Thank you Capital One for sponsoring this post. This is a paid endorsement. All opinions are my own and were not directed by Capital One. To learn more about Capital One, visit www.capitalone.com.
When I think about the things, memories, and places that incentivize me to action (specifically save money) in being frank my options are far and few between.
As I have grown older my strongest attachments have graduated to the people closest to me, memorable experiences, and perhaps the items and mementos associated solely with them.
Our memory is a powerful thing that can help us forgo repeating poor decisions and lead us to greater things. Both are fundamental when it comes to saving for our future.
The items I hold dearest sit on my night table to remind me each morning and each evening why I do what I do. What motivates me each morning, what I wrestle with each night.
Momentos & Savings
So it doesn’t surprise me that Capital One recently found that one can harness their emotions in order to facilitate better and healthier financial decision-making.
For background, Capital One partnered with Financial Psychologist Dr. Brad Klontz of Creighton University to test whether positive memories tied to sentimental items, thus powerful and vivid memories, could be harnessed to improve financial decision-making – or, more specifically, savings behavior.
The Banking Reimagined Savings Study, sponsored by Capital One and led by Dr. Klontz, randomly assigned participants to one of two groups – the control group or the sentimental item group – and compared the results of the two groups. The control group received a standard financial education presentation (FE) without any emotional engagement.
The sentimental item group (SI) experienced an immersive positive emotion-based presentation and exercises revolving around the sentimental item they were asked to bring with them to the study.
What They Found
- The sentimental item group increased their savings three times (67%) more than the control group (only 22%) as reported in the follow-up phase.
- If maintained over the course of the year, this change could represent $10,020 in annual savings on average, compared to $5,838 in annual savings on average prior to the study.
- In Boston, the sentimental item group reported saving on average 75% more of their gross income three weeks after the initial emotion-based immersion.
One item I hold dear is a photo of my sister, my young nephew, and I. It was taken on a very special birthday of hers, the details of the image easily come to mind as do the happy feelings associated with that day.
A little background I have never shared about my sister and me, we are both adopted but biological sisters. My parents went through a great deal to keep us together and always encouraged us to remain close. Something that as is typical, did not happen until we became older.
As I recently disclosed, I have a genetic autoimmune disorder, and shortly after that photo was taken, my sister (who is a year and a half older) was diagnosed with the same one.
I remember our conversations regarding her health, her plan for my nephew should she become sick. It was then I realized the gravity of a potentially significant (yet welcomed) responsibility that could have been in my future. It prompted me to focus on making a great deal more income and doubling my efforts to save for my future.
The next and last significant piece is a personalized needlepoint I received from my significant other’s sister. When I first met Joanna, I was a little intimidated. She was younger, much hipper, and listened to music I had never even heard of. She welcomed me immediately, without question, and on a constant basis.
Last Christmas she gave me that needlepoint in colors that match my style, featured my signature “G” front and center, and I nearly cried thinking about the time she spent.
Her brother, my significant other, grew up with two wonderful sisters and an open-minded, caring mother. I always told him how thankful I was that he grew up around women, it shaped him, his personality, and many of the incredible and rare qualities he possesses.
National Savings Day
Since today is National Savings Day, I encourage others to think about what is important to them and how to get there through their financial goals. Here are a couple quick tips that you can do today!
- Celebrate with Capital One for a chance to win $10,000! To encourage people to “get sentimental” to improve their own savings, Capital One launched #ShareMySave – a celebratory contest that calls on people to share images of their most treasured keepsake and tell why that item is so special and meaningful to them on Instagram and Twitter using #ShareMySave and #Contest for a chance to win monetary prizes up to $10,000! (no purchase necessary)
- Check out the rules here – https://capitalonesharemysave.com/en-us/rules
- When you are motivated to take action, automate it! Set up a monthly contribution from your checking account to a savings account, like Capital One’s 360 Money Market, a high-interest rate account. It elevates banking as a flexible, fee-free online, mobile and in-person support savings account that offers a rewarding high-interest rate and access to tools needed for long-haul savings growth.
I hope you’ll join me and think about the people, places, items, and memories that propel you each day!