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Evidence-based strategies to build emergency savings

Savings as a path to improved financial well-being is at the core of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Start Small, Save Up initiative. This report synthesizes the rigorous research of programs and strategies aiming to help consumers achieve greater savings. The goal of this review is to provide researchers, policymakers, and practitioners with a broad view of the savings-related research landscape and to help identify promising practices, as well as gaps where additional future research might be most useful. The research is organized into three broad categories, each identifying an avenue through which to increase consumers’ savings: savings products (providing a ready place to save), financial incentives (providing motivation to save), and behavioral and psychological approaches (providing a choice environment that facilitates saving).

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