When asked about themselves, people are ready to talk the ear off of anyone willing to listen. However, when not fully realizing the motivations behind their actions and opinions, those same people often make mistakes in their thinking and, thus, create a say/do gap in which their actions do not match their words. The misinformation leads executives to create products and services designed for the wrong problem – and marketers to build strategies based on what people say they want and not what they need.
At first glance, it seems as if all consumers have unique reasons for saving money based on life circumstances like income, education, family size, location, and personal preferences. And they are likely to tell you that. However, when saving patterns are viewed through the lens of psychology, it becomes clear that inherent evolutionary traits subconsciously affect how people save their money, and their reasons become predictable patterns that executives and marketers can plan for.
To better grasp the psychology of saving, we analyzed the survey results from more than 1,000 Americans on a budget and found trends between their age and gender and how they spend and save money. We couldn’t take the results at face-value, as we’ve learned that people don’t always understand why they make certain decisions. To help identify the subconscious drivers behind the data, we consulted professors from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, who linked the trends to evolutionary psychology – a biologically informed approach to the study of human behavior based on the theory that the same instincts that helped our primitive ancestors survive and reproduce are exhibited in the actions of humans today.