Illustration: Jen Troyer
Carl Richards, whose simple sketches of complex financial concepts served as the foundation for his book The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money, finds he can save a little bit more if he understands the reason he's doing it. For instance, trying to cut back on spending an extra 50 cents on your coffee—especially if that French roast brings you joy—isn't worthwhile. But making a call to your landlord to drop your rent $100? That definitely matters. "I can say 'no' to some things because I have a bigger 'yes,'" Richards says.