First Annual Hindsight Awards: The Best in Behavioral Science

Announcing the first annual Hindsight Awards, a retrospective review of favorites in behavioral science from the perspective of researchers at the Center for Advanced Hindsight. We reflected on a great deal of books, articles, podcasts and videos from the past year, and voted for our favorites to create this final list of “bests.”

Disclaimer: Even as researchers, we are biased humans. We suffer from in-group favoritism, and as a result you’ll find that we voted for ourselves in a few (but not all!) categories.


Question: How much savings is enough savings?

This is post number 7 in our ongoing Question and Answer series: “Hacking Personal Finance: Behavior, Not Budgeting”. Check back daily, or Follow @commoncentslab and @advancedhindsight on Twitter, or sign up for our Daily Bits course to find out more ways you can use behavioral science to help manage your money.

Advice from the Lab: Enough to cover six months of expenses. (After that, pay off debt or contribute to a retirement account.)

In addition to your $1,000 in savings for emergencies, we recommend a rule of thumb: Keep between three to six…


Question: I hate thinking about my money. How can I make it less stressful?

This is post number 6 in our ongoing Question and Answer series: “Hacking Personal Finance: Behavior, Not Budgeting”. Check back daily, or Follow @commoncentslab and @advancedhindsight on Twitter, or sign up for our Daily Bits course to find out more ways you can use behavioral science to help manage your money.

Advice from the Lab: Use automatic payments to turn one-time motivation into a commitment device. When you have to think about it, allow yourself a reward for doing it.

One of the best things about…


Question: How can I improve my credit?

This is post number 4 in our ongoing Question and Answer series: “Hacking Personal Finance: Behavior, Not Budgeting”. Check back daily, or Follow @commoncentslab and @advancedhindsight on Twitter, or sign up for our Daily Bits course to find out more ways you can use behavioral science to help manage your money.

Advice from the Lab: Pay on time, increase your borrowing limit, and keep your balance below 30% of your borrowing limit.

Building good credit is not intuitive. Many of our friends think “if you make lots of money, pay your bills on…


Question: I find budgets helpful, but it’s hard to stick to them. How can I do a better job?

This is post number 5 in our ongoing Question and Answer series: “Hacking Personal Finance: Behavior, Not Budgeting”. Check back daily, or Follow @commoncentslab and @advancedhindsight on Twitter, or sign up for our Daily Bits course to find out more ways you can use behavioral science to help manage your money.

Advice from the Lab: You wouldn’t calorie count. Why budget? Use other tactics like automation, reminders, and accountability.

We recommend you leverage a phenomenon known to behavioral scientists as mental…


Question: Is there a “right” way to manage your money?

This is post number 3 in our ongoing Question and Answer series: “Hacking Personal Finance: Behavior, Not Budgeting”. Check back daily, or Follow @commoncentslab and @advancedhindsight on Twitter, or sign up for our Daily Bits course to find out more ways you can use behavioral science to help manage your money.

Advice from the Lab: There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but following these six simple steps, in order, will get you most of the way to a solid financial foundation. The key is to do one thing at a time.


Question: I’m in debt, but I also have some savings. What should I focus on first?

This is post number 2 in our ongoing Question and Answer series: “Hacking Personal Finance: Behavior, Not Budgeting”. Check back daily, or Follow @commoncentslab and @advancedhindsight on Twitter, or sign up for our Daily Bits course to find out more ways you can use behavioral science to help manage your money.

Advice from the Lab: Keep $1,000 in savings for emergencies, but use the rest to pay off any debt with an APR of 8%+.

If you have a mix of savings and debt…


1: Hacking Personal Finance: Behavior, Not Budgeting

This is post number 1 in our ongoing Question and Answer series: “Hacking Personal Finance: Behavior, Not Budgeting”. Check back daily, or Follow @commoncentslab and @advancedhindsight on Twitter, or sign up for our Daily Bits course for 20 ways you can use behavioral science to help manage your money.

Introduction

The Common Cents Lab, at the Center for Advanced Hindsight, is a Behavioral Research lab based out of Duke University. Our lab was founded with the mission to use behavioral research to help families make better financial decisions. …


By Josh Leskar

This piece originally appeared on the Human Interest blog

At Human Interest, we are on a mission to enable every small business in America to provide an affordable retirement solution to their employees. Historically, small businesses have had a difficult time offering 401(k)s to their employees, both for financial and administrative reasons. So, we make it possible for any company to offer a customizable, affordable, and friendly 401(k) that is easy for both employers and employees to use.

Setting up a 401(k) is a huge first step, yet one of the hardest parts is encouraging employee participation…


Credit card debt is at an all-time high. More than a third of households in the US carrying more than $16,000 in credit debt, with an average APR of 19.49%. If these households paid the minimum balance every month, it would take a family more than 20 years years to payoff their debt.

There are two simple ways to climb out from under the mountain of debt. One way is to decrease our expenses. Another way is to call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. Decreasing expenses and changing our habits is hard, so we…

Advanced Hindsight

Making people happier, healthier, and wealthier with behavioral science, at home and abroad.

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