Changing Attitudes and Behaviors Related to Budgeting

An obvious mechanism to help an individual spend their cash flow in accordance with their financial goals is to employ a budget. But for many of us, the idea of constricting any behavior, especially how we spend our money, is unpleasant. Even if we label it using the euphemism of a “spending plan.” And, changing money attitudes is challenging even for experts. Volumes of advice and technologies are available to help with the mechanics of …
Back in 1999, I worked as a consultant to a large fiber-optic cable company that was staffing a new plant in Pennsylvania. For months, our crew of grad students and industrial psychologists administered validated tests, interviews, and work samples to thousands of potential candidates to fill manufacturing roles. In the work sample, applicants had to coil thin, translucent cables into circles and pack them into thick, zipper-top bags while racing against a clock. Only some …
Always a teacher, my father loved uncovering hidden trends in the economy, in consumer behavior, and in marketing research, and then sharing them with others. He loved reading articles in newspapers, cutting them out, making notes all over the margins, and then turning those findings into essays on how individuals approach money. I would share articles and summaries from academic journals with him, and (after grading them) he would relate their scientific findings to …

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