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Integrate the financial well-being scale into your program

The financial well-being score measures something important that other traditional measures may not capture: How clients feel about their financial situation. 

By using the scale, you can:

  • Measure, track, and compare the financial well-being of people you serve.
  • Facilitate conversations about financial concerns, challenges, and goals that may influence or reflect financial well-being.
  • Evaluate and improve programs designed to enhance people’s financial well-being.

Use the scale with people you serve

When you use the financial well-being scale, you get a holistic outcome metric that reflects success in consumers’ own terms and allows for variation in individual preferences and goals.

Measure well-being and progress 

Some practitioners track people’s scores and answers to each question over time to assess changes. Other practitioners compare scores for different groups of people. You can:

  • Administer the scale at intake and at regular intervals throughout your sessions.
  • Save individual responses and scores so that you can review changes over time and compare with others.
  • Compare the scores of the people you serve to national data and benchmarks the Bureau created.

Facilitate conversations

Financial educators have found that the scale is a great conversation starter. Some practitioners find it helpful to talk to people about their responses to specific questions, or about their overall financial well-being scores, as a way to broach possibly challenging conversations about their financial concerns, aspirations, and needs. In a group setting, reflecting on the questions that are part of the scale helps people attendees engage with financial education material more deeply.

Financial well-being: What it is and how to help

Research on financial well-being is ongoing. In the meantime, the study suggests ways that practitioners can continue to work with people to improve their well-being.

Read the digest

Evaluate, compare, and improve programs

Practitioners often collect a range of data about the people they serve in order to understand their circumstances and progress. The financial well-being scale was designed to be a complement to, not a substitute for, other program metrics and outcome measures. It provides a measure that can be used as a common metric across very different types of financial capability programs and interventions.

Use financial well-being scores to:

  • Report and share the scores of the people you serve with other programs and/or with funders (anonymously or de-identified).
  • Discuss scores in peer networks to understand how the people you serve compare with those of other organizations providing similar services or working with similar populations.
  • Compare scores and responses of people being served by different programs within an organization (such as participants at different workshops).
  • Compare scores to survey data. The scale is increasingly being used by researchers to assess financial well-being in large national surveys.

See how other organizations use the scale

Program managers, funders and individual financial educators use the financial well-being scale to serve their missions. Read more about these case studies in our financial well-being toolkit .