- Why is paying for things painful?
- Why are we comfortable overpaying for something in the present just because we’ve overpaid for it in the past?
- Why is it easy to pay $4 for a soda on vacation, when we wouldn’t spend more than $1 on that same soda at our local grocery store?
We think of money as numbers, values, and amounts, but when it comes down to it, when we actually use our money, we engage our hearts more than our heads. Emotions play a powerful role in shaping our financial behavior, often making us our own worst enemies as we try to save, access value, and spend responsibly. In Dollars and Sense, bestselling author and behavioral economist Dan Ariely teams up with financial comedian and writer Jeff Kreisler to challenge many of our most basic assumptions about the precarious relationship between our brains and our money. In doing so, they undermine many of personal finance’s most sacred beliefs and explain how we can override some of our own instincts to make better financial choices.
Exploring a wide range of everyday topics—from the lure of pain-free spending with credit cards to the pitfalls of household budgeting to the seductive power of holiday sales—Ariely and Kreisler demonstrate how our misplaced confidence in our spending habits frequently leads us astray, costing us more than we realize, whether it’s the real value of the time we spend driving forty-five minutes to save $10 or our inability to properly assess what the things we buy are actually worth. Together Ariely and Kreisler reveal the emotional forces working against us and how we can counteract them. Mixing case studies and anecdotes with concrete advice and lessons, they cut through the unconscious fears and desires driving our worst financial instincts and teach us how to improve our money habits.
The result not only reveals the rationale behind our most head-scratching financial choices but also offers clear guidance for navigating the treacherous financial landscape of the brain. Fascinating, engaging, funny, and essential, Dollars and Sense provides the practical tools we need to understand and improve our financial choices, save and spend smarter, and ultimately live better.
About the Author
Dan Ariely is the bestselling author of Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty. He is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University and is the founder of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, and elsewhere. He lives in North Carolina with his family.
Jeff Kreisler is just another Princeton educated lawyer turned award-winning comedian, author, speaker, TV pundit, speechwriter, and advocate for behavioral economics. The New York Times calls him "Delectable," Rachel Maddow (MSNBC) says, "You'll be laughing all the way to the bank," and his kids still think he's "cool." He specializes in money, politics, and other human encounters. His first book was the satire Get Rich Cheating. http://jeffkreisler.com
“[A] valuable guide... Engaging and funny, rife with anecdotes and advice, the book defangs a difficult topic while teaching a lot.”
— Publishers Weekly
“A lively look at how even the wisest among us are too often fools eager to part with our money...A user-friendly and often entertaining treatise on how to be a more discerning, vastly more aware handler of money.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“[An] engaging guide to decision-making about money...Highly recommended.”
— Library Journal (starred review)
“If you want to get better at making good financial decisions, read Dollars and Sense.…What the two authors do brilliantly is take behavioral economics and make it accessible.”
— Washington Post
“[A] surprisingly breezy exploration of the most common mental blocks to building wealth...It’s the rare kind of book that makes you feel a lot smarter, while simultaneously giving you actionable tips for improving your daily life.”
— Business Insider’s Best Business Books of 2017