Locations: Oaxaca, Mexico City and Puebla

Number of households: 185

Dates:  May 2013 – January 2015

Funded by: Gateways for Financial Innovations in Savings (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors) and World Bank Group support to Banco del Ahorro Nacional y Servicios Financieros (BANSEFI)


The Mexico Financial Diaries tracked 185 households over the course of 14 months from November 2013 to January 2015 (3 months of preparation and 11 months of cash flow data collection). Supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank to the Banco del Ahorro Nacional y Servicios Financieros (BANSEFI), the Mexico Financial Diaries project aimed to shed light on how low-income Mexican families manage their money and the unique constraints they face.

This research was conducted in three sites: the outskirts of Mexico City, peri-urban Puebla, and rural Oaxaca. About two-thirds of the 185 families included in the sample received Prospera (formerly Oportunidades) conditional cash transfers. One of Mexico’s largest social programs, Prospera makes bi-monthly payments to low-income women with school-aged children, contingent on families visiting health centers and attending other meetings, and on children not missing school.  The remaining households represented a comparison group of low-income households that did not receive Prospera subsidies in the three communities.

Gestión Social y Cooperativa served as our local research partner in Mexico for this project, offering intellectual leadership and guidance, hiring and managing all researchers, and running the daily operations of the project.

The dissemination of these findings, including the insights papers Estirando el Gasto and De Fiado en Fiado, is made possible by a generous grant from the MetLife Foundation.