Money Magazine’s Magic Mantra for Savers

Money magazine reported in its August 2013 issue about the results of a Rand Corporation survey involving a group of 438 savers. Economist Jill Luoto discovered that those who pledge to be a better saver actually save more than those who do not pledge.


The survey ran for a six month period. Participants were randomly chosen to receive one lump sum of $50, $100 or $500. They had to decide how much of their award to take in cash and how much to deposit into a savings account paying an annual interest rate of 30%—a very strong inducement to save.


Participants would receive any money remaining in their savings account at the end of the survey. Individuals were randomly assigned to a so-called traditional account which allowed funds to be withdrawn over the course of the survey, or a hard commitment account which did not allow withdrawals, or a soft commitment account which allowed withdrawals but also required them to make a pledge. Deposits could not be made to any account.


At the conclusion of the survey savers who made pledges saved 64% of the money they were awarded. Savers who did not pledge saved only 54%.


What did the pledgers do to bring them such good results? Their survey had three additional steps which required them to:


1)      Think about the reasons they had to save, then write down their savings goal(s);

2)      Write down one word to describe how it will feel to achieve this goal(s);

3)      Type out the following sentences: I am a good saver. I will commit myself to achieving my savings goals.


The survey steps could have easily come from the art of self-hypnosis. The very first step in the art of self-hypnosis is to define a goal. Survey participants began by defining their savings goal—a primary physical goal. Survey step two touches upon the laws of Facilitation by Emotion and Subconscious Goal-directed Activity by having the participants describe how it will feel to achieve the goal—notice the use of future tense here. No doubt this caused the participants to develop an end-result image with which they could identify and then tag it with a feeling or emotion associated with their eventual success. For the last step participants typed a pledge, which is nothing less than an affirmation, or waking suggestion. The pledge carried significant weight and influenced the subconscious mind because the conscious mind was distracted by the process of responding to the survey.


Those who mastered the art of self-hypnosis may have already spotted the weasel-word “will” in the second sentence of the affirmation. Will is a synonym for willpower, which has no place in affirmations as willpower has only a temporary effect and is frequently exhausted when we need it the most. Will also has a modern interpretation of implying that action takes place at some indeterminate time in the future. A better way to construct that sentence is to delete the word will, which makes it a present tense declaration—I commit myself to achieving my savings goals.


Now go ahead and incorporate Rand’s strategy into your own self-hypnosis routine to become a better saver.

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