Scenario: You are a single parent living in Pullman. You work full time (40 hours a week) at a local fast food restaurant and make approximately $18,803.00 a year before taxes and other standard deductions (at WA’s minimum wage $9.04). Your annual net salary (what you take home) is around $13,000. You have two kids, ages 3 and 5. According to Federal guidelines, the minimum poverty threshold for a family of 3 is $18,530.00, which means you make too much money to qualify for financial assistance. That means that given Washington’s minimum wage (the highest in the nation), you and your children do not qualify for Head Start, food stamps, welfare checks, subsidized housing, subsidized childcare, or any other federal aid program.
Task: Based on that information, create a monthly budget for your family. Be sure to account for the following: • groceries • rent (in town, $700 for a two bedroom house/apt; out of town $450.00 for the same deal—if you choose to live out of town, you have no option but to own a car and incur in the expenses associated with it as listed below) • car payments/maintenance (if you wish not to have a car, you will need a bus pass—monthly expense $14 for you and $10 per child, a total expense of $408.00 a year). • car insurance • health insurance (no less than $3,000.00 a year for the three of you) • life insurance • gas • child care • utilities • electricity • phone/cell • garbage collection • water • cable • Internet connection • clothing for you and the children • entertainment • school supplies for older child • savings account • children’s College 529 Plans • retirement for you ‘
Things to consider: (1) Some of the things I listed above are optional (e.g., entertainment and cable), but others are definitely not. (2) Although things like clothing and school supplies are not needed on a monthly basis, you still need to budget for them, as this is a yearly salary. Even if you only buy them once or twice a year. (3) Give realistic numbers, for this is a real budget and a real situation for way too many people in our state/country. Finally: That is all the money you have. No “my parents sent me money,” and no “I won the lottery.”
For most people in this situation, those are not real options. In space below, provide a budget and provide explanation for what you spent money on, why, what issues you thought about; reflect on process
Thanks to Carmen Lugo-Lugo, who created this assignment
Last day to participate March 15