TitleCash-Flow and Savings Practices of Low-Income Households: Evidence From a Follow-Up Study of IDA Participants
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsRothwell, D, Sultana, N
JournalJournal of Social Service Research
Pagination281 - 292
Date PublishedJan-03-2013

Understanding how low-income households manage their finances is critical to designing effective antipoverty interventions. This study used data from a 2008 follow-up survey of 326 low-income households in Hawaii who participated in an Individual Development Account (IDA) intervention from 1999 to 2005. Self-reported cash flow (five items) and savings (four items) practices were explored using latent class analysis. Three latent classes were produced: Class 3 managed cash flows and saved (n = 166; 51%); Class 2 managed cash flows but did not save (n = 73; 22%); and Class 1 struggled to manage cash flows and save (n = 89; 27%). Using ordinal regression, psychological sense of mastery was positively and significantly (p < .01) related to being in a higher class membership (b = .14; OR = 1.15). IDA participation had no association with latent classification. The key finding is the heterogeneity among low-income financial management practices and the importance of providing individualized services. Future longitudinal research is needed to understand how IDA participation affects financial practices in the short term and long term.

Short TitleJournal of Social Service Research