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Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter
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Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  3,192 ratings  ·  403 reviews
Why is paying for things painful? Why are we comfortable overpaying for something in the present just because we’ve overpaid for it in the past? Why is it easy to pay $4 for a soda on vacation, when we wouldn’t spend more than $1 on that same soda at our local grocery store?

We think of money as numbers, values, and amounts, but when

ebook, 288 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Harper (first published November 2017)
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Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
This seemed to take forever to finish and it was kind of repetitive. It was a lot of good advice and had some nice humorous elements, but I feel like certain things were said 3 or 4 times. I usually like Dan Ariely's works, and while I did learn some things from this one, it didn't grab me the way his previous books did.
Christopher Lawson
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We Are All Inside The Money Volcano

I was hesitant to read this book, as I was pretty sure it would be boring. I assumed it would be one of those “How to Make a Budget” type of books.

Okay, I was completely wrong—it’s nothing of the kind. I enjoyed reading this book. DOLLARS AND SENSE by Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreisler explains how we think about money, with special emphasis on the frequent ways we think WRONGLY about money. It’s not that we are stupid about money; rather, we don’t think objectively
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. Largely a regurgitation of ideas from other Ariely books. Repetitious even within the book, with a lot of filler. Would only recommend for those who have not already read Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality.
Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
Covers some of the psychological bugs we have with money and spending. Some of the insights are found in other work by Arielly and some this stuff is found in Daniel Kahneman's "thinking fast and slow" and other behavioral economics works. Most of the cases are familiar from the literature.
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books on Human behavior with respect to money. Dan knows the art of explaining things with examples and personalities that you can relate to be it this book, the books before or the online MOOC. You'll find yourself constantly saying: "Had I been in this situation, I would have done the same thing as this guy did".
One of the good ways this book differ from others in the same genre is how it won't tell you to get rid of the irrationality of human brain but rather how to embrace it
Ericka Clouther
This is a better book if you haven't already read a ton of behavioral economics. For me, it was a compilation of a lot of effects I'd already read about (for example in Ariely's Predictably Irrational). This book would be great for people who don't know that much about behavioral economics who are interested in personal finance.

I was also uncomfortable with the way the authors veered into territory that was somewhat morality- based without a holistic view of the issue. I fear economics often mak
David Msomba
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
In a nutshell,the author tries to show how our cognitive biases tend to affect our daily financial judgements and decisions.

Again, If you are familiar with Dan Ariely`s previous work then you will revisit many of those ideas again in this book,but the book is still insightful,witful,contains alot of useful tips and I like the comic approach by his co-author,which made the book more interesting and hard to put it down.

I highly recommend this,if you on quest of trying to understand how psychology
Scott Wozniak
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another great book on the surprising way we really think. Our decisions about money, it turns out, are very sensitive to the last number we thought about right before that decision, our self-concept, and which category we put the money in. We will go to great lengths to avoid loss but blow off the chance to gain the same amount of money, for example.

It’s not only an important book. It’s a funny book. Very well written.
Veselin Nikolov
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I like Dan Ariely and read the book because of his name. This book, however, was a hard read and I didn't enjoy it. It says that thinking about money is hard but why would reading books about money be hard too?

I think that it could only be useful for people who don't often read self-help.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A necessary text to understand the basics of financial literacy.
Tarmo Pungas
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not an amazing book, but makes you think about your past (and future) expenses and how irrationally we think about money.
Ben Rogers
May 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
It was good, but not anything as good as any other Ariely books.

Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is informative in that it lets us know things about ourselves (whether we want to admit them or not) that we never knew. The fact that we are prejudiced and swayed in ways we don't even recognize can be disconcerting. But as is pointed out, knowing about these unconscious biases can help us address them, and even use them to our advantage.
It doesn't just show us the flaws that exist in our programming, it gives strategies to deal with them. But we first have to admit to ourselves tha
Chuy Ruiz
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
I have really enjoyed his other books, and this one was interesting as well. Definitely a good read for anyone struggling with money habits.
Athan Tolis
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some three years ago, I belatedly came around to reading Ariely’s original masterpiece, “Predictably Irrational.” Here’s verbatim the summary of my findings:

1. Among two offerings, a merchant can reliably make us pick the one he prefers by sliding a “decoy” bad choice that is more similar to the choice he wants to steer us to

2. The first price we see for anything is the one we remember forever. Get that high “anchor” in and you can sell anything at a high price (and vice versa)

3. We are suckers
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those interested in human behavior, psychology, sociology, and personal finance
Very interesting read. There was a kiddie coaster of emotions. The ups and downs of 'I'm an idiot,' 'I'm not an idiot,' 'Humans are idiots,' 'the majority of us are going to die poor and forever working,' and 'no wait, we can trick ourselves into not being so idiotic!'

I noticed at the grocery store after reading the book that I was thinking about my purchases more. I reasoned through the sales and gimmicks and actually saved $10 on what I normally spend. Did I also second guess those second gue
Tariq Mahmood
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economy
The book is ideal for someone like me who is a pathological and emotional spender of my own money. The book explains life-changing economic decisions with simple and relevant examples with plenty of funny anecdotes which made it into my best economy books to date. I think it will have an impact on my spending habits as I will try and make more informed decisions and try and keep my emotions in check :(
Supriya Raghavendra
A light hearted read with relatable anecdotes and plenty of humour. The book talks about how to spend and not spend money, common flaws while thinking about money, the ways in which we creatively rationalize our stupid financial decisions and finally, some advice on how to use dollars and our sense more wisely.

