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

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.

10 Ways to Prevent an Emergency From Driving You Into Debt

If you're caught short when life catches you short, don't panic. Instead, try these strategies to manage an emergency and avoid debt.

7 Ways to Eat More Slowly — and Lose More Weight

Mom's advice to chew each bite 10 times was right. You really can improve your health just by spending more time at the table. Here's how.

The WORST Time of Day to Do Everything

Your body has a clock of its own, and if you pick the wrong time do some tasks, you'll do them poorly — and feel poorly while doing them.

4 Weird Brain Hacks That Make You a Better Person With Almost No Effort

Self improvement is hard, right? Wrong! Become the person you want to be with some simple tricks that leverage some quirks of your brain.

This Is Why Your Projects Always Take Longer Than You Expect

Do your projects always seem to take longer than planned? You're not alone. Here's why scheduling is hard — and how you can improve.

What Did Your Parents REALLY Teach You About Money? (It Might Surprise You)

Our families teach us "money scripts" that can drive our entire financial lives. Learn more about what they are — and how you can change them.

This Is What It Really Costs to Get Sick

Even with Obamacare, unexpected medical costs can hit your finances hard. Here's what it costs to get sick, and what you can do.