Household Expense Reduction

Poverty Reduction Strategy no. 4

Provide consumer information on smarter choices and investing in efficiency in energy, water, transportation, telecom, and food.

Educate consumers on smart saving choices

Provide consumer information on smarter choices and investing in efficiency in energy, water, transportation, telecom, and food. In addition to individual actions, systemic efficiencies, such as smarter land-use planning, can reduce costs communitywide.

Action: Educate households on ways to reduce their expenses through efficiency.

Additional Benefits: Households save money and lower their environmental footprints.

Stakeholders: Households, non-profit organizations, city departments, faith-based organizations, private funders, banks.

Where it’s been done: In a 2012 evaluation of CNT’s Equity Express Green Financial Education Program in Chicago, participants reduced their household expenses by $125/month. These are programs that can benefit households of every income level.

  • Best Practice #1


    Miami, FL: In Miami, Branches provides individuals and families with financial coaching, free tax preparation, benefits enrollment, employment assistance, and credit counseling to Miami-Dade residents. The organization's goal is to help their clients develop a road map towards financial independence. Coaches customize their services to meet each client's needs, help clients set goals, monitor the client's progress, and provides support along the way. In 2016, an Urban Institute study found that participants reduced debt by $10,000, reported an increase sense of confidence in their finances and reduced feelings of financial stress. Adding expense reduction strategies to programs such as this can increase their impact even more.

  • Best Practice #2

    Compass Working Capital

    Boston, MA: Compass Working Capital, a non-profit organization providing asset building coaching to households particpating in HUD's rental assistance programs. The Family Self-Sufficiency program is a HUD program to improve financial security through case management and escrow savings account. Compass administered FSS in Lynn, MA and Cambridge, MA and a study found that partcipants saw annual household earnings increase by $6,305, decreased debts and improved credit scores, between 2010 & 2016. The organization has recently teamed up with Boston Housing Authority to provide similar coaching to its participants.

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