self-confident, disciplined, investment-minded
19% of adult population | 24.4 million people
Mostly male heads of household, Careful Hustlers are self-confident and want to invest. However, they struggle with the highest income volatility, making it difficult to save and plan for expenses, resulting in unpaid bills and financial emergencies. Yet, they still manage to borrow and do so relatively frequently, albeit primarily through family, which may ease their anxiety around holding debt. They have the lowest confidence in their ability to raise emergency money, and have typically relied on community to do so. They distrust people and banks, and while their overall rates of formal account ownership are low, those who own accounts use them frequently.
spouse or other people
personally own land
Who are they?
“We usually get paid monthly, after a project is done.
Sometimes it’s weekly, rarely daily. Sometimes we even go
two or three months until we get paid. It depends on when
the contractor gets paid.”
SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS (SES)
Careful Hustlers are mostly lower-middle income, married men split almost evenly between urban and rural locations. Most are 25 to 44 years old, and a about a third each have a primary education, a secondary education, and no schooling. Most identify as head of household, more than any other segment, and as the primary financial decision maker in the household. A greater proportion of women identify as sole decision-makers in this than any other segment.
Most Careful Hustlers have relied on social sources of financial support in emergencies over the past two years, while few have relied on personal resources. Yet over three quarters are not confident in their ability to raise emergency funds, the lowest rate amongst segments. This may be due both to their heavy reliance on their network, as well as its relatively small size. On average, Careful Hustlers can rely on fewer people when ill than any other Pakistani segment, though they speak on the phone daily with an average number of people.
RESILIENCE: SOURCES OF MONEY IN AN EMERGENCY
What do they want?
Careful Hustlers are eager to make investments to stabilize and grow their income and improve their household finances for their families. While they do not prioritize long-term goal-oriented savings, likely to to their high income volatility and struggles with expenses and emergencies, they seek to build in home cash reserves with family to smooth income volatility.
How do they manage their finances?
“I’ll run the house one day. It's so much responsibility.
I’m very nervous about it. My dad takes advice from my mom.
I’m worried about how I would manage expenses, especially
for marrying my brother and sister off.”
Financial Health Overview
Careful Hustlers show the weakest financial behavior of all segments, scoring below the national average in every category. They are below-average savers, struggle with volatile incomes and missed expenses, appear to have limited bandwidth for expense planning, and strain to raise money in emergencies.
Most Careful Hustlers manage money through family, particularly savings and borrowing, though they do so at rates below the national average. While in absolute terms, few Careful Hustlers own formal financial accounts and mobile wallets, they are more likely to make use of the ones that they do own. In particular this is true of their borrowing, where they report the highest rates of overall borrowing. Very few own informal financial accounts, and those who do use them less than average.
Careful Hustlers strongly prefer using a windfall to invest, suggesting they are very eager to grow their income and improve their household finances. They do not prioritize saving, as evidenced by their low savings frequency and low allocation of a windfall to either short or long term savings channels. However, they would allocate the second largest amount to cash reserves, suggesting they would prioritize, to a degree, improving their household liquidity.
HOW WINDFALL IS PRIORITIZED
HAS A PLAN TO MANAGE EXPENSES
Careful Hustlers struggle with financial planning, especially when it comes to expenses, though nearly half identify as the type of people who make plans and follow through with them. This may be driven, in part, by the fact that men in this segment defer expense planning to their spouses and, in the rare case of non-elder men in joint households, may defer both expense planning and overall financial planning to senior males in their families. Women in the segment may drive much of the financial planning behavior we see evident in the data.
Shaping Income and Expenses
Careful Hustlers experience high income volatility, the highest amongst segments, and struggle more than any other segment to plan their expenses and pay their bills. This suggests that their tools and strategies for shaping income and expenses are not sufficient. Moreover, their income and expense management struggles likely suppress their confidence and ability to save, and exacerbate their overall financial management challenges.
ABILITY TO PAY HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES
Most Careful Hustlers rarely or never save, and only one-fifth are frequent savers, doing so monthly or more. They are the second least frequent savers nationally. Those who save prefer to do so with family or in the home, which may help them stabilize income and keep in good standing with family members from whom they frequently borrow. Their rates of land and livestock ownership are slightly below national averages, which taken alongside their low savings rate and frequent borrowing may contribute to their expense management challenges and financial shocks.
Careful Hustlers are the most frequent borrowers in Pakistan, yet nearly sixty-percent rarely or never borrow. Nearly a quarter are frequent borrowers, doing so quarterly or more, They borrow almost exclusively from family. Nearly half are uncomfortable with debt, suggesting they may struggle with repayment and are likely borrowing out of necessity (to stabilize income or deal with emergencies, rather than to make investments). In the face of emergencies most have relied on social sources for funds, but have low confidence in their ability to raise emergency money.
SOURCE OF BORROWING
Careful Hustlers tech use lags national averages in virtually every category, likely owing to their middle age, income volatility and frequent lack of formal education. However, they own feature phones and make phone calls at rates well above the national average for Pakistan, though most rarely text or use internet. Their mobile wallet ownership, while in the single digits, is slightly above average.
