Research finds savvy savers are less likely to become impulsive spenders

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

People who have greater self-control and stronger saving habits are more likely to save money and not make impulsive decisions, research led by Curtin University has found.

The research, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, interviewed 594 participants from the United States of America and examined the psychological influences, such as saving intention, buying impulsiveness, saving habits and saving behaviour, on someone's ability to save money.

Senior author Associate Professor Barbara Mullan, from the School of Psychology at Curtin University, said evidence suggested strong saving behaviour can have positive effects on family stability and well-being, as well as improved mental and physical health.

"Our research examined people's behaviour by comparing reflective systems, such as conscious deliberation and goals, with impulsive systems, such as automatic tendencies to purchase something without much thought," Associate Professor Mullan said.

"We found that individuals who have greater self-control, saving habits, and stronger intentions to save money were less likely to make , suggesting that people with low saving habits were particularly vulnerable to becoming impulsive spenders."

Associate Professor Mullan explained the findings highlighted the direct relationship between our behaviour and the ways we save and spend money.

"Our research shows it is important to understand and examine the causes of saving behaviour in order to promote this positive behaviour," Associate Professor Mullan said.

"Our findings indicate the complexity of saving behaviour and suggest that using strategies that target reflective and impulsive systems are needed to change an individual's . For example, if a person is seeking to save more and put a stop to impulsive purchases or decisions, they would need to set goals and targets, develop plans for savings, and reward one's self with non-spending rewards when successful."

Explore further

Knowing your neighbor cares about the environment encourages people to use less energy

More information: Vanessa Allom et al. Reflective and impulsive processes underlying saving behavior and the additional roles of self-control and habit., Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics (2018). DOI: 10.1037/npe0000093
Journal information: Journal of Neuroscience

Provided by Curtin University
Citation: Research finds savvy savers are less likely to become impulsive spenders (2018, October 24) retrieved 12 August 2020 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Feedback to editors

User comments