I recently led a “change group” for individuals who were attempting to modify a habit of their choosing. When we reached the last meeting, group members reflected on their experiences, identifying what they found most helpful to their change efforts. Several group members discovered it was most helpful to take the time to be truly […]

When you are trying to change a difficult financial behavior, the obvious question you ask is “What is getting in the way of doing the right thing?” This helps you identify barriers and design ways to get around them. What we often forget, though, is an equally important question: “What is allowing the wrong behavior to […]

Last month, I was honored to be the recipient of an Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) award from the Institute for Financial Literacy. My book, Pocket Change: Using the Science of Personal Change to Improve Financial Habits, was named the 2014 Book of the Year in the “Adult, General” category. Many thanks to the […]

Have you ever noticed how the human brain favors the pleasure of instant gratification over the benefits of long-term health and well-being? Resisting temptation is difficult, and the inability to resist temptation underlies a wide range of money problems including overspending, accumulating debt, and failing to save enough money for the future. A recent study […]

Over the last three blog posts, you’ve learned about the limits to self-control, and you’ve learned how your impulses can sometimes take over your money behavior. Now take a look at the strategies for strengthening self-control. Here are the top ten tips: Gain knowledge about the “high risk situations” that may disrupt your progress toward […]

Over the past couple of blog posts, you’ve learned about the “unthinking side” of yourself, which includes the gut reactions and snap decisions that happen underneath the radar of your consciousness. You’ve also learned about the “thinking side,” which is the systematic, logical planning system that makes sure the impulsive self does not always get […]

This post marks the second in a four-part series aimed at understanding impulse control and why it’s important when it comes to maintaining our financial health. Last week, we looked at the “unthinking side” of impulse control: the impulsive self that operates underneath the radar of our conscious mind and makes quick decisions that sometimes […]

Research by Oettingen (European Review of Social Psychology, 2012) suggests that if we’re working on building good money habits, we might benefit from the “WOOP” exercise. Although it sounds like a fancy new dance step, it’s really just a quick mental strategy that helps you to predict what problems might get in your way and […]