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You'll put more money in the bank by focusing on immediate goals than by saving for the future, according to a recent consumer study.
Whether you're saving for your child's education or for that digital radiography equipment you've had your eye on, your efforts may be more successful if you think small. Researchers at Rice University and Old Dominion University studied 600 consumers and found that people saving for the next month exceeded their goals, but those saving for four months away fell short. The researchers surmised that planning far in advance was too abstract for most people, whereas short-term savings plans were more concrete.