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By Molly TriffinPsych Yourself Rich
Putting money aside seems pretty straightforward. But, seeing as the average personal-savings rate is just 5.7% (compared to 11% two decades ago), it’s definitely easier said than done. “We like to think of ourselves as rational when it comes to finances, but our decisions are shaped by psychological and emotional triggers,” says financial behaviorist Jacquette M. Timmons, author of Financial Intimacy
Not only are many of these cognitive workings subconscious — so we aren’t aware of the profound impact they may have — but sometimes they’re completely counterintuitive. Certain money moves that appear savvy, for example having several different savings goals or focusing on specific ways you’ll cut back, actually end up backfiring and having the opposite effect of driving you to spend more.
We sorted through the expansive body of research out there devoted to the science of saving and discovered some pretty astonishing findings about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to beefing up your bank account. Here’s the scoop.