How do they think?
"Sometimes my dad asks me for advice,
but I’m too young to give good advice.
Most Careful Hustlers have an internal locus of control and high self-efficacy. Yet, despite their strong sense of agency they have dim hopes for the future and low self-esteem. They struggle financially and have a heavy sense of responsibility as heads of household. They likely internalize their struggles and shortcomings as providers, blaming themselves and weighing negatively on their self-esteem and future outlook. Moreover, while they struggle financially, they feel their communities are unequal and do not trust their friends, neighbors and family to provide them support in times of needs, likely further suppressing their self-esteem confidence in the future.
Conscientiousness and Openness
Most Modest Upholders are conscientious and although over half identify as impulsive spenders, also consider themselves effective planners. Nearly half have a plan to manage expenses despite low SES, high income volatility, and limited financial decision making authority in their homes.
Moreover, most are future-oriented and deliberate savers. Nearly three quarters are open minded, second only to Communal Elites, which we have found to in part drive their increased borrowing from family, as well as their relatively greater ease managing expenses despite their challenging context.
Attitude Towards Savings
Most Careful Hustlers are not deliberate, goal-oriented savers and feel they don’t earn enough to save. Moreover, half feel their savings are not safe from the claims of others, which is not surprising as most identify as head of households. This may help explain why some save frequently with banks and prefer to invest most of a windfall as it would protect their money. Yet, most still save with family, likely reflecting a need to keep cash in home to build a liquid and fungible savings cushion to protect against income volatility.
Attitude Towards Debt
Most Careful Hustlers do not consider themselves to be dependable and are not comfortable holding debt. This is not surprising as they struggle to manage liquidity. Yet, they are the most frequent borrowers in Pakistan, indicating a strong need for capital. They borrow almost exclusively from family, which may provide them with the flexibility needed in terms of repayment, and alleviate some of their anxiety around holding debt. Though they are the most frequent Pakistani borrowers, nearly sixty-percent never borrow. Their attitudes toward debt may suppress their borrowing rates.
Trust in People
Over two-thirds of Careful Hustlers distrust people and their social financial networks. In fact, they are the least trusting segment in Pakistan. Their low trust may limit their overall use of financial services, and drive their financial management to family based channels, especially for saving and borrowing. They do not view their communities as equal, which may drive their low trust overall, and helps explain their low confidence in their ability to raise emergency and investment funds from social sources, despite relying heavily on these sources in emergency situations.
TRUST IN PEOPLE IN COMMUNITY
TRUST IN BANKS
Trust in Institutions
Most Careful Hustlers place minimal trust in banks. While in absolute terms, few Careful Hustlers own formal financial accounts and mobile wallets, they are more likely to make use of the ones that they do own, despite low trust in banks and viewing financial services as complex. Such accounts may appeal to their high locus of control, self-efficacy, distrust of people, and tendency to make financial decisions alone. While their low bank trust may and perceived financial service complexity may be a barrier to account and wallet ownership, their higher than average usage rates suggest these products provide compelling value to Careful Hustlers who own them.
Men and women within this male dominated segment share very similar gender views. Unlike within the female dominated Modest Upholders, where views on gender are significantly more progressive across metrics, especially for women, Careful Hustlers tend to believe men are better financial managers and technology users than women, and do not consider loan issuance biased against women. They do, however, feel that wives and husbands should know each other's finances and that girls and boys should be educated about money in the same manner.
MEN ARE BETTER FINANCIAL MANAGERS THAN WOMEN
How might we leverage Careful Hustlers’ desire
to make investments and their strong sense of agency
to drive higher savings rates?
How might we build knowledge and education pathways into products and services that clearly lead to growth
and stability from small investments?
"We usually get paid monthly, after a project is done. Sometimes it’s weekly, rarely daily. Sometimes we even go two or three months until we get paid. It depends
on when the contractor gets paid."
When Karan was only 12 years old, his parents gave him permission to start working and apprenticing with a local mechanic. He spent the next six years learning the business instead of attending school. When he was 18, Karan and his business partner opened their own repair shop. Despite his age and position in the family, he is the household’s primary earner. Karan is now deeply grateful to his parents for supporting and encouraging him to begin working at such a young age.
Stigmatization of Borrowing Constraints Opportunities for Investment in Business and Education
Sadia wants to provide her 4 daughters an education and bring them into her tailoring business with hopes of growing it. Yet, she feels that borrowing is shameful, so will try to finance these financial goals through savings alone.
Sadia would benefit from a loan to support investment in her tailoring business to become more efficient and productive, or to finance her four daughters education.
Destigmatize Loans by Characterizing Them as Investment
Sadia not only feels that borrowing is shameful, but experiences anxiety around payments. Despite having never missed a payment, she constantly worries that she will. In a sense, this anxiety driver her attentiveness to her repayment schedule and reduces the risk that she will miss a payment, but makes it more unlikely that she will borrow again.
Sadia needs a loan product that is framed as an investment product and equipped with features that relieve her anxiety around missed repayments, whether through reminders, generous grace periods, or recharacterizing repayment all together.