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Financial psychologist Dr. Brad Klontz discusses emotions and savings ahead of National Savings Day

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- October 12 marks National Savings Day, founded by Capital One with the hopes of helping people save their money and learn new strategies for doing so. It was announced at the beginning of 2017 by The Registrar at National Day Calendar and can be observed annually. 

Ahead of National Savings Day, Capital One psychologist Dr. Brad Klontz, who is also a financial psychologist for Creighton University, spoke with ABC News about the emotions tied to savings and a new study uncovering an effective way people can save.

He tells ABC News that, after conducting interviews with Americans in major cities, he found positive memories tied to sentimental items could be harnessed to improve financial decision-making more effectively than a "standard lecture on the importance of savings."

He says participants were divided into two groups. One group was presented a standard lecture on saving money, and the other was required to bring "a sentimental item from their past," such as a teddy bear or necklace from their grandmother, to their meeting.

He then asked those with the sentimental item to think about why it was valuable to them, uncovering the reasons why a person would save a specific item. The group proceeded to turn the conversation towards money and why they would save their money in the same way they were preserving a sentimental item. Each person in the group discussed specific saving goals.

For instance, a person would not just save money for a “vacation,” but a trip to a narrower, more meaningful destination, such as a place where their ancestors were born.

The results of the study showed people in the sentimental item group were saving three times more per month over the course of three weeks than those who took a standard lecture.

The study found by incorporating personal nostalgia and savings experiences into financial planning, it presents a strong opportunity to harness emotions in order to facilitate better and healthier financial decision-making.

Full results of his study can be found here.

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