A must read for young folks who are beginning to deal with disposable income. Esp. the ones that are susceptible to impulsive and emotional spending like me!
Feb 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure who the target reader for this book is, but clearly it is not me.
When it comes to financial advise I want it straight forward and no nonsense. This was nothing but rambling, unorganized, nonsense. Thanks, but no thanks.
Dan Connors
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
As a CPA, I try and read at least a few financial books per year. Many of the financial books today are unappealing to me, though I do have a weakness for Suzy Orman. This book, which came out in 2017, gives an alternative look at the way we think about money- mainly the irrational mistakes that our brains make when thinking about such an important and sensitive subject.

Dan Ariely is a psychologist and writer, and I loved his book, Predictably Irrational. This one covers much of the same ground,
Roy Wang
Although many of the book's key notions are recycled from Dan Ariely's previous works (e.g. Predictably Irrational), the authors' witty, sometimes self-deprecating writing makes it hard to put down the book, all the while chuckling at our own money mistakes. The fact that it's real money at stake makes it all the more incredible (and amusing?) to see the self-deceptions, mental loops, and shenanigans we humans routinely commit to just to avoid pain and uncertainty or protect our ego.

Most importa
Matias Kewe
Key takeaways:
Money can be thought about in absolute or relative terms. We 'short change' ourselves when we compartmentalise our expenses, effectively thinking about money in relative as opposed to absolute value.
Money is fungible, that is any $10 note is as valuable as any other $10.
We are likely to value our possessions more than others do, or more than the market thinks that item or service is worth.
We are susceptible to price anchoring, irrespective of the reference. All the more when other
Will Simpson
May 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought I was a conscientious spend and saver but Dan and Jeff showed me where I’ve fooled myself and sometimes been lead astray in my financial decision making. Through many examples they show where we can slip and not act in our own best interest. They do not want to foster guilt on particular financial decisions but instead hope to show where creating a helpful space to consider options, opportunity cost, future self, long term goals - is in our own best interests. I love and follow Dan’s w ...more
Michel Meijer
How are our brains fooled by money and how is our behavior manipulated by money. I thought that would be an interesting subject to dive in and this book by Dan Ariely and Jeff Kreislerr got some praise on the internet so I gave it a shot. I made 2 mistakes.
1) I bought the Dutch translation. And the translation is not good. The humor conveys poorly and the translator did no effort to link the Amercanisms in the book to Dutchisms. In general, the Dutch do not work a lot with dollars and creditcard
Matt Fitz
I really enjoy the research Ariely had done in the past (and present), but this book seemed to be repetitive and cumbersome. Still worth a read because it does the same as his book on honesty/ points to how our human condition of intuitions, heuristics, subjective beliefs, rationalizations, and emotions subject us to being erroneous when it comes to money and value. I found myself realizing how much I get wrong even when I think I'm being objective and smart. For people who enjoy ...more
Mehdi Hassan
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Dan partners with his fellow quirky thinker Jeff Kreisler to produce this volume that dives deep into the bahavorial psychology of finance. There are plenty of examples of cultural spending and a lively commentary is made on the nuances of experience that money can buy. Plenty of comparisons made, intuitive analysis carried out and curious questions raised. The book recommends nothing yet offers a very interesting way of thinking. This book is for those who enjoy a session of self-debate between ...more
Bipin Ramachandran
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great book on understanding money psychology. We were never thought about real-life money matters in school. In home also, money remains a taboo subject. I believe this belongs in a group of books that provides real education on personal finance, helps us to make better decisions by making small changes in the way we think. The concepts are explained interestingly and humorously. If you worry about your financial future but also think reading about money is boring, I would recommend giving thi ...more
Rustin Roundy
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really took a lot away from this book. while there were many specific pointers and exclamations for our behavior as a society with regard to money, there were one-of-a-kind tips I had never heard before. Like credit card roulette, where all members of a dining party all give the waitress their cards and the waitress selects only one to run and that’s who pays. another thing I found fascinating was the pain of paying and how separating the time of purchase from the time of consumption and helps ...more
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
As with all of Ariely's books - this one clearly reminds us of how flat out dumb we are. Unlike most of his other ones, it does come with some pretty clear ways we can take advantage of our foibles to our own advantage....but, ultimately we are still dumb.

Ignore if something is on sale, realizing that anchoring is screwing with your mind, don't jude things on price alone...and compare items based on opportunity cost.

The best trick I got out of this - make a deal with your future self, mine is M
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not as good as predictably irrational (or perhaps I was already expecting a very good book) but very good nonetheless: through a series of cleverly created experiments, Ariely tests our ability to make decisions about money by gradually detaching the operational spending of money from the object of the purchase: e.g. it's easier to pay a lot of money for something when we use our credit cards. Why? Ariely tried to explain the rationale that is responsible for those apparently irrational decision ...more
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From Wikipedia:

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He also holds an appointment at the MIT Media Lab where he is the head of the eRationality research group. He was formerly the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Behavioral Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management.

Dan Ariely grew up in Israel after birth in New York. He served in the Israeli army and

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“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”  Theodor Geisel said...
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“A few years ago, Dan and a research assistant went to a Toyota dealership and asked people what they would give up if they purchased a new car. None of the shoppers had spent any significant time considering that the thousands of dollars they were about to spend on a car could be spent on other things. ... Most people answered that if they bought a Toyota, then they would not be able to buy a Honda, or some other simple substitution. Few people answered that they wouldn't be able to go to Spain that summer or Hawaii the year after, or that they wouldn't go out to a nice restaurant twice a month for the next few years, or that they would be paying their college loans for five more years.” 1 likes
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