Looking into the future
According to Sarah Newcomb, author of the bookbook. Opens a new window in your browser, "Loaded: Money, Psychology, and How to Get Ahead without Leaving Your Values Behind," the ability to save is not based on a personality type or luck. It is instead rooted in family history, culture, and — most importantly — the personal stories we tell ourselves.
The answer to becoming a better saver, Newcomb said, is to paint a picture of your future life and step inside of that picture. As a behavioral economist, Newcomb has found that people who are better at sketching the future tend to save more for the world they envision.
When people are younger, their timeline often doesn't extend far enough into the future to inspire them to save in the now. Due to what's called distance psychology, how we think about an idea (like saving for our kids' university funds) depends on how close we are to that event. If a person is in their 30s, for example, and may be thinking about having kids, buying a house, and getting ahead in their career, retirement can feel very far away.