Money 2.0: Why We Bust Our Budgets

Have you had a recent surprise expense? You’re not alone. More than half of American households report facing an unplanned financial shock in the last year. This week, in the second part of our new “Money 2.0” series, psychologist Abigail Sussman points out our blindspots around money, and how we can be smarter about spending and saving.

Additional Resources

RESEARCH:

Understanding and Neutralizing the Expense Prediction Bias: The Role of Accessibility, Typicality, and Skewness, by Ray Charles “Chuck” Howard, et. al, Journal of Marketing Research, 2022.

How and Why Our Eating Decisions Neglect Infrequently Consumed Foods, by Abigail B. Sussman, Anna Paley, and Adam L. Alter, Journal of Consumer Research, 2021.

How Do Bonus Payments Affect the Demand for Auto Loans and Their Delinquency?, by Zhenling Jiang, Dennis J. Zhang, and Tat Chan, Journal of Marketing Research, 2021.

When Shrouded Prices Seem Transparent: A Preference For Costly Complexity, by Shannon Michelle White, Abigail Sussman, and Dustin Beckett, NA – Advances in Consumer Research, 2019.

The Benefits of Emergency Reserves: Greater Preference and Persistence for Goals That Have Slack With a Cost, by Marissa A. Sharif and Suzanne B. Shu, Journal of Marketing Research, 2017.

Mental Accounting For Food in Exceptional Contexts, by Abigail B. Sussman, Anna Paley, and Adam L. Alter, NA – Advances in Consumer Research, 2016.

The Role of Emergency Savings in Family Financial Security: Barriers to Saving and Policy Opportunities, Pew Charitable Trusts Issue Brief, 2016.

Framing Charitable Donations as Exceptional Expenses Increases Giving, by Abigail B. Sussman, Eesha Sharma, and Adam L. Alter, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 2015.

The Exception is the Rule: Underestimating and Overspending on Exceptional Expenses, by Abigail B. Sussman and Adam L. Alter, Journal of Consumer Research, 2012.

Mental Accounting and Small Windfalls: Evidence From an Online Grocer, by Katherine L. Milkman and John Beshears, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2009.

Toward a Positive Theory of Consumer Choice, by Richard Thaler, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 1980.


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