they don't seem to be connected to money. Here are five you must watch for.

This Trick Could Help You Finally Pay Off Your Debt

Personal finance is personal — especially debt. But if you can overcome that hurdle, a partner may be the motivation you need to tame that balance.

Will New Chip-and-PIN Credit Cards Stop Identity Theft?

Pretty soon you'll be getting a new, more secure credit card in the mailbox. It's called "chip and PIN," and here's what you need to know about it.

Your Debt Is Killing You — Here's the Cure

Forget about saving for retirement and your kid's college tuition. Here's the best reason to get serious about eliminating debt — it's killing you.

The 5 Most Common Ways People Derail Their Retirement

Many people are making these critical mistakes in their retirement planning. Are you one of them?

How Online Retailers Make It Easier to Spend Money

Much of what's convenient about online retail — reviews, one-click shopping, fast shipping — is aimed at one thing: reducing the "pain of paying" so you'll spend more.

Understanding the Affordable Care Act's Health Insurance Exchange

The Obamacare insurance exchanges open for business in a few weeks. Here's what you need to know about the system before you sign up.

Investment Advice You Should Never Hear From Your Financial Advisor

Choosing a financial advisor you can trust is hard. Narrow the field by eliminating any advisor who offers you any of this "advice."

4 Brain Hacks for Better Investment Decisions

Investors may think they make rational decisions, but for many, emotions and psychology call the shots. Understand your biases to make better decisions.

How Emotions Can Hurt a Home Buyer

Granite counters and fresh paint can lead a buyer to overlook a home's flaws. Avoid buying the wrong house by recognizing these common biases.

How We Brainwash Ourselves Into Brand Loyalty

If you think you're immune to marketing, think again — in fact, you might be convincing yourself to buy something and not even realize that you're doing it.

Credit Cards Aren’t as Competitive as They Want You to Believe

Competition between businesses is what creates good deals for consumers, right? Then why the heck are credit card companies not more competitive?

Marketing, Life Insurance, and Behavioral Psychology

Many of us avoid thinking about life insurance because, well, it's kind of creepy. But it's also incredibly important. Learn why.

Psychology and Loans: The Strange Reasons Why You Make Bad Decisions

You might think that when it comes to big financial decisions, you only make logical, rational decisions. But research suggests that you don't.