December 5, 2016
Shlomo Benartzi is a behavioral economist at UCLA who, with Richard Thaler, has created the Save More Tomorrow program, which encourages people to save a significant percentage of any future pay raises. The program has been very successful in helping people to save money—even people who had said they could not afford to save. The goal of this program differs quite a bit from the common admonition to spend less and start saving more now: it acknowledges the reality that things may be tight today, making it difficult to save money right now. By encouraging people to save their future pay raises, the Save More Tomorrow program makes saving more practical. It’s easy to plan to be better in the future—just look at all the great resolutions we make on New Year’s Day. But it’s all too easy to give into temptation and break our resolutions. Save More Tomorrow works because people commit to saving money before they have it.
In his book The Smarter Screen: Surprising Ways to Influence and Improve Online Behavior, Shlomo explores the way people spend money on mobile apps because it’s easy, exciting, and gives them an immediate sense of satisfaction. Our mobile devices deliver a great deal of information to us and let us act on it very quickly—sometimes too quickly. Read More