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

Ask These 5 Questions Before Deciding On a Financial Advisor

Before trusting your finances to any old somebody, you need to carefully vet potential advisers. These basic questions will get you started.

The Zeigarnik Effect and 7 Other Ways to Beat the Housekeeping Blahs

It's Wednesday and the novelty of keeping the place ship-shape has long since worn off. Stay motivated with a few tidy ways to fight chore fatigue.

Is Your Emergency Fund Costing You Money?

Yes, we're always telling you to work on building your emergency fund. Now we'll tell you when to stop.

How One Family Lives Well (And Even Owns a Home) on Just $11 an Hour

Limited income, limited life — right? Wrong. Learn how the Luh family is thriving without a huge paycheck — and you can too.

3 Times When You Should Absolutely Quit

Nobody likes a quitter but knowing when to cut your losses is often the best decision you can make. Is it time to start quitting more?

4 Easy Ways to Automate Your Everyday Life

Don't let the little things distract you from the big picture. Free your mind for bigger things by putting your life on autopilot.

4 "As Seen on TV" Products Actually Worth the Money

Made-for-TV gadgets are rarely worth more than a laugh. But wait — don't change the channel on these four great items!

6 Cars You Can Drive (Almost) Forever

Meet the anti-lemons. After rigorous testing, these six cars have proven their reliability and longevity time and time and time and time... again.

3 Supposed Etiquette Faux Pas That Actually Make You Look Good

The rules of etiquette sometimes seem arcane and inflexible. Don't beat yourself up if you trip over one of these faux pas — own your flub and win.

4 Things Millennials Should Do Today to Prepare for Retirement

Planning for retirement is daunting — even for twenty-somethings. Take a few simple steps and be on your way to building a healthy retirement fund.

How to Navigate 3 Common Money Arguments With Your Significant Other

Couples don't always see eye-to-eye — especially over money. Recognize these common fault lines and you can learn to steer around them.

Bigger Paycheck or Bigger Tax Refund — Which Should You Pick?

Usually planning your taxes for a small refund is best, but not always. Analyze your money psychology and your spending to make the right choice.

5 Common Logic Traps You May Be Falling For

The human brain is a curious thing. See if you're being held back by one of these notorious logic traps.

How Much Should You Have Saved for Retirement by 30? 40? 50?

You know you should be saving for retirement — and saving a lot. Betcha' didn't know you needed to save this much!

10 Things in Your Basement You Should Throw Out Today

If you've got a basement, you've probably got a lot of clutter. Start tossing it out today!

4 Things Most People Don't Realize Are Holding Them Back

Is it always two steps forward, one step back? Don't get frustrated — understand what's holding you back, then move forward around it.

4 Ways Your Mind Can Make You Rich

The human brain is not powerful enough to will money into existence — but it's close. Here's how to put mind over money.

12 New Ways Restaurants Trick You to Spend More

From anchoring to the Midas Touch, learn how restaurateurs and their employees exploit consumer psychology to get you to spend more.

Are You Getting All the Credit Card Rewards You've Earned?

Credit card rewards programs look attractive, but there are several hidden costs, beginning with the cost of not redeeming those rewards.

This Is Why You Always Think Things Will Cost Less Than They Do

Estimating costs is hard — and the sad part is, much of the time it's because our brains are working against us. Here's how to regain control.