About Emily Guy Birken

Emily Guy Birken is a former English teacher and respected personal finance blogger. She lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her engineer husband and two high-energy little boys. She has written two books: The Five Years Before You Retire and Choose Your Retirement. Emily's thoughts on parenting and life in general are found at The SAHMnambulist.

Top 9 Reasons You Need a Will

I have been thinking about wills a great deal lately. My husband recently accepted a job in another state, and we took this major life upheaval as a reminder that we should update our will. We had not updated the will to include our second child after he was born, nor appointed a new executor […]

6 Gifts That Actually Help to Launch Graduates

It’s that time of year again. Graduation season is in full swing, and everywhere you look there are top ten lists telling you the best gift you can give the graduate in your life. While it’s always nice to receive presents, particularly when they commemorate the hard work necessary to earn a diploma or a […]

SoFi Review: Loans for Responsible Borrowers

In 2011, four students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business had a novel idea for how to help their fellow Stanford students afford their student loans: What if established Stanford alumni could invest in current students and recent grads by refinancing their student loans? The investors would receive a nice return and feel good […]

The 8 Best College Degrees for Job Security

In 2005, after working for peanuts for two years at a Boys and Girls Club, I decided to go back to school to become a teacher. Teaching seemed like a great career choice: I loved working with kids and I knew that teaching would provide me with job security for the rest of my career. […]

Take the Frustration Out of Insurance Shopping with PolicyGenius

In the five years that I have been writing about personal finance, I have done quite a bit of research on life insurance and other insurance products. In that time, I’ve concluded that I’d rather do pretty much anything—including cleaning the Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a toothbrush—than shop around for insurance. If you have ever […]

Cancel Your Forgotten Subscriptions with Trim (AskTrim.com Review)

I have a near OCD-level need to check my credit card statements. On an almost daily basis, I look over the charges on the credit card my husband and I share and keep track of where our money is going. For instance, several years ago I signed up for a free 30-day trial of Shoprunner […]

TickerTags Review: Leveling the Information Playing Field for Investors

One of my favorite money-related movies is the 1983 Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd comedy Trading Places. The second half of the film revolves around Murphy and Aykroyd’s interception of a critical USDA report about the orange crop forecast, and they use this inside information to profit from trades in frozen concentrated orange juice. While much of […]

FamZoo Review: Preparing Your Kids for Real World Finances

I have two kids, aged 5 and 2, who love playing with their piggy banks. At least once a week, they ask for pocket change to deposit, and they are excited to find coins in the sofa or on the ground. But as much as I appreciate the classic money lessons an old school piggy […]

The Best Student Loan Refinancing Options

Student loan debt is a tricky beast. Not only do student loans now account for $1.2 trillion, student debt is currently the second biggest source of personal debt after mortgages. The big difference between a mortgage and a student loan, however, is the fact that refinancing a mortgage is a (relatively) simple and well-known process, […]

How to Budget for Your Unexpected Expenses

Do you know how you will pay for an unexpected expense? According to research by economist Atif Mian and financier Amir Sufi, 40% of Americans could not come up with $2,000 if an unplanned expense arose in the next month. But everyone will experience a surprise bill at some point, whether or not they have […]

Acorns Review: Invest Spare Change Automatically

Knowing how to invest your money ought to be a basic life skill—like changing a tire, budgeting, and cooking for yourself. But the sad truth is that many people are intimidated by investing, and it can feel impossible to fill in this particular skill gap. Thankfully, that’s where the Acorns mobile investing app comes in. […]

8 Tips to Secure Your Marriage (and Money) for Years to Come

It may be difficult to talk to your beloved about money, but it is a non-negotiable if you want a healthy marriage. That’s because money problems are cited as one of the top reasons for divorce, just behind infidelity and communication issues. Don’t let money problems hurt your happy marriage. Here are eight tips you […]