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Financial Saving Behavior: The Relationship Between Incremental Theory, Perceptions of Future Self, Financial Literacy, and Saving Behavior Change
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The inequality in asset acquirement across the U.S. population is of great social, economic, and political concern as the American middle class is decreasing rather than expanding. Savings are a critical component in financial management. A variety of social psychological factors underlie financial saving practices, impacting asset accrual. Using an experimental design, this study examined the impact exposure to an incremental financial saving orientation, future financial-self, and basic financial literacy training have on the transtheoretical level of saving behavior and intent to save. The study was exclusively completed online by employees of fifteen companies. The incremental saving intervention is an introduction into how individuals can view saving in terms of growth in ability to save toward financial goals. The future financial-self intervention exposes individuals to how they can become more cognizant of their future financial self and plan accordingly. The transtheoretical level of saving behavior refers to the transtheoretical model (TTM) of behavior change stages for placement of saving readiness. The results of the study suggest incremental saving orientation increases intent to save. Results further suggest exposure to all three interventions increase intent to save and that change in the transtheoretical model of behavior stage influences intent to save. The results of this study have important theoretical and practical implications. Specifically, the application of incremental saving intervention and TTM interventions in the workplace could strengthen employees’ financial wellness, as well as help increase employee productivity. Keywords: employees, financial saving practice, incremental theory, future selves’ theory, financial literacy training, transtheoretical model of change, saving intent