Posts by Rick Leander

Progress – A Little Often Leads to A Lot

Behavioral Economics

Ever notice that as a goal gets closer, you feel more motivated to cross the finish line? In behavioral economics, this is known as goal gradient theory, and one practical application of this theory is to take long-term goals and break them into a series of shorter-term goals. For example, take the long-term goal of…

Read More

How You Say It Really Matters!

Behavioral Economics Framing

At Understood Connections, we are fascinated by language, and that’s a good thing because much of the research around how people analyze choices and make decisions focuses on how simple shifts in language can have a significant impact on the behaviors.  Behavioral Economics (BE) gives us a number of ways to use language to nudge…

Read More

Its Important to KFCU. Will It Be Important to You as Well?

Credit Unions Behavioral Economics

We held our inaugural Understanding Behavioral Economics (BE) workshop for credit unions, in partnership with Callahan and Associates (read more here), a few months ago and one CU executive found it so valuable that he invited us to hold a workshop exclusively for his employees. Last week, we traveled to Mississippi and spent a day…

Read More

Use Tax Refunds to Reduce Debt

Tax Refund Debt Credit Union

The Federal Reserve reported household debt reached a new all-time high of $13.21 trillion in the first quarter of 2018.  Clearly, the economy is growing, lenders are lending and borrowers are finding the money they need.  But at what cost?   The rate of student loans, vehicle loans, and credit card loans is growing and…

Read More

Doing Great Things with Tax Refunds

A member came into our client’s financial center in tears.  Her 15 year-old car, which she used for commuting to her two jobs, had just broken down.  She needed $300 to pay for the repairs and she had a total of $120 in her accounts; payday was 8 days away.  Now what? I’m sure your…

Read More

Paycheck to Paycheck – Use Tax Refunds to Break the Cycle

credit unions tax refunds

Todd’s story is not unique: a weather catastrophe has ruined his car and caused him to lose prized possessions;  the clothes on his back are from strangers, and he hasn’t gotten paid since his employer has been closed for weeks.  Expenses are piling up, the landlord wants the rent, and a savings account doesn’t exist.…

Read More

Growing Deposits with Tax Refunds

Credit Unions Tax Refunds Behavioral Economics

Loan growth is picking up and many credit unions are, for the first time in a number of years, dusting off their deposit growth plans.  Certificate specials, money market marketing campaigns, and even Christmas Club accounts are showing up on the radar.  CFOs and ALM committees are looking at pricing levels to figure out how…

Read More

Rethinking Tax Refunds

member tax refund

Did you know the tax refund check is the largest income “windfall” for many households?  Every spring this money shows up in accounts, some without a plan for its use.   Most likely, many of your members would be better off if they saved a significant portion of their tax refund.  Here’s a fresh idea: roll…

Read More

Behavioral Economics at Work

Behavioral Economics At Work

If you want to encourage smart behaviors, make the smart thing easy to do.  That is one of the messages we share with leaders in our behavioral economic workshop.  At a recent workshop in DC we saw a great example of a credit union who is already executing that strategy. Like many financial institutions, Digital…

Read More

Connected Credit Unions

Credit Unions Behavioral Economics

We just returned impressed from a 1 ½ day behavioral economics workshop co-sponsored by our friends at Callahan & Associates. We pulled together 18 leaders from credit unions large and small from across the United States to discuss effective ways to use the dynamic science of behavioral economics to enhance their connections with members and…

Read More