Time Perspective and Financial Health: To Improve Financial Health, Traditional Financial Literacy Skills Are Not Sufficient. Understanding Your Time Perspective Is Critical

  • Philip Zimbardo
  • Nick Clements
  • Umbelina Rego Leite


This paper considers the influence of time perspective on financial health, hypothesizing that the influence on financial health of an understanding of time perspective would be much greater than would that of financial literacy. It elaborates on the relationship of each of three time perspectives to financial decision making and financial vulnerabilities. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of financial literacy training which, while critical, is not sufficient to ensure a financially healthy life. Rather, such a healthy financial life could be achieved with a combination of financial knowledge and time perspective introspection.

Suggested Readings

  1. Amyx, D., & Mowen, J. C. (1995). Advancing versus delaying payments and consumer time orientation: A personal selling experiment. Psychology and Marketing, 12(4), 243–264.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anong, S. T., & Fisher, P. J. (2013). Future orientation and saving for medium-term expenses. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 41(4), 393–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Boyd, J., & Zimbardo, P. (2012). The time paradox: Using the new psychology of time to your advantage. Random House.Google Scholar
  4. Earl, J. K., Bednall, T. C., & Muratore, A. M. (2015). A matter of time: Why some people plan for retirement and others do not. Work, Aging and Retirement, 1–9. doi:
  5. Epstein, L. H., Jankowiak, N., Lin, H., Paluch, R., Koffarnus, M. N., & Bickel, W. K. (2014). No food for thought: Moderating effects of delay discounting and future time perspective on the relation between income and food insecurity. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 100(3), 884–890.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  6. Hershey, D. A., & Mowen, J. C. (2000). Psychological determinants of financial preparedness for retirement. The Gerontologist, 40(6), 687–697.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Howlett, E., Kees, J., & Kemp, E. (2008). The role of self-regulation, future orientation, and financial knowledge in long-term financial decisions. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 42(2), 223–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jacobs-Lawson, J. M., & Hershey, D. A. (2005). Influence of future time perspective, financial knowledge, and financial risk tolerance on retirement saving behaviors. Financial Services Review, 14(4), 331.Google Scholar
  9. Joireman, J., Kees, J., & Sprott, D. (2010). Concern with immediate consequences magnifies the impact of compulsive buying tendencies on college students’ credit card debt. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 44(1), 155–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Joireman, J., Sprott, D. E., & Spangenberg, E. R. (2005). Fiscal responsibility and the consideration of future consequences. Personality and Individual Differences, 39(6), 1159–1168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Karande, K., & Merchant, A. (2012). The impact of time and planning orientation on an individual’s recreational shopper identity and shopping behavior. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 20(1), 59–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Klicperová-Baker, M., Košťál, J., & Vinopal, J. (2015). Time perspective in consumer behavior. In M. Stolarski, N. Fieulaine, & W. van Beek (Eds.), Time perspective theory; Review, research and application (pp. 353–369). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.Google Scholar
  13. Misuraca, R., Teuscher, U., & Carmeci, F. A. (2015). Who are maximizers? Future oriented and highly numerate individuals. International Journal of Psychology, 51(4), 307–311.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Petkoska, J., & Earl, J. K. (2009). Understanding the influence of demographic and psychological variables on retirement planning. Psychology and Aging, 24(1), 245.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Rabinovich, A., Morton, T., & Postmes, T. (2010). Time perspective and attitude-behaviour consistency in future-oriented behaviours. British Journal of Social Psychology, 49(1), 69–89.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Ryack, K. N., & Sheikh, A. (2016). The relationship between time perspective and financial risk tolerance in young adults. Financial Services Review, 25(2).Google Scholar
  17. Spencer, M., Chambers, V., & Benibo, B. (2014). Scaredy cats to cool cats: How time perspective matters in attitude and intent toward financial decisions. Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research, 15(3), 197.Google Scholar
  18. Wu, C. Y., & He, G. B. (2012). The effects of time perspective and salience of possible monetary losses on intertemporal choice. Social Behavior and Personality: An International Journal, 40(10), 1645–1653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Yang, T. Y., & Devaney, S. A. (2011). Intrinsic rewards of work, future time perspective, the economy in the future and retirement planning. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 45(3), 419–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Zimbardo, P. G., & Boyd, J. N. (2015). Putting time in perspective: A valid, reliable individual-differences metric. In M. Stolarski, N. Fieulaine, & W. van Beek (Eds.), Time perspective theory; Review, research and application (pp. 17–55). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Zimbardo
    • 1
  • Nick Clements
    • 2
  • Umbelina Rego Leite
    • 3
  1. 1.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.MagnifyMoney.comNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Federal University of PernambucoRecifeBrazil

Personalised recommendations