Jeff Kreisler ’95

The book: In Dollars and Sense (Harper), Dan Ariely and co-author Jeff Kreisler ’95 take a deep look at the irrational ways we spend money, answering questions like “why does paying for things often feel like it causes physical pain?” and “why are we comfortable overpaying for something now just because we’ve overpaid for it before?” The book covers a wide range of everyday topics from credit-card debt and household budgeting to holiday sales, demonstrating how our ideas about money are often wrong and cost us far more than we realize. However, Ariely doesn’t just leave readers there; he teaches us how to improve our money habits to spend smarter.

Co-author Dan Ariely
The authors: Jeff Kreisler ’95 is a comedian, writer, speaker, and behavioral-science fan. He is the author of Get Rich Cheating. Dan Ariely is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. He is the author of New York Times bestselling books Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality, among others.

Opening lines: “In 1975, Bob Eubanks hosted a short-lived TV game show called The Diamond Head Game. Taped in Hawaii, it featured a unique bonus round called “The Money Volcano.” Contestants were put in a glass box that quickly transformed into a furious wind tunnel of flying money. Bills whirled, spun, and flapped all around as the players scrambled to grab as much as they possibly could before time ran out… It was great entertainment: For fifteen seconds it was clear that nothing in the world was more important than money. To a certain extent, we are all inside the Money Volcano. We are playing the game in a less intense and visible manner, but we have been playing, and been played, for many years, in countless ways.”

Reviews: “[A] valuable guide... Engaging and funny, rife with anecdotes and advice, the book defangs a difficult topic while teaching a lot.” — Publishers Weekly