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What Families Need to Get By

July 10, 2013 Common Cents

worried familyEver wonder if it would be cheaper to move somewhere else? The Economic Policy Institute has come up with a family budget calculator that takes into account the cost of living in 615 different areas of the United States.

Select from the different urban and rural areas of the country and enter your family size to get an estimate of what the basics will cost in that community for housing, food, child care, transportation and other basic needs.

Among other things, the calculator shows the weaknesses of most poverty thresholds which come nowhere near the level that would allow a family to attain a secure yet modest living. In addition, the nationally-set thresholds fail to account for the regional variations in the cost of living.

No matter where you live, however, the study found the official poverty thresholds were inadequate in every region and for every family size studied. For a two-parent, two-child family, for example, a family was no longer poor in 2012 if they earned more than $23,283.

“Our family budget calculations show that the real costs for families to live modest, not even middle class, lives are much higher than conventional estimates show, and for families living on minimum-wage jobs, it is virtually impossible to make ends meet,” said Elise Gould, EPI’s director of health policy research and one of the authors of the EPI report “What Families Need to Get By.”

Take a look at the family budget calculator for yourself.

<http://www.epi.org/resources/budget/>

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Common Cents Blog

Lackluster September State Revenues Reduce Surplus

4 Oct 2017

tree with coins

September was the first big month for revenue collection of State fiscal year (SFY) 2018, and while the total cash collected should not yet ring alarm bells, overall receipts were nothing to boast about. This trend continues observations from SFY 2017, which ended June 30, 2017, and the first two months of the current fiscal year. The General and Education Trust Funds, the primary repositories for the least restricted revenue streams from State taxation, were $2.3 million (0.5 percent) above plan for the year after September’s receipts, but that was down from $4.6 million at the end of August, with September’s shortfall relative to the revenue plan cutting the unrestricted cash revenue surplus in half.