April is Financial Capability Month! We are celebrating by sharing stories that highlight our financial stability work.
We’re sharing a recent NPR “Hidden Brain” podcast about how scarcity affects our financial behavior. The piece features Brandi Drew, a client at the Southwest Economic Solutions Financial Opportunity Center in Detroit, and describes how financial coaching helped her escape the “scarcity trap.” NPR praised Seung Kim, head of our financial opportunity programming, as an “unsung hero” for bringing Drew’s story to light. Check back often this month for more success stories from our countrywide work helping people build financial stability.
This excerpt below is from:
The Scarcity Trap: Why We Keep Digging When We're Stuck In A Hole
by Shankar Vedantam, Hidden Brain on NPR
Have you ever noticed that when something important is missing in your life, your brain can only seem to focus on that missing thing?
Two researchers have dubbed this phenomenon scarcity, and they say it touches on many aspects of our lives.
“It leads you to take certain behaviors that in the short term help you to manage scarcity, but in the long term only make matters worse,” says Sendhil Mullaianathan, an economics professor at Harvard University.
Several years ago, he and Eldar Shafir, a psychology professor at Princeton, started researching this idea. Their theory was this: When you're really desperate for something, you can focus on it so obsessively there's no room for anything else. The time-starved spend much of their mental energy juggling time. People with little money worry constantly about making ends meet.
Scarcity takes a huge toll. It robs people of insight. And it helps to explain why, when we're in a hole, we sometimes dig ourselves even deeper.
This week on Hidden Brain, we'll explore the concept of scarcity and how it affects people across the globe — from sugar cane farmers in India to time-starved physicians in the United States. Continued[+]...
Brandi Drew, with her coach, Ivory Hodges.
More Financial Capability Month stories:
Building Bridges to 21st-century Careers
by Yohannes Kassaye