The Financial Health Check: Scalable Solutions for Financial Resilience
Author: Abigail Kim, Antoinette Schoar, Katy Davis, Owen Footer, Piyush Tantia
Topic: Asset building and saving, Financial behaviour/decisions, Research and evaluation
Publisher: Ideas 42
Location: United States
Format: Brief
Content Type: Research
Publication Date: February 28, 2018

A large majority of American households live in a state of financial vulnerability. Across a range of incomes, people struggle to build savings, pay down debt, and manage irregular cash flows. Even modest savings cushions could help households take care of unexpected expenses or disruptions in income without relying on costly credit. But in practice, setting aside savings can be difficult.

Research from the field of behavioral science shows that light-touch interventions can help address these barriers. For example, changing default settings or bringing financial management to the forefront of everyday life have had powerful effects on savings activity. The Financial Health Check (FHC) draws on such insights to offer a new model of scalable support for achieving financial goals.

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