*Research Brief Financial Security

Assessing the short-term stability of financial well-being in low- and moderate-income households

Key Findings

  • Financial well-being is very stable in the short term and does not vary substantially across most demographic and financial characteristics.
  • Financial well-being observed during tax filing appeared to be the strongest predictor of financial well-being six months later.
  • Black Non-Hispanic households tended to experience positive changes in financial wellbeing over time, relative to White Non-Hispanic households.
  • An inability to access $2,000 in emergency funds and being self-employed full-time at tax filing were negatively associated with financial well-being six months later.

Project: Refund to Savings (R2S)


Sun, S., Roll, S. P., Kondratjeva, O., Bufe, S., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (2019, March). Assessing the Short-Term Stability of Financial Well-Being in Low- and Moderate-Income Households. (SPI Research Brief No. 19-01). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Social Policy Institute.