Posts by Tim Lucas

What EARN Learned in 2018

EARN’s research insights shape our programs and services and provide insights into the financial lives of working families As we close out 2018 and begin looking toward 2019, we wanted to look back at what our Savers taught us in 2018. Savers experience large ups and downs in their income Their median monthly income dip…

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There is No Silver Bullet on Savings

Saving money isn’t easy. Housing costs are rising, especially in urban areas, education costs have never been higher, and real wages have been more or less stagnant for two generations. And yet, saving has never been more important. With consumers bearing more and more of the financial risks stemming from retirement, medical expenses, and other…

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Does making a promise to yourself lead to more savings?

Tax time is a golden opportunity to help low-income families build a much-needed savings cushion since, for millions of families, tax refunds are the largest cash infusion they receive in a given year. This year, we partnered with Commonwealth, a national expert in tax-time savings research. Together we tested nudges and prizes aimed at getting…

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What Did EARN’s Savers Do with Their Tax Refunds? A Little Bit of Everything

In June’s Big Data brief, EARN’s data revealed that after receiving a tax refund, both checking and savings account balances of EARN’s Savers increased. While checking account balances quickly returned to pre-refund levels, savings balances gradually reduced over the next three months but remained 50% higher than pre-refund levels. To understand how Savers used their…

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You’re invited! Learn how refunds reflect the priorities of EARN’s Savers

Last year, EARN and Commonwealth launched a joint effort to better understand the impact of tax refunds on EARN Savers’ spending habits and whether well-timed interventions could increase savings rates. We learned that people think about their refunds months in advance of receiving any money, that how people save their refunds depends on how that…

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Surfing the Tax Time Wave: How Refunds Impacted Saving and Spending

Tax season has long been viewed as a golden opportunity to help low and moderate-income families build a savings cushion. However, for many families, refunds are pre-allocated to delayed purchases or paying down debt. Even when refunds are saved for emergencies, they’re often quickly depleted. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – 50% of EARN’s…

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Checking vs. saving: Where should Savers stash their cash?

EARN’s mission is to create prosperity for working families by helping them save and invest in their futures. Absent from our mission statement is a mandate on how families should approach saving. While we believe in building a habit of saving, we take a hands-off approach when it comes to where families should stash their…

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Income Swings: A Monthly Roller Coaster

I’m Tim, and I couldn’t be happier to be EARN’s new Director of Research. I’ve spent my career working across sectors and industries turning data into insights, and in the last few years I’ve been focusing on how to use data to advance the financial health of America’s working families. I’m excited about EARN’s potential…

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