Recently, Next City featured an overview of the US Financial Diaries project, outlining some initial findings on income volatility. The piece emphasized how data on volatility in USFD households is also linked to the difficulties many Americans face in budgeting and saving for the long term. There was also a mention of the value added from the intensive diaries methodology:
The financial diaries methodology helps overcome the difficulty of remembering every financial transaction over the course of a year. At the same time, researchers develop a deeper level of trust with those they talk to than in a one-off phone survey with a total stranger they’ll never meet.
[Timothy] Ogden recalls a field researcher who told him about a second meeting with one of the households. “He asked them at the end ‘okay are you sure this is everything that’s happened for you financially?’,” Ogden says. “They said yes, he asked a few more times and they said yes, then he says well what about that television that wasn’t here when I was here two weeks ago, and they said, ‘oh we didn’t know you wanted us to tell you stuff like that’ and then they go on for another 45 minutes of stuff along those lines.”