Stay at Home Moms

s/o budgets, COL, etc.

I came across this and found in interesting, given many of our conversations on here.

The Economic Policy Institute came out w/ an updated Family Budget Calculator. I thought this was interesting and you can see how COL varies greatly throughout our country. The amount they give is for a modest living, not right above the poverty level or living off minimum wage, etc. 

Article:  

http://www.epi.org/publication/ib368-basic-family-budgets/ 

Just the calculator: 

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

 


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E 09.08, V 08.11, J 04.11
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Re: s/o budgets, COL, etc.

  • I agree, for the areas I checked, it seemed pretty accurate for a basic, middle class lifestyle. 

    imageimage
    E 09.08, V 08.11, J 04.11
  • $70K for my area. I think that's pretty accurate for a modest lifestyle. Some of their budget items were way off for my area- like they had rent lasted at $1,100 and there is no way you'd find anything big enough for a family of 4 for that price. They also have childcare listed at $975 which is way too low. Infant care for one child is $1,400-$1,600. 

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  • 64k here seems low to me.
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  • Yup, that's about right for my area. I feel like we're comfortable, but barely making a comfortable life-style, if that makes sense. There are millions of people living on way less than us here and you can just imagine what they're budgets must look like and what they're having to skimp on.

    ETA: Just wanted to add that I agree, what they're suggesting is the minimum for what I could consider to be a fairly comfortable a modest life-style. I'm still not sure about the retirement situation though - doesn't leave much room for that. And the number itself is actually a whole lot more than what a huge percentage of the people who live in this city are making. Such a huge income gap. It makes me pretty sick.

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  • It seems fairly accurate from what I know.  

    I live close to Newaygo County, MI, which was used as an example for median cost of living.   We manage to live on less than the amount they listed with 2 adults, 1 infant but we make more cut backs than a lot of people.  

    ETA: I just did the calculator and we live on less than they say for 2 adults, 1 child but as I said before we make lots of cut backs especially in food and transportation.  We live less than a mile from DH's work and drive older vehicles and I meal plan and shop sales and use coupons.   Housing and childcare both seem a bit low to me.  

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  • image QueSyrah:
    70K for my area. I think that's pretty accurate for a modest lifestyle. Some of their budget items were way off for my area like they had rent lasted at 1,100 and there is no way you'd find anything big enough for a family of 4 for that price. They also have childcare listed at 975 which is way too low. Infant care for one child is 1,4001,600.nbsp;

    I think it defines a recital for a family of 4 as a 2 bed apartment. Which still might be more than 975, I don't know. I think the issue then becomes that lots of people "feel" like they're living a modest lifestyle, nothing extravagant, but this metric and others would consider them living a lifestyle beyond modest.

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    E 09.08, V 08.11, J 04.11
  • $100,043. That sounds right. Too bad we're at about half that...

    ETA: It looks like they've calculated about half of what childcare would actually cost us as well.  

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  • Just under $62k here.  

    I guess the breakdown is pretty accurate.  Although, they have housing at under $800, which is possible, especially for a smaller, but nice apartment, but that can't include like utilities and such, right?  Is that the "other necessities" category?   

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  • Well this is pretty much the reason why we live in Riverside County and not in Los Angeles county....It also explains why most people here have to commute to work (as I look out the window to see my street backed up since 6AM as people try to avoid the 91).
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  • image CnAmom:
    According to google the median household income here is 36k. I feel rich!

    But the median household income might not be what it takes to live a moderate lifestyle. Did you check the cities or regions closest to you?

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    E 09.08, V 08.11, J 04.11
  • My area is not really represented. Its HCOL. Average income in my town is about 123,000 a year. We are above that. But looking at the calculator. There is no way some families in NJ could live on what they suggest.  Iwould be uncomfortible living single and making under 70k around here.
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  • I took out daycare since I'm home with the kids and it came out right at what dh and I make. We aren't poverty level but definitly aren't upper middle class. Id say its right for COL in Iowa.
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  • image CnAmom:
    image LalaMama81:
    image CnAmom:
    According to google the median household income here is 36k. I feel rich!
    But the median household income might not be what it takes to live a moderate lifestyle. Did you check the cities or regions closest to you?
    NM isn't on the second menu.
    It's on there.  Cities are Abq, Las Cruces, Farmington, Santa Fe, and Rural. 
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  • It says 60k for where we live.  Housing seems really low.  We bought a much cheaper house than most people, but with our high property taxes our monthly payment is $500 more than they have.  Most people probably spend $500-800 more than we do on their monthly payment.  I don't even think you can get a decent apartment for the amount they have listed. 
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  • hocushocus
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    I pulled the data for NYC. Housing is low IMO. Getting a 2 bedroom for under $2,000 is hard right now. I do know folks with 2 kids in one bedroom places but those are folks that are trading off space for good public schools. They often move after 8th grade. Vacancy rates are very low here which drives prices up in addition the overall high cost of living. Child care is on the low end, but I know folks that pay that if they live in non-subway accessible locations.

