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Happy National Savings Day: New Study Says Nostalgia Can Help You Save Financially

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Movie ticket stubs, old newspaper clippings, stuffed animals from your childhood… Whatever treasured trinkets you hang on to throughout the years, your keepsakes are important to you. Shouldn’t the same sentiment extend to your finances?

According to a new study, it does. In August, Capital One partnered with financial psychologist Dr. Brad Klontz of Creighton University to test whether positive memories assigned to souvenirs could be channeled towards improving financial decision-making or savings behavior.

The Banking Reimagined Savings Study was conducted in five U.S. cities, including Boston, and randomly assigned participants to one of two groups: the control group and the sentimental item group. The control group received a standard financial education presentation without any emotional engagement, while the sentimental item group was asked to bring in a nostalgic item to incorporate into the presentation’s exercises. After three weeks, the researchers followed up with participants to monitor changes in their savings behaviors.

The researchers concluded that the Boston sentimental item group increased their confidence in ability to save more by twice as much as the control group, readiness to save by three times more than the control group, and financial health through positive, emotionally-charged memories by four times more than the control group – all of which developed a deeper emotional incentive to save money.

If you’re looking to get savvy about savings, think of an item (or items) that you’ve held onto for sentimental reasons and tap into the reasons you’ve kept it around. Why is it important to you? Was it a gift? Does it trigger a favorite memory? Harness that emotion to your finances and how saving money can help you achieve the things you want or need.

As an added motivator, Capital One is sponsoring the first ever National Savings Day today, October 12, to help people reach their financial goals and celebrate the act of saving. Their celebratory contest #ShareMySave is calling on Boston residents to share images of their most treasured keepsake and explain why it’s so special to them. Post your pictures on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtags #ShareMySave and #Contest for a chance to win weekly prizes of $500 and a grand prize of $10,000.

For further assistance in staying on top of savings, Capital One’s 360 Money Market can help customers set up a monthly contribution from your checking account to your savings account. This fee-free service can be done online, on your phone, or in person to gain a high-interest rate and contribute to long-term savings growth.

So don’t ditch your favorite collection of souvenirs at a yard sale just yet; it could be the tool to saving (and winning!) thousands.

For more information on how to increase your savings and contribute to the #ShareMySave contest, visit capitalonesharemysave.com.