Low-Income People Excited to Save, Uncertain if Possible - New Opportunity Fund Research Results

Posted on Jan 15, 2014 by Jenna Boyer

In our ongoing effort to monitor and evaluate our work, Opportunity Fund recently completed an interim report on our Start2Save Microsavings initative. We're helping very low-income people save money for a rainy day to prevent, manage and recover from emergencies. New results tell us more about who these clients are, how they feel and how they're doing. 


Intake surveys of Start2Save participants indicate that these participants are financially strained, underemployed, and unable to afford some of the basic necessities they and their families need. Our Start2Save clients are the most vulnerable, lowest income population we've ever reached, with average household income of just $19,200 in a region where it takes $68,000 to feed, shelter and care for a family of four. Seventy five percent of Start2Save clients are women.


Through 125 surveys of incoming Start2Save clients since 2011, we have learned that while newly enrolled clients are optimistic about saving, many feel uncertain about their ability to set money aside. Furthermore, the vast majority of clients reported a short time horizon in thinking about money management: more than 75% think about the current month or the next few months when managing their money.

We will be tracking our clients' self-confidence about money management during their time in the program to capture how it changes. And we will continue to monitor intake data for new clients going forward. 


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