     

    Monthly Housing$1474
    Monthly Food$754
    Monthly Child Care$2006
    Monthly Transportation$577
    Monthly Health Care$1629
    Monthly Other Necessities    $570
    Monthly Taxes$781
    Monthly Total$7792
    Annual Total$93502
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  • image hocus:

    I pulled the data for NYC. Housing is low IMO. Getting a 2 bedroom for under $2,000 is hard right now. I do know folks with 2 kids in one bedroom places but those are folks that are trading off space for good public schools. They often move after 8th grade. Vacancy rates are very low here which drives prices up in addition the overall high cost of living. Child care is on the low end, but I know folks that pay that if they live in non-subway accessible locations.

    Monthly Housing$1474
    Monthly Food$754
    Monthly Child Care$2006
    Monthly Transportation$577
    Monthly Health Care$1629
    Monthly Other Necessities    $570
    Monthly Taxes$781
    Monthly Total$7792
    Annual Total$93502

    Wow because my friends in Manhattan are lucky to get an apartment, Studio or other wise for under 2800. our old apartment in Manhattan was a little over 3000 a month.

    Blessed with double the love. C and J born May 2013
  • I think the point of this budget calculator is that it's still barely enough for a comfortable, modest living and yet it's much higher than the official federal poverty line. That should tell you a lot. And it makes it really hard for me to understand why people don't get the importance of making sure everyone in the U.S. has at least a "living wage" (which honestly, I'm not even sure would even cover this budget). Minimum wage is a fukcing joke. And you know what people - it doesn't make sense to just say, well you can find another job. No you fukcing can't. And if you did, who will take your order when you go to McDonalds for your disgusting Big Mac fix.
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  • image Diapers&Wipes:
    For two parents and two kids it came back at 73,500 roughly. The child are numbers were way off. The cost it have would only pay for one small child on daycare. The rest seemed about right to me.

    This.  And we are both in the same city so that makes sense.  What really struck me was the it just about exactly the budget we are trying to work with.  

    ETA: I also looked up the 'average incomes and wages' for my city and they had a similar break down.  I wonder if the childcare aspect we all think is so low is  based on older kids?  I know  most of us are more familiar with the infant and toddler rates for our areas.  More interesting to me was that the hourly wage for education and teachers (among other professions) was listed as less than what is needed to support a single adult and child in our area.  That to me is sad, it seems that college educated jobs should result in enough income to support at least a small family.

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  • image amy052006:

    image nowababy:
    I think the point of this budget calculator is that it's still barely enough for a comfortable, modest living and yet it's much higher than the official federal poverty line. That should tell you a lot. And it makes it really hard for me to understand why people don't get the importance of making sure everyone in the U.S. has at least a "living wage" (which honestly, I'm not even sure would even cover this budget). Minimum wage is a fukcing joke. And you know what people - it doesn't make sense to just say, well you can find another job. No you fukcing can't. And if you did, who will take your order when you go to McDonalds for your disgusting Big Mac fix.

    I want to make out with this post. 

    ::thumbs up::  

    Also, those people on their middle and upper class high horses who say "just get another job", I'd love to see them just go out tomorrow and find a higher earning job just like that.  Additionally, I'd like to see them working multiple jobs just to barely (hopefully) make ends meet.  That's no kind of life.  

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  • image sbevmc09:
    image amy052006:

    image nowababy:
    I think the point of this budget calculator is that it's still barely enough for a comfortable, modest living and yet it's much higher than the official federal poverty line. That should tell you a lot. And it makes it really hard for me to understand why people don't get the importance of making sure everyone in the U.S. has at least a "living wage" (which honestly, I'm not even sure would even cover this budget). Minimum wage is a fukcing joke. And you know what people - it doesn't make sense to just say, well you can find another job. No you fukcing can't. And if you did, who will take your order when you go to McDonalds for your disgusting Big Mac fix.

    I want to make out with this post. 

