news.cuna.org/articles/107353-helping-the-financially-striving-cfsi-profiles-part-4

Helping “The Financially Striving”: CFSI profiles, Part 4

August 28, 2015

CHICAGO (8/28/15)--Of the 138 million Americans who struggle financially every day, one segment appears to be working hard to rid themselves of future fiscal uncertainty, according to the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s (CFSI) research on struggling American consumers.

“The Financially Striving,” the final segment of the four profiles the CFSI has released on struggling American consumers, generally can make ends meet despite not being satisfied with their current financial situations, the CFSI said.

News Now is covering the four types of American consumers who struggle financially, as profiled by the CFSI. The segments include “The Financially At Risk,” “The Financially Unengaged,” “The Financially Tenuous” and “The Financially Striving.” 

Americans in The Financially Striving segment both work at improving their financial circumstances and differentiates themselves from other segments by planning for irregular expenses at a high rate, the CFSI found.

Here’s “Strivers” by the numbers:

  • 100% plan for large, irregular expenses;
  • 73% use a budget or monthly spending plan;
  • Half save whatever money is left over at the end of the month; and
  • Six in 10 have built up an emergency fund.

Some of the challenges this segment faces, however, include having higher levels of debt. A whopping 84% of this group carries some type of non-mortgage debt, the CFSI said.

Further, more than 42% of this group has an unhealthy amount of debt compared with the amount of income they earn.

To engage with this group, the CFSI says that financial institutions should consider offering products that aim to increase non-retirement savings balances that will help them increase their financial resilience.

Also, financial institutions could offer products that allow members and consumers to track debt levels and subsequently help them pay off that debt.