Laura Choi of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Kate Griffin of CFED, and Ellen Seidman of Urban Institute recently discussed their forthcoming book, What It’s Worth: Strengthening the Financial Future of Families, Communities and the Nation, on Medium. The book demonstrates how those who work outside traditional financial capacity building in education, health, housing, workforce training, justice and other sectors play a critical role in removing barriers to financial health and well-being.
In discussing the book's themes, the authors also referenced research from USFD that dispels the myth that struggling households mismanage their finances:
There is also a widely held perception that struggling households neglect or mismanage their finances. But research from the U.S. Financial Diaries project shows that’s not true. Indeed, many families with tight budgets display surprisingly high levels of financial discipline and resourcefulness to meet daily needs, pay the bills, and even put money aside. When every dollar counts, heads of households frequently devote a significant amount of their time to managing their finances. Yet the constant stress of needing to carefully manage financial resources and long-term financial distress can diminish otherwise savvy people’s ability to made good financial decisions, especially for the long term.
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