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

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.

4 Ways Your Brain Screws Up Your Money AND Your Love Life

Even if you aren't planning on marrying rich, the hidden biases that affect relationships can also impact finances. Learn what blind spots you should watch for.

How to Talk About Retirement With Your Spouse

Avoiding that talk with your spouse about retirement will cost you both, eventually. Here's how to start talking — and planning your future.

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?