    ::thumbs up::  

    Also, those people on their middle and upper class high horses who say "just get another job", I'd love to see them just go out tomorrow and find a higher earning job just like that.  Additionally, I'd like to see them working multiple jobs just to barely (hopefully) make ends meet.  That's no kind of life.  

    Where is the 'like' button when you need it? :D 

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  • hocushocus
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    image Emmakins87:
    image hocus:

    I pulled the data for NYC. Housing is low IMO. Getting a 2 bedroom for under $2,000 is hard right now. I do know folks with 2 kids in one bedroom places but those are folks that are trading off space for good public schools. They often move after 8th grade. Vacancy rates are very low here which drives prices up in addition the overall high cost of living. Child care is on the low end, but I know folks that pay that if they live in non-subway accessible locations.

    Monthly Housing$1474
    Monthly Food$754
    Monthly Child Care$2006
    Monthly Transportation$577
    Monthly Health Care$1629
    Monthly Other Necessities    $570
    Monthly Taxes$781
    Monthly Total$7792
    Annual Total$93502

    Wow because my friends in Manhattan are lucky to get an apartment, Studio or other wise for under 2800. our old apartment in Manhattan was a little over 3000 a month.

     

    NYC isn't just Manhattan though. Living say bay ridge in Brooklyn or Jackson Heights in Queens is a far more likely situation for this report. Even there I think a 2 bedroom would run more than ~1500 that is list here.

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  • Seems to me like it's to live barley comfortable too. Ours came back as 98K, but that's A LOT lower than I would expect. 

    Maybe if a family were willing to live in a small apartment in a seedy area, then they could make do with that little around here. I wouldn't consider that "comfortable".

    Sadly there are people working for minimum wage, and they live FAR from comfortable around here.  

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  • image amy052006:
    My only pet peeve about it in Philadelphia proper is that there is such a dramatic housing cost range. nbsp;Anywhere where you could utilize a decent public school is going to have a much higher housing cost than that. nbsp;And if you not, you are looking at factoring in tuition somewhere which is essentially eating all of your miscellaneous.


    It depends. Our old house sold for a mere 20k less then we bought in this hood. That's not much. And we went from 2 bedrooms to 5.
  • They didn't have my city listed, but I selected rural and it seemed pretty accurate- $53k for two adults and one child.
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  • image AnotherDreamer:
    They didn't have my city listed, but I selected rural and it seemed pretty accurate- $53k for two adults and one child.

    That sounds wonderful. I want to move so much! 

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  • image hayleydeee:

    image AnotherDreamer:
    They didn't have my city listed, but I selected rural and it seemed pretty accurate- $53k for two adults and one child.

    That sounds wonderful. I want to move so much! 

    It sounds good in theory lol, but the city is low income and destitute. If you make that much you're considered upper middle class, since most people do not make that much.

    A majority of the citizens here make well below the poverty guidelines, so our shelters are always over flowing, we have free programs set up at the hospital, and free lunches all summer for kids at the city parks (no questions asked), which is all great that we have programs here to help but there's nothing here to help with jobs. Our city was built on the industrial boom and factory work, and when a lot of that crashed it took the economy down with it. They're trying to rebuild and welcome new jobs into the area, but it's hard.

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  • I guess what I'm saying is there aren't actually any jobs here that actually make that much, unless you pull multiple jobs. So while that's what you need to get by here comfortably (which is WAY above the poverty guidelines) it's near impossible for most of the citizens.
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  • 54k. That actually seems a hair high for this area. The monthly food budget was waaaay off, we spend half of that and we don't always shop cheap! Housing was accurate, though, along with other things. Healthcare seemed high, we pay half of what was listed.

    We live very comfortably off 4k less than that a year!
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  • image AnotherDreamer:
    I guess what I'm saying is there aren't actually any jobs here that actually make that much, unless you pull multiple jobs. So while that's what you need to get by here comfortably (which is WAY above the poverty guidelines) it's near impossible for most of the citizens.

    That's so frustrating. It's also the reason we haven't moved. 

    As much as I'd love to escape the overinflated SF Bay area cost of living, we really can't because this is where the jobs are. Since DH works in the tech field I feel chained to the Silicon Valley :( 

    It would be so great if (even just a few of) the big tech companies picked up and moved to towns like yours. 

    Married 07.07.07. Mom to 3: Ruby 11/08 and Oliver & Austin 12/11
  • Gwapes where do you live you can buy groceries for 200 a month we spend more than that weekly!
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