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I’m a saver. Of stuff. Too much stuff. We’ve been cleaning out our unfinished basement to seal it so it can be a more usable space. Boxes from our previous home. Boxes from college. Boxes from high school. Boxes that were in our parent’s basement from our childhood. Things that have been held onto for years because so many of them have meaning. We all do it. Take a look around your home.
Do you have a box of old letters? A rogue fly ball you caught at a baseball game when you were eight? Do you have a collection of space toys? Your wedding dress? Your child’s first shoes? We all save stuff.
Going through the boxes I had a lot of sentimental moments. But also, a lot of “what was I thinking?” moments, too.
But when I opened one of those boxes last week, I squealed. In it was a little yellow stuffed dog I had thought was lost. A dog my mom says I’ve had since I was a baby. Yellow with brown ears and full of beans. A stuffed animal my older brother and I would toss up in the air and yell “UpsaDaisy”. He snuggled with me when I was little, attended tea parties and other adventures.
And I thought he was gone. But there he was, in that box of mementos I had tucked away in my teenage years. I’m glad I found him. My brother passed away in 2005, but the memories of us playing together as kids are brought back by my little yellow buddy, “UpsaDaisy” I even found photos. I was a pretty cute kid.
What would happen if I could find a way to harness the emotion tied to my sentimental items like “UpsaDaisy” and use it to help increase my financial savings?
To honor National Savings Day and as part of Capital One’s overall effort to redesign the banking experience and help people feel confident in their relationship with money, 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.
The results of the Banking Reimagined Savings Study may surprise you.
- The sentimental item group increased theirsavings three times (67%) more than the control group (only 22%) between the initial phase and second phase held three weeks later.
- Across all five cities where the study was held, the sentimental item group reported saving, on average, a substantially higher percentage of their gross income three weeks after the emotion-based immersion.
- In Seattle, the sentimental item group reported saving 47% more of their gross income three weeks after the emotion-based immersion.
- Thesentimental item group showed statistically significant increases in their financial savings behaviors from pre-experiment to post-experiment: readiness to save, confidence toward saving and financial health.
- The sentimental item group reported that they were more significantly emotionally attached (10%) to their nostalgic item from pre-experiment to post-experiment, an effect needed to change behavior from post-experiment to the follow-up phase.
Based on the Banking Reimagined Savings Study results, people might be able to try some of the same exercises the sentimental item group experienced in the study to improve their own savings behavior.
Tapping into emotions connected to saving heartfelt nostalgic items may actually make you more inclined to save financially. Think of an item you’ve kept for positive sentimental reasons and ask yourself what kind of feelings and values are associated with that item. Is it something a grandparent or parent gave you and thus is tied to the importance of a loving and supportive family? Or is it something from a vacation abroad that serves as a reminder of a sense of adventure and the great experiences you were lucky to have and that you hope to have more of in the future? Use the power of emotion tied to your sentimental item and the identified feelings and values associated to determine how to live your values today and improve your financial savings behavior.
When you are motivated to take action, automate it!For example, 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.
Explore the innovative tools and educational services available to solve money problems and meet your financial goals. Capital One will be opening two new Capital One Cafés in Seattle to offer the entire community of Seattle and Bellevue (not just Capital One customers) with access to free educational content, services and innovative tools to help improve your relationship with money! For example, Capital One’s Money Coaching program offered in Cafés in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, LA, Denver and other cities, is designed to connect your values to your money, get your money under control, plan a path for your future financial goals, and the confidence to make it happen. It’s like life coaching, but for your finances – and it’s free!
Celebrate with Capital One for a chance to win $10,000! To honor National Savings Day today, October 12, and 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 Twitter and Instagram using #ShareMySave and #Contest for a chance to win monetary prizes up to $10,000! See rules for details: https://capitalonesharemysave.com/en-us/rules
What are you waiting for? If you’ve made the commitment to save your beloved keepsakes, you can make the commitment to start saving more – money that is.