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Saving in Cycles: How to Get People to Save More Money - Leona Tam, Utpal Dholakia,
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Increasing saving behavior through age-progressed renderings of the future self. Journal of Marketing Research, 48, S23 — S Liberman, N. The role of feasibility and desirability considerations in near and distant future decisions: A test of temporal construal theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 5 — Psychological models of time: Arrows, cycles and spirals.
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Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, , — Thaler, R. Anomalies: Saving, fungibility and mental accounts. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 4, — Save more tomorrow TM : Using behavioral economics to increase employee saving. Journal of Political Economy, , S — S Trope, Y. Temporal construal. Psychological Review, , — Framing goals to influence personal savings: The role of specificity and construal level.
Journal of Marketing Research, 48, — Time, models and narratives: Towards understanding the dynamics of life. Weinstein, N. Unrealistic optimism about future life events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, — Zauberman, G. Resource slack and propensity to discount delayed investments of time versus money.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, , 23 — Zhao, X. Reconsidering Baron and Kenny: Myths and truths about mediation. Journal of Consumer Research, 37, — The roadblock short circuits those automatic impulse buys by forcing you do a little bit more than swipe the card. Putting the goal down on paper takes it out of your head so you aren't saddled with trying to remember it and forgetting most of the time.
Research has shown that when you use only credit cards, you tend to spend more. The tl;dr is that past expenses influence future spending behavior but the payment mechanism credit, debit, cash, etc. Since credit cards don't feel like money and the payment isn't immediate, we tend to not to feel the pain of those purchases as much.
When you pay with cash, you remember that you're spending the money because you're handing over cold hard cash but your wealth is depleted immediately , which makes it even more painful. This idea relies on the Effects of Payment Mechanism on Spending Behavior results too — if you didn't feel the pain of a purchase when you paid with a credit card, you certainly won't feel it if you save it on Amazon. This will protect you in the event the site gets hacked and everyone gets hacked plus you'll be less likely to spend money because now you have to get your credit card each time you buy something.
How many times have you aborted a purchase because the credit card was in the other room?
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Everyone's done it. I've actually seen this first hand myself on a business I run. We weren't going to charge the card until the trial ended but the simple act of having to get the card was enough to dissuade some. Did you know obesity is contagious? In a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers discovered that people were more likely to become obese when a friend became obese.
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And they studied 12, people over 32 years. Read the NYT article for greater detail and check out some of the more recent research of Dr. Nicholas Christakis , the principal researcher, because there's some fascinating new stuff too. The bottom line is that our friends have a big influence on us and an even bigger influence on our finances. When I was younger, I used to go out to the bars all the time.
No kids, few responsibilities, my girlfriend was in another state, and I really didn't have much to do after work one of the reasons I started Bargaineering! So what did we do? We went to bars for happy hour. Our bars aren't expensive, on a per drink basis, but when you go every few days it starts to add up.
What would prompt the trips? The reverse is also true. Tell a friend you are saving towards something big and important, they'll want to help by not asking you to go to the bar as often. And if they don't, they're more likely to accept a no without hassling you when you give a reason.
That's backed up with research too! In , psychologist Ellen Langer at Harvard University discovered that offering a reason for a small request increased the likelihood the request would be granted.
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The tl;dr is that they asked to skip a line to use a Xerox machine using one of three requests. The first was to just ask to use the machine with no reason given, second was to ask with a real reason in a rush , and third was to ask with a fake reason I have to make copies. The reason didn't matter. So by telling your friend a real reason, or a fake one, they're almost always going to not hassle you about it.
This last one isn't something that you can do , like tell a friend or set a savings goal, but it's a very powerful lesson.
Money Saving Advice for College Students
Things don't make you happy, experiences do. As I like to say, things depreciate and memories appreciate. So two studies to support this — first is the idea known as hedonic adaptation. As good things happen, our happiness goes up but eventually settles back onto the set point. As bad things happen, our happiness goes down but eventually rises back to the set point. Lottery winners are a prime example and the basis of some of their future studies. What happens with things is that you really only experience that happiness once. You buy a new car, it's awesome because it's better than your old car, you're so thrilled, but eventually it's just your car.
You settle back to your happiness set point. Think about the last time you bought a car and the last time you booked a vacation. The first study says that you're more likely to look back fondly on the vacation. The second study says that before you went on the vacation, you'll have enjoyed the anticipation more. Jim has a B.
One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which enables him to manage his finances in just minutes each month.