Savings Can Be Fun! (Who Knew????)

She had long avoided savings. Until she got an idea. What if the next time she did something scary, she rewarded herself by contributing a small amount to a saving account?

“Today I dealt with a confusing problem at work and got it resolved,” she explained in The Wealth Connection chat group, “So I just added a dollar to my savings!  It’s a great feeling. I’m having a lot of fun saving! “

The moral of this story:  Savings can actually be fun when you frame it as a reward.

Positive reinforcement—anything from patting yourself on the back to paying yourself a dollar—works for one simple fact. It feels good…which triggers the release of pleasurable chemicals like dopamine, encouraging your brain to keep repeating the behavior.

As neuroscientist Rui Costa explained. “The brain learns which activity patterns lead to feel-good sensations and reshapes itself to more efficiently reproduce those patterns.” 

It’s why teachers give kids gold stars and cute stickers to encourage behaviors that may not come naturally or feel good right away.

Changing financial habits is anything but pleasurable in the beginning because it requires delayed gratification.

There’s no immediate reward for spending less, saving more or investing wisely. But the payoff for dining out, buying designer shoes, or traveling to Tahiti is instantaneous and compelling—and short-lived.

However, with repetition, wealth building activities, like socking away savings—will eventually become gratifying in themselves. But until they do, they need to be positively reinforced.

Is there something you’ve been putting off lately? What can you do to reward yourself for taking action? Leave me a comment below.

Comments & Feedback

  • Mary Stephenson

    Turned my CD and some savings into dividend paying stocks. It is so rewarding to know that I have some control over my future. It will be a long time to see results. But at $3.30 a year and now with just a few dividends paying out, I have surpassed that in just a few months, with a projected growth of over 100 times that in a year.

    No longer at the mercy of others. This has given me more drive to try more ways to make money to built the security I started.

    • barbara huson

      What a smart move, Mary. And I’m excited that it’s given you confidence to keep going and create the security you so desire and deserve. Congratulations!

  • Lisa

    Yes, there is something I’ve been putting off….Thanks for the reminder!

    A very difficult and tricky conversation with my parents and uncles. Last time I attempted, I got physically sick, but I got 1/3 of the job done! Unfortunately there is no gold star at the end. Only some emotional clarity and inner peace.

    As for wealth building, I seem to enjoy watching my money market/ CD interest rates go up every month! Canceling it, then reinvesting at a higher rate with the interest from the last rate. It feels like a game, however I agree with Mary above, you wouldn’t want to keep more than 6 figures in a money market account!

    I find it a game to research and choose my own stocks. I haven’t failed at this. I tend to keep them, because it feels like my creation.

    I don’t believe a trip a trip to Tahiti is a short lived pleasure- the memories last for years and bond partners together, but I would give it a miss if it meant not investing or saving that year or getting into debt.

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Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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