Displaying all posts under the topic of US Financial Diaries
October 7, 2014
Many of the households included in the U.S. Financial Diaries project operated on a weekly or monthly budget, balancing income and expenses in relatively short-term periods. However, the subject of the latest household profile, provides an example of long-term, annual budgeting.
Sandra Young lives in Brooklyn with her grown children Tyler and Kayla. She manages several branches of a tax preparation agency, which means that she earns most of her income during the...
October 3, 2014
October 3, 2014
The U.S. Financial Diaries project, a joint initiative of NYU Wagner’s Financial Access Initiative (FAI) and The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), reveals hard-to-see aspects of the financial lives of working Americans, providing new insight for the design of financial services policies, programs and products for a broad range of Americans.
Each of the project's Household Profiles presents the...
September 30, 2014
People run their financial lives with a variety of tools. The first tools that come to mind are likely to be formal, like checking accounts and credit cards. But households often use informal tools that are harder to see from outside, like short-term loans from friends or relatives. Some people use informal financial services because they lack access—or believe they lack access—to quality products or because they do not trust formal options. It’s tempting to think that these informal tools are last resorts, or second-best solutions, but informal financial mechanisms are often combined with...
September 26, 2014
Recently Upsides sat down with FAI’s Jonathan Morduch to discuss his views on the current state of microfinance and his current project – US Financial Diaries. Morduch highlights that whether in the developing world or the US, the poor face many of the same financial struggles, which is why understanding money management strategies at the household level a crucial step to providing more effective financial services to the poor:
A person like myself tends to have a much more regular income...
September 11, 2014
Financial Access Initiative
Think back on the past year in your financial life: the money you received from work, loans or gifts, the purchases large and small, the bank deposits and withdrawals. Now imagine keeping track of every one of those transactions - regardless of your income level, it would be a mind-boggling endeavor.
July 8, 2014
In mid-June the Stanford Social Innovation Review blogged the results of a survey they conducted. The survey’s purpose: to understand the role of academic research in the work of practitioners in a broad range of social, environmental and economic issue areas. Many of the 1,800 respondents described academic research as difficult to access, expensive, too narrow, and not relevant. Seventy percent cited the “difficulty of translating research findings into concrete action...
July 1, 2014
Financial Access Initiative
More than 200 alumni, students, faculty, staff, donors, and friends of NYU Wagner celebrated the school's 75th anniversary on Thursday, June 12. The celebration began with faculty presenting their research highlights, or "WAGTalks." FAI's Jonathan Morduch kicked off the series with an overview of the US Financial Diaries (USFD) project and its relevance in today's current economic debates. Jonathan emphasized that USFD provides a highly detailed, month-to-month picture of the...
April 15, 2014
Last week the New York Times highlighted a trend among low-income communities: people seeking tax prep at unregulated, sometimes fraudulent, pop-up shops. The article explains, "for millions of low-income Americans tax season means the biggest one-time influx of money all year." When preparers hand these customers a lump sum much larger than they're used to seeing on a daily basis, many filers don't think to check...
February 6, 2014
The Taylors overdraft their checking account every two weeks, on purpose.
As described in a recent issue brief published by the U.S. Financial Diaries, the Taylor family’s income level varies significantly from month to month. Sometimes it’s not enough to cover all of their expenses. So, they opened an account at a bank with a simple overdraft fee structure: One $35 charge per overdraft, no daily fees, and an allowance of up to $500 at a time. Since...