The Art of Asking for a Discount

In January, This American Life aired a segment in which reporter Ben Calhoun went to a few stores and tried asking for a "good guy discount" at the register. Here's how Calhoun explained it: A friend of his named Sonari Glinton was interviewing a negotiations expert from Columbia University Business school who described a technique where you ask at the register, "Can I get a good guy discount on that? You're a good guy, I'm a good guy—come on, just, you know, a good guy discount."

Does Saving Money Make You Happy?

Ally Bank published the results of their recent online survey (1,025 adults over 25) on savings and happiness, and --surprise! -- they found that happiness correlates directly with the amount of money a person has saved. More specifically, 57% of people with over $100,000 saved are happy, vs. 34% of those with less than $20,000.

The Benefits of List-Making

I keep two main lists: A "to-do" list and a "ta-da" list. The former is daily, boring, and first accumulated tasks like, "groceries," or "pick up dry cleaning," but has now devolved into reminders like, "hot chocolate, woo!" "windex the stuff," "trim your damn nails," and even, "PANIC."

Reader Mail: How to be a Generous Person

I don't want to end up like Mr. Burns in that episode where Homer asks him if his money says "I love you" at the end of the day, and Mr. Burns sadly says, "…no!"

Money Spent in an Attempt to Save Money This Year

This is the year I decided that I wanted to stop living with roommates and get my own place. This is going to be accomplished in part by looking for a better paying job, and cutting back on some of my expenses—the latter of of which I'm accomplishing by...

The Extended Trip

Logan Sachon: Hey Mike, have you ever kept extending a weekend trip so that it lasted two weeks?

Feel No Shame. Re-Wear Your Halloween Costume From Last Year

Chris Koentges has a piece over at The Atlantic extolling the virtues of re-wearing the same Halloween you wore last year, and all the previous years before that.

Let’s Start the New Year With Some Small Wins

What's one small money-related thing you'd like to accomplish by Feb. 1?

A Thank You to My Daughter for Her Untraditional Wedding

Soon after her announcement, I received an e-mail invitation to a "Barbecue Wedding." What? No official wedding invitations? The dress is casual, the invitation said. Casual? I read on. Please bring a dish? No filet mignon, or stuffed chicken?

Lady Buys Her First NYC Apartment

One of the things people who aren't from New York ask me sometimes is whether or not the rent in New York is really as crazy as they think it is. "Is it really that expensive to live there?"