One Simple Way To Save More Money

How_we_paid_off_500k_opener2_Anna_Sudit-1Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
There are plenty of tips and tricks out there to help you improve your savings habits, from creating a budget to setting up automatic transfers from your checking account after every paycheck.
But, researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Business have a new one for you: Embrace the power trip.
Their new study found that people who feel powerful (defined by having control over valuable resources) are more likely to save money as a means of maintaining that power. And, if you’re not feeling very powerful at the moment? Don’t fret. Fortunately, feelings of power are subjective and malleable — so, there’s still room to change your mind, and therefore your savings habits.
As part of their study, the Stanford researchers engaged in a total of five experiments to illustrate the effect of power on savings habits. For the first, 140 university students were divided into three groups that either wrote about a time they felt a sense of power or lack thereof, or didn’t write at all. All groups were then instructed to envision themselves receiving 100 euros, and asked how much they would deposit in a savings account. The students who had written about feeling powerful saved a mean of 71.20 euros, while the other groups saved only 48.73 euros and 51.69 euros, respectively.
The second experiment assessed people who received actual money. Offered $10 to report to a research lab, 76 Stanford students were instructed to either sit in a tall or low chair, and were then interviewed about an unrelated topic. After the interview, students who sat on the tall chair reported that they would save $6.94 of their $10, whereas those who sat in the shorter chair would save an average of $4.49.
The third experiment assigned 200 participants to imagine that they were either a member or the leader of a group project. The leaders saved between 34% and 42% vs the group members, who reported only saving between an average of 13% and 18%.
The other experiments, again, found that those who were made to feel powerful (by imagining themselves as bosses instead of employees) vowed to save more than those who felt powerless.
One exception? The researchers found that if a factor other than money was linked to power, such as securing life-long employment, people’s savings habits were not influenced at all.
While you’re getting the hang of your new power attitude, read up on some other ways to boost your savings habits, like five strategies that make you happy about saving or these nine habits that can help you build wealth.

More from Work & Money

So, you've graduated from college, updated your LinkedIn, and have been hitting up your network like crazy. You had an amazing first interview, you ...
If the new phrase for the office BFF is the "work wife," then is a good boss or mentor your "work mom" or "work dad"? Part authority figure, part dispenser...
The morning at my insurance firm was hectic. My first appointment after lunch was a balding man in his mid-50s. I smiled at him warmly and attempted ...
Refinery29 joined the Clinton Foundation for a tour of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to get a firsthand look at the experiences of the women and girls who live ...
9:30 p.m. — HANGRY. Get home and eat canned soup and watch Netflix before bed
Any recent grads freaking out about their job prospects need not fear: Apparently the demand for exorcists has never been higher. The Telegraph reports ...
9:45 a.m. — Starbucks reward, bitches! OBV I get the most expensive thing that I can concoct. A Venti 5 shot soy latte. Yum
You know what's easy? Spending money. It's the best way to get what you want right now. Except...this is not sustainable. Those little luxuries add up ...
Four years ago, my life was exactly where I wanted it: I was working as a senior editor at a major glossy magazine. My first young adult novel had just ...
After months of waiting and countless discussions about what the future holds for our favorite television characters, Shondaland shows are finally back. ...
Just after my son’s first birthday, I was on the phone with my mom, grappling over a gut-wrenching decision. I was scheduled to go on a business trip but...
I get so nervous before job interviews — sweaty palms, dry mouth, butterflies in my stomach. It’s really not fun. But once I’m sitting down with the ...
Fifty percent off your purchase here. 1,000 free miles there. When it comes to credit cards, the benefits are easy to see — while the downsides are often ...
As the host of RIOT's Woke Bae, we already know comedian Phoebe Robinson is funny AF while getting serious about major issues like feminism and ...