The Precarious State of Family Balance Sheets
This report seeks to develop a clear picture of the current state of household financial security. It begins by exploring three components of family balance sheets—income, expenditures, and wealth—and how they have changed over the past several decades, and concludes with an examination of how these pieces interrelate and why understanding family finances requires that they be examined holistically. Taken together, the data in this study reveal a striking level of financial fragility. Despite the national recovery, most families feel vulnerable and stressed, and could not withstand a serious financial emergency.