This is a case study of "The Johnsons," a family studied as part of the U.S. Financial Diaries project. The Johnsons have significant challenges keeping their family afloat. Despite multiple sources of income, which include education aid, their income is volatile and irregular. Their expenses also fluctuate. They don’t have a cushion for unplanned outlays, such as home repairs and medical expenses. As a result, their expenses often exceed their income. Some months, they downgrade their food choices at the end of the month as they economize.