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Manageable Expenses

Low-income working families tend to pay more for basic goods and services because of the neighborhood they live in, credit history, or lack of access to transportation.  Resources such as groceries, healthcare, financial services, credit products, and insurance can cost low-income families more than the same services cost higher-income families.

Research shows that reducing the cost of living by just 1% would add more than $6.5 billion in new spending power to a community.  Increasing the availability of and access to low-cost services and connecting low-income working families with appropriate consumer education will ensure that they remain healthy and purchase goods and services that are fairly priced and within their budget.  Manageable expenses make it possible for families to work, avoid debt, and increase their ability to save and invest.

Our Strategies:

  • Increase financial management knowledge and skills
  • Connect low-income working families to targeted financial education
  • Ensure that low-income working families are qualified to purchase financial products and services at low rates
  • Increase availability of and access to low-cost products and services


A Local Example of Impact

In Houston, TX, one-third of all families live on annual incomes of $40,000 or less, making financial instability a top community concern.  United Way of Greater Houston works with 15 community partners to offer an integrated network of services and supports for at-risk families called the THRIVE program.  The THRIVE program teaches participants how to increase their income, build savings and gain assets.  Last year the program helped 1,300 families increase their level of financial education and 1,500 families save a total of $1.52 million. Sixty-six percent of the clients in THRIVE’s job readiness programs retained their employment for one year. Results show a 10:1 return on investment achieved by the THRIVE program.