How to Save Money based on emotions
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There’s this porcelain doll named Jenni that stands on my bathroom counter. Why the counter you ask? Because it appears that Colby and all of the kids are scared of her. I refuse to put her away though.

Before we moved, she stood on my bedside table. When we moved, I carried her by hand to the new house, and gently put her in my bathroom cabinet safely out of the way while we carried boxes in. When I unpacked, she moved to the counter—and there she has remained.

Jenni - porcelain doll

How to Save Money

My parents gave me Jenni for Christmas way back in 1982. I remember seeing one on a TV show and practically begging for one. It was the only thing on my Christmas list and I knew it would be out of reach for my parents.

It was an indulgent ask for me and the only time I’ve ever asked for anything like it.

But, my mom always loved reaching for the impossible when it came to gifts. That year my mom found a way to save money to buy Jenni.

Looking back, knowing our financial situation when I was growing up, I know that my parents made sacrifices to buy their 8-year old daughter the doll of her dreams that year. Jenni was exactly what I described.

Without internet back then, I simply explained how I wanted a doll that looked like one of my favorite TV characters. Did Mom ever come through?! Jenni was perfect.

Save Money by Harnessing Positive Emotions

Jenni has been with me through so many ups and downs over the years. Colby laughs at me when I tell him about how Jenni used to cry with me.

During those tumultuous teenage years, I would grab Jenni off her shelf, hug her tight and cry. My tears became her tears. She and I have been through some things together.

This past August, just before I turned 43, my mom passed away. Upon returning home after her passing, I was washing my face and looked up to see Jenni there on my counter. I was immediately thrown back to that Christmas.

To the sacrifices I know my parents made to buy her. To the times when Jenni cried with me. That night, we cried together once more.

 by Harnessing Positive Emotions

Perhaps it’s because I’m a “sentimental-value” type of person and had a meager childhood, but saving money is something that comes naturally to me. I hear people talk about how saving is hard, but I bet if they look around they might notice they’ve been saving for years.

Did you know that getting sentimental can have a positive impact on your financial savings? In fact, according to a new study by Capital One,

tapping into behaviors connected to saving heartfelt nostalgic items may actually make people more inclined to save financially.

In our hometown of Dallas, people who did so reported increased savings that were 115% higher than before!

How to Save Money based on emotions

This means that most of our financial decisions are actually made by our emotional brain. Looking back at large purchases we’ve made, such as our new house, I can see this pattern in my own life.

So, what can we do with this piece of information when it comes to improving our own savings behavior?

  • Harness the positive emotion tied to your own sentimental items to improve your savings behavior.
  • Get specific. Don’t just have a “savings account.” Name it.
  • When you are motivated to take action, automate it!

Take the first step in how to save money by setting up a monthly payment that automatically draws from your checking account into your savings account, like Capital One’s 360 Money Market Account.

Once you set it up, you don’t have to think about saving for the goal. It’s happening each month.

Additionally, again based on the Sentimental Savings Study results, come up with an exciting vision of what you are saving for and ask yourself a couple of questions:

  1. What would saving for the future get you?
  2. What is it you truly want? Get specific. What does it look like? How would it feel to have it? Who might you be enjoy it with? Where are you? What do you see, feel, experience?

Create a vision board to further motivate you towards your goal. Set a picture of your goal as your smartphone’s lockscreen or your desktop’s wallpaper. Tape a picture on your bathroom mirror or hang it on your refrigerator door.

Keep your goal in front of your face and remember what you’re working towards. When we began looking at houses, Jaci wanted one so bad that we wrote an affirmation down on a sticky note for her to focus on every day.

She put it by her bedroom door and looked at it every day. When we were packing her room to move—over a year after writing that note—she was overcome with joy knowing that it was coming true. Honestly, I was too.

Capital One #ShareMySave

There’s an incredible feeling of satisfaction, deliverance and pure bliss that comes with knowing you saved enough to make your dreams come true. That you did it.

Are you ready to harness your positive emotions and save money?

Today, I’m honored to join Capital One in celebrating National Savings Day to spark a two-way dialogue around the topic of saving, help propel people to their money goals and celebrate individuals who value the act of saving.

To do so, Capital One is launching a contest for a chance to win weekly cash prizes of $500 or one of our $10,000 grand prizes. Enter by sharing a photo of a treasured keepsake you’ve saved, and telling us why it’s special.

Follow @CapitalOne and post it on Twitter or Instagram using #ShareMySave and #Contest for a chance to win weekly cash prizes of $500 or one of our $10,000 grand prizes. Learn more at

It all goes back to how everyone is a saver at heart, whether they know it or not. Every time I see Jenni, I am instantly reminded of that.