The Science behind Saving Money

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

Did you know that the language you speak can affect how you save your income?

Those Who Save

The data made available in different studies worldwide have indicated that yes, it is possible for you to save. The deciding factor for those who are successful is that they have something to visualize saving towards. A TD Ameritrade study showed that those who pictured their saving goals felt happier and more accomplished, more confident and dedicated about keeping goals, were more satisfied with their financial health and felt less anxiety about budgeting.

Those Who Try

Behavioral Economist Keith Chen states that how we speak can affect how we save. This theory is that languages like German and Chinese are spoken by using the same format for present and future tenses. In English, separate words are used for present and future tenses. An example of this would be someone saying in Chinese, “it will rain”, and “tomorrow will rain”. In English, one would say “it is raining now”, and “it will rain tomorrow”. As a result, speakers of certain languages are less likely to form a mental association with their future state and save accordingly.

The Brain

There’s a part of the brain, the Medial Prefrontal Cortex (MPFC), which gets very activated when we think of our lives presently. If we think about other people and things, the activity lessens. Research results from an FMRI study show that the more we think on the future of our lives, the less activity we will have in our MPFCs.

The Takeaway

Even though how we see the future and how we picture our goals can get in the way of our saving, it’s up to us to be committed to “paying ourselves first”. Keep any amount that you can, budget as you go, and over a regular period of time you will see growth. Always get in touch with a financial advisor to know your next move. The more you can picture goals that get you excited, the more you will become one of those who save.


1. Jill Cornfield, “Here’s The Science Behind A Simple Trick That Helps People Increase Savings By Up To 73%”,, January 31, 2020

2. “The Science Behind Why It’s So Hard To Save”,,

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