Last week, the CFPB released “A guide to using the CFPB Financial Well-Being Scale.”  The guide builds on a report issued by the CFPB in January 2015, “Financial well-being: The goal of financial education,” in which it defined “financial well-being” as a state of being wherein people:

  • Feel in control of their day-to-day and month-to-month finances
  • Have capacity to absorb financial shock
  • Are on track in meeting financial goals
  • Have the financial freedom to make choices that allow them to enjoy life

The new guide contains a 10-question scale developed by the CFPB to measure “financial well-being” and instructions for scoring a consumer’s responses and interpreting scores.  According to the CFPB, financial educators can use the scale in a variety of ways, including :

  • To assess a person’s financial well-being when a financial educator first begins working with a consumer, and help guide an initial conversation about the consumer’s financial situation
  • To track a consumer’s financial well-being over time
  • To assess how well a program is improving the financial well-being of the individuals it is designed to serve
  • In survey research to analyze the relationship between financial well-being and other factors