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Technology & Innovation

How to Prepare for Black Friday

Americans shop too much and save too little. At least that’s how it went before the economic crisis of 2008. Will we change our ways now? Probably not. That’s why we put together a series on the Science of Saving, just in time for the dangerous Black Friday.

Lee Eisenberg, former editor-in-chief at Esquire magazine just came out with the book Shoptimism. He spoke to Big Think about what tricks to look for as a buyer, the history of the splurge – have we always been shopaholics?- and why the age-old cliché of women as shoppers and men as non-shoppers doesn’t hold true today.

Notable behavioral psychologist Dan Ariely jumped into the psyche behind not being able to save. He suggests comparing money we spend to tangible items—like a latte, or a trip to the Bahamas.

Aaron Patzer, the CEO of (which was just bought by Intuit for $170 million) is no stranger to managing finances. It was the reason he came up with an online tool to help people balance their checkbooks. According to Patzer, the multitude of books on the subject of personal finance are pointing us all in the wrong direction. Here’s how we should learn to save money- the right way. And that might include facing the American addiction to food and beverage.

Peter Pham, the last expert in the series, is the founder and CEO of, a website that helps you figure out which credit card, cell phone plan, and gas station is right for you. He has some tips on how to choose a credit card, which with today’s glut of choices, is quite the challenge.

Watch the videos before you go out on Friday and splurge. Believe us, you won’t regret it.


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