Emily Guy Birken's picture
Staff Writer

Emily Guy Birken

Emily has written three personal finance books: "The Five Years Before You Retire," "Choose Your Retirement," and the forthcoming "Making Social Security Work for You."

Latest articles by Emily Guy Birken

5 Ways Having a Paid Off Car Is Surprisingly Great

We all know auto loans are bad for our bottom line. Check out just how much easier life can be when you straight-up own your car.

4 Bad Money Habits You're Teaching Your Kids

Kids are little sponges that soak up every subconscious lesson — including our awful money habits.

Afraid of Spending Money? Here Are 5 Perks of Your Phobia

For some, chrometophobia can be crippling. For the frugal minded, it's just another way to save more.

5 Ways to Make Retail Therapy Good for You

We usually caution against retail therapy — it's so wasteful! — but if you're gonna, at least try to reduce some of the harm.

5 Ways to Stop Your Mindless Spending

One-click buying, impulse shopping trips… Learn how to keep more of your money by developing more money-mindfulness.

4 Ways to Take a Frugal Grownup Spring Break

Spring break isn't just for college kids. Get wild on a budget and have your own grownup spring fling.

5 Questions to Ask Before You Sell Your Car

Think you're ready to bid a fond farewell to your hoopty? Hang on — make sure you know what you're selling — and what you're buying.

6 Money Lessons You Can Learn From Your Pets

Didn't think you could learn a thing or two about money from your family pet? Think again.

Save More and Spend Less by Increasing Your "Mental Transaction Costs"

"Cost" is more than dollars and cents. Use these mental money blocks to take charge of your money and live a more rewarding frugal lifestyle.

Are You Letting FOMO Ruin Your Finances?

FOMO can prompt us to make a lot of questionable decisions. Get your envy in check and regain control of your life — and your money.

The High Cost of Cheap Clothes

Even the cheapest fast fashion pieces come with a hefty price — steep environmental and social costs we don't often see.

How to Manage Your Debt in 10 Minutes a Week

One way we sabotage debt repayment is by convincing ourselves it's a difficult, time-consuming chore. It isn't if you follow this simple plan.

This Is How the High Cost of Cheap Gas Hurts You

Turns out cheap gas isn't so cheap after all.

6 Money Questions You Never Have to Answer

When Nosy Parkers start prying into personal money matters, here's how to shut 'em down.

5 Audiobooks About Money You Need to Hear

Turn your commute into a fun lesson in finance with these audiobooks about money.

This Is How Americans Spent Their Money in the 1950s

Americans had a lot of fun spending money in the 1950s, almost as much fun as we do spending money today.

3 Ways Good Sleep Makes You Wealthier

Being short on a few winks is bad for more than just your health. A bad night's sleep can lead to many harmful money mistakes, too.

How to Organize Your Paperwork in Just 10 Minutes a Week

If your financial filing system is more "pile" than file, take heart. Learn to control your documents — and make tax time and a lot else much easier.

10 Frugal Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress

You can reduce your stress levels at work without spending much (or any) money. Science says so!

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.