“Short-Term Financial Stability: A Foundation for Security and Well-Being” is the first research to come out of the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program’s Consumer Insights Collaborative (CIC) – an effort across nine leading nonprofits to collectively understand and amplify data for the public good, specifically about the financial lives of low- and moderate-income households.
This new report stems from the last year of convening the CIC and explores how short-term financial stability provides the foundation for financial security and well-being. FII contributed data from our family partners, building evidence that families are creating stability through entrepreneurial strategies and social capital exchanges.
At least a quarter of FII families are using businesses to keep income positive by supplementing traditional employment. For some of these FII families, businesses bring in extra income consistently from month to month. For other families who rely on their business income less regularly, it can still make up over half of their monthly household earnings when the business generates income. The pattern suggests that this group generates additional income to stay financially stable in the months when their other income sources drop substantially. And, the business owners among FII families indeed tend to be better off than others.
FII data also shows that families are addressing stability by helping one another with informal exchanges – whether or not they are experiencing shocks. The months when FII families receive this kind of support do not align with months when their incomes dip. Instead, these consumers appear to build and maintain social relationships over the long term. On average, an FII family values these informal or social capital exchanges at $422 per month
The Aspen Institute Financial Security Program (Aspen FSP) is building out a set of consumer insights research partnerships to better understand the financial challenges and opportunities faced by low- and moderate-income families in America. The flagship project in the portfolio is the Consumer Insights Collaborative, a group of nine leading nonprofits across the country that have come together under Aspen FSP in pursuit of two goals: 1. To influence a broader audience’s understanding of the consumers they serve in terms of their financial aspirations, preferences, challenges, and behaviors and 2. To build a community of practice to learn from each other and other experts about how to make effective use of their data assets. Read more about the Consumer Insights Initiative.
The nonprofits composing the Consumer Insights Collaborative include Commonwealth, EARN, the Financial Clinic, the Family Independence Initiative, LIFT, Mission Asset Fund, MyPath, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, and Neighborhood Trust. The work of the Collaborative is made possible by MetLife Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
TODAY at 12PM EST: Livestream panel discussion about @AspenFSP’s Consumer Insight Collaborative featuring FII Chief Technology Officer @david_henderson #TrustandInvest #StabilityMatters #AspenCIC https://t.co/NkO30AEqSJ
— FII (@FIInational) April 25, 2019