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Why take part?

Your experiences and views are important, and they will help us to learn more about how individuals and households like yours manage their money. At the moment, too little is known about how households manage their money or the approaches they use to deal with changes to their income, the rising cost of living, and unexpected expenses that can come up in day-to-day life.

The findings from this project will contribute to important research that could help policymakers, academics and the financial services industry better understand how to support people to improve their financial wellbeing.

What will happen if you take part in the study?

We’ll invite you to take part in two key research activities:

  1. Your household will be paired with a researcher from the Real accounts research team. Your household will be paired with the same researcher throughout the project. You and your household will meet with your researcher once a month for interviews during the study period – an introductory interview in the first month and then monthly interviews. These interviews will last approximately one hour during which we will discuss your household finances, such as reviewing income and spending from the previous month. We will also use these sessions to hear more about how your household manages money, how financial responsibilities and decisions are managed, and your household’s experiences of work and income.
  2. During this period, we’ll also ask you and your household members to sign up to My Money Tracker, an app which we have developed especially for this project to record income and spending data anonymously for research purposes. My Money Tracker records transaction information to build an accurate, long-term picture of household finances. To use My Money Tracker, we would need you to connect your bank accounts and financial products, and this will share data with the research team on all the financial transactions you’ve made in the previous 12 months. The research team will not have access to any of your account details, such as account or card numbers.

We will ask you to stay connect to My Money Tracker during the entirety of the study whilst you’re taking part in the monthly interviews. We’ll also provide you with a journal where you can note down any income or expenses that can’t be collated by the Tracker, such as cash income or expenses.

What will you receive for taking part?

Your household will be compensated for the time taken to participate and any expenses incurred as a result of participating. Each month participating households will be paid £40. Additionally, when you connect your accounts to My Money Tracker in the first month, you’ll receive £30. Households will receive payments through the third-party platform Ayda. You will receive instructions on how to register with Ayda at the beginning of the study and a member of the research team will be on hand to help you with this. If other members of your household also connect their accounts to My Money Tracker, your household will be compensated with an additional one-off £30 digital voucher.

Who will have access to your data?

All data collected during the research will be kept confidential and made anonymous over the course of the project. Only members of the research team will have access to it. Your name will not be used in any report or publication produced and it will not be possible to identify you in any of the data.

All data collated by My Money Tracker will be kept confidential and stored first in a pseudonymous format – meaning that any information which could be used to identify you directly or indirectly will be replaced with a false name, and then in an anonymous format. The research team will not have access to any of your account details, such as account or card numbers, they will only be able to see the amounts and the type of transactions, for example £10 spent in Tesco, or £20 received from a personal contact.

The research team will not report any information to the government or other authorities. For example, if you were not declaring all your income, or were providing false information to the government, we would not declare this.

What happens if you change your mind about participating during the study?

If you change your mind about taking part, you can withdraw from the study at any point without the need to give a reason or an explanation to the research team. Subject to General Data Protection Regulation 2018 and the UK Data Protection Act 2018, you can also withdraw any personal information from the study that has not yet been anonymised. To find out more about how we are using your personal data for this project, please take a look at the Fair Processing Notice which includes more information on how we use your data for this research.

Ask a question

Our research team is on hand to answer any questions you may have: Get in touch

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Find out more about how you and your household can take part, what’s involved, and how your data will be protected.

Our research ethics

Read more about how we’re addressing ethical and data protection considerations.

Join the study

Ready to sign up? Complete our 5-minute sign-up form to tell us more about you and your household.

Refer a friend

Do you know someone who might be interested in taking part? We would be really interested in hearing from them.

Ask a question

Our research team is on hand to answer any questions you may have.