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.

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 […]

Investing in Lending Club: What You Need to Know

There’s an excellent reason why Lending Club is currently the largest peer-to-peer lending network, responsible for over $13 billion in loans as of September 2015. Borrowers enjoy better rates than they could find at a bank, and lenders receive returns that could be difficult to replicate with more traditional investments. Specifically, lenders have earned an […]

40 Ridiculously Cheap (and Creative) Valentine’s Day Ideas

As a lifelong cheapskate, I have often been bemused by the amount of money people spend to prove to their spouses, children, and families just how much they love them. No time is this more evident than on February 14 of each year, when love advertising goes into overdrive to convince consumers that true love […]

The Best Automatic Savings Apps to Grow Your Wealth in 2016

Saving money has a lot in common with flossing: you know it’s important, professionals wag their fingers at you when they find out you’ve been neglecting it, and it seems like a major pain to get in the habit of doing. Luckily for reluctant savers, technology has come to the rescue in the form of automatic […]