Having a store of 'rainy day money' can increase a low-income family's resilience and enable it to cope better with an unexpected shock, such as the breakdown of a washing machine or even the loss of a job. Storing up assets can increase opportunities, by, for example, providing the funds to support children when they go to university or to pay for training. But most low-income families find it very difficult to save, other than for specific events already on the horizon.
This paper reports the results of research designed, in part, to examine how low-income families manage their budgets. It presents some of the findings from a study of the income, expenditure, saving and borrowing of a sample of 58 low-income households, and from interviews with those families to discover what drives their behaviour. It examines what lowincome households understand by 'saving'; how low-income households save; and how the economic events of the last two years might have affected their saving behaviour.
Four case studies were published alongside this report.
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