Mind Your Money:a mobile phone-delivered digital financial education program for Hispanics

Last registered on April 26, 2023


Trial Information

General Information

Mind Your Money:a mobile phone-delivered digital financial education program for Hispanics
Initial registration date
April 22, 2023

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
April 26, 2023, 5:23 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.


Primary Investigator

Pepperdine University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
PI Affiliation
Eastmont Community Center

Additional Trial Information

Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
We explored the potential benefits of digital financial education programs among Hispanic
populations, through the design and evaluation of a mobile phone delivered digital program
called Mind Your Money (MYM). This program sought to improve financial capability and
reduce financial stress among low-to-moderate income Hispanics residing in the Greater Los
Angeles area. We assessed the program through a randomized controlled trial with a wait-list
control group. Our digital financial education program had a high retention rate and a positive
statistical significant effect on financial capability. Participants who completed program
activities were more likely to have a budget/spending plan and felt more confident about their
ability to pay for unexpected expenses. We also find that those in the treatment group show
lower levels of financial stress than did those in the control group.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Blanco Raynal, Luisa, Isaias Hernandez and April Thames. 2023. "Mind Your Money:a mobile phone-delivered digital financial education program for Hispanics." AEA RCT Registry. April 26. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.10934-1.0
Experimental Details


We designed the Mind Your Money program to replicate the in-person financial coaching programs offered in the community, especially among Hispanics in the Los Angeles area. We used the “Your Money, Your Goals” educational material, created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). We designed our program taking a community-based participatory approach, where our design was informed by the partner organization and we tailored the material to be linguistically and culturally appropriate. All our program material was delivered electronically. Participants received weekly messages by text and email that invited them to complete activities in our platform. Our goal was to provide participants with information and motivation to change behavior to improve their financial capability and reduce financial stress.

Our six-month program covered the following topics in order: 1) setting financial goals, 2) choosing financial products, 3) paying bills, 4) understanding credit reports and scores, 5) dealing with debt, and 6) saving money. Given that our program took place during the pandemic (May 2021-June 2022), we also added optional material related to managing finances during COVID-19 each month from the CFPB website.

Each month, weekly activities focused on learning about financial topics by reviewing information (week 1), applying financial knowledge using an online tool (week 2), taking an action and reporting action (week 3), and reflecting about household finances by completing an assessment of income, expenses, debt, and savings (week 4). Participants were encouraged to complete work at their own pace and were sent reminders to complete tasks by the end of the month. Participants could continue the program if they completed all monthly activities.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Retention Rates
Financial Capability Score (FCS)
Financial Self-Efficacy Scale (FSES)
Financial Stress Indicator (FSI)
*Financial Stress - to add later
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Retention rates: percentage of participants who completed program activities at 6 months.

The Financial Capability Score (FCS) was developed by the Center for Financial Security (CFS, Collins & O’Rourke, 2013). This scale has six questions whose aggregate score can range from 0 to 8. This score measures whether an individual: 1) has a budget or a spending plan, 2) feels confident about achieving a financial goal, 3) feels confident about covering an unexpected expense, 4) has an automatic deposit for
savings, 5) has living expenses lower than total income, and 6) has been charged a late fee on a
loan or a bill. Higher values represent more desirable financial behaviors.

The Financial Self-Efficacy Scale (FSES) developed by Lown (2011), to evaluate the impact of our program on financial behavior. We used the six-question version whose aggregate scores range from 6 to 24, with higher values indicating higher levels of financial self-efficacy. The FSES measures “how respondents manage certain financial problems and how they cope with setbacks” (Lown, 2011, p. 57).

The Financial Stress Indicator (FSI) asks participants whether they experienced financial stress in the previous month. It has been used by the Financial Health Network (FHN) to assess financial stress in the Financial Health Pulse survey collected though UAS (Dunn et al., 2022). It is a simple indicator that asks whether participants have experienced financial stress in the previous month.

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We designed our program as a community-based randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a wait-list control group. This evaluation design allowed us to measure the impact of our digital financial education program while providing a benefit to all participants.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
We used block randomization to assign all community participants in a specific workshop session to either control or treatment groups. Participants chose the day and time that worked best for their schedule, without knowing what workshops would be assigned to treatment or control groups. UAS staff randomly assigned UAS participants to either the treatment or control group.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Sample size: planned number of observations
125 individuals, where 83 were recruited through the two partnering community organizations (non-UAS group), and 42 were recruited through the Understanding America Study Internet Panel.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
70 individuals in treatment group, and 55 individuals in control group.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Supporting Documents and Materials


Document Name
Working paper
Document Type
Document Description
Our working paper is available in SSRN: Blanco, Luisa R. and Chen, Lucia and Hernandez, Isaias and Thames, April D. and Serido, Joyce, The Impact of a Mobile Phone-Delivered Digital Financial Education Program on Financial Behavior Among Hispanics (September 12, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4217077 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4217077

A revised version of this manuscript is currently under review at an academic journal.
Working paper

MD5: 7a69682bd2a40796f1974297d8644950

SHA1: 248a250367cb66742aa9f32de3e8ae3449147ed5

Uploaded At: April 22, 2023


Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Peppperdine Institutional Review Board - Graduate and Professional Schools (GPS)
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
June 01, 2022, 12:00 +00:00
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials