Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to enhance understanding of social reproduction by investigating the financial management practices carried out by the consumers. Using depth interviews, a theoretical model is developed to describe how financial management practices are carried out to facilitate the attainment of class-specific life goals and discuss how these practices are related to social reproduction. Design/methodology/approach: In total, 22 adults aged 22-79 were interviewed face-to-face. They were asked to describe their financial management practices and their perception and feelings towards their financial situation. They were also asked about the life goals and their perception of progress towards achieving the stated goals. Findings: Different sets of financial management practices and their corresponding structural implications are identified in this study. The coping practices are the ones the working class carry out to meet mundane financial obligations, leaving little for long-term strategizing. The balancing practices are the ones the middle class carry out to juggle hectic family lives and promising careers. With a low level of slack resources, the middle class need to make monetary trade-off in their practices. The achieving practices are the ones that are practiced by the upper-middle class who settle in their class position and focus on furthering the growth of self and family. The structural implications of financial management practices make the attainment of occupational status via education least accessible for the working class, but within easy reach for the upper-middle class. Research limitations/implications: The paper studies a convenient sample of adults in a mid-Western city in the USA, which has a high level of racial homogeneity (i.e. White) compared with the metropolitans in the USA. Nevertheless, this study communicates the social embeddedness and structural ramifications of individual/household financial management practices. Originality/value: This is the first study to examine how class situation, with its various resource levels and differences in time horizon, influences the enactment of financial management practices, and how these micro-processes give rise to social reproduction.
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