A low savings rate is a persistent social issue with significant present and future
ramifications. As an alternative to conceptualizing saving money as goal-directed
behavior, the present research examines the chronic tendencies of people to save
money in a consistent and sustained manner through a personal saving orientation
(PSO). Drawing upon theorizing on action control and research on forming
and maintaining habits, the PSO emphasizes consistent, sustainable saving activities
and incorporating them into one’s lifestyle. In a set of nine studies, the PSO
scale is developed and its nomological, test-retest, discriminant, and predictive
validities are established. The results also show that the PSO moderates the relationship
between consumers’ financial knowledge and their accumulated savings.
Additionally, low-PSO consumers are responsive to an intervention to help them
save money. The PSO offers an effective method for understanding differences
between consumers in their financial decision making and behaviors, and it can
be used as a guide to encourage consistent and sustained saving practices.