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A Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate Interventions Designed to Improve University Students’ Subjective Financial Wellness in England

Schmidtke, Kelly ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5993-0358, Elliott, Antony, Patel, Krishane, King, Derek and Vlaev, Ivo (2020) A Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate Interventions Designed to Improve University Students’ Subjective Financial Wellness in England. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning, 31 (2). ISSN 1052-3073

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Abstract

The current paper describes a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of intervention tools designed to help people save more or spend less money by enhancing their capabilities, motivations, and opportunities. The participants included 177 students from an English University who were randomly allocated to either the Control, Savings-Tool, or Savings+Habit-Tools group. Participants provided with the intervention tool(s) for four weeks were more likely to experience improvements in both their financial satisfaction and subjective perceptions than those in the Control group not asked to use either tool. The tools did not significantly affect financial behaviors or objective financial wellness. The discussion examines limitations of the study and discusses avenues for future research such as including a longer follow-up period.

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