Families With Little Money

Mother talking to son at picnic table

Living in Poverty

Sixteen million U.S. children live in poverty.1 That is 22 percent of all kids in the U.S.

Families with low incomes face many problems—like paying for food and rent. This kind of stress can make it hard to focus on family relationships. When parents struggle to buy the basics, they also find it hard to maintain strong family relationships.4

Learning about money and being “smart consumers” can help to ease this stress. It can protect families from dishonest money schemes.

Learning how to manage money will not, by itself, change a family’s financial situation.3 Broader social changes are needed to help families break out of poverty. These changes include banks and other systems that improve opportunities for everyone.

Research Sources

1. DeNavas-Walt, C, Proctor, B. D., & Smith, J. C. (2011). Income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States: 2010 (U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60-239). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

2. Gross, K. (2005). Financial literacy education: Panacea, palliative, or something worse? St. Louis University Public Law Review, 24, 307-312.

3. Lyons, A. C., & Neelakantan, U. (2008). Potential and pitfalls of applying theory to the practice of financial education. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 42(1), 106-112 (p. 110).

4. Pekel, K., Roehlkepartain, E. C., Syvertsen, A. K., & Scales, P. C. (2015). Developmental relationships: A new focus for family engagement. Minneapolis, MN: Search Institute.