Budget Choices (Online Writings)

For those who didn’t do this one before, another opportunity

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 April 25

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33 thoughts on “Budget Choices (Online Writings)

  1. This was a really difficult task to do, it made me realize that while living on minimum wage, you don’t have the capability of doing much.

    Monthly Amount: ($1,083.33)

    Rent: $700
    Food: $35
    Bus Pass: $34
    Health Insurance: $250
    Life Insurance: $0
    Clothes & School Supplies: $5
    Car: $0
    Phone/Cell: $0
    Child Care: $30
    Electricity: $29
    Garbage Collection: (Included in Rent)
    Water: (Included in Rent)
    Cable: $0
    Internet: $0
    Entertainment: $0
    Savings Account: $0
    College: $0
    Retirement: $0

    When living on minimum wage, you have to find ways to make living life work. It’s practically impossible to save any money to provide your kids a better future, and you the only fun that you can have, has to be free.

    I chose not to have life insurance, although it’d be nice to have it, because I have to dependents. I chose to live in town, although it’s more expensive, because I don’t think that the cost of having a car would be worth it. $35 is not a lot of money to have to spend on groceries for a month, so I would really have to make that money go a LONG way. I would spend $60 for clothing and school supplies for my children each year, therefore we would most likely be shopping at thrift stores. I wouldn’t have a cell phone, because there is no way that I would be able to afford that. I only have $30 to spend on child care, so hopefully I could have friends or family that would be willing to take of them, while I am at work. Cable is not an option nor is internet. I could go to the public library for internet. I would only rent a place that includes garbage collection and water within the rent. For entertainment, I would take my kids to parks and do things that are free within the community. They wouldn’t have any savings, which if this were really my life, I would feel so bad, for not setting them up to have a bright future.

    This was a very difficult assignment for me to do, because I know there are so many people have to live like this. I came from a privileged family, and having to live like this, is unimaginable. My parents own a convenient store, and although many of the employees are paid minimum wage, we give several bonuses throughout the year, because we know that they have children at home. We make sure that they have enough to give their children Christmas presents, and if they don’t, my family takes it upon themselves to go and buy gifts for them. Living life in our society is hard, and I hope that one day we will be able to see a change in our country.

  2. Before attempting to plan my budget for this scenario, I first thought about necessities and luxuries. I thought about importance and what needed to be put on the list first that provided the most comfort and benefit to my family. Being a parent of two and having a limit of $13,000 a year, I would need to do everything I could to make my kids feel as comfortable as possible. That means I would need to sacrifice and compensate some of my needs for theirs. With that thought process, I generated this list separated into three sections that I feel benefits my family the most with what we have.

    Monthly Total= $1,083.33

    Necessity Price/month Total After Deduction
    Apartment $700.00 $383.33
    Bus $34.00 $349.33
    Groceries $34.00 $315.33
    Bills
    Health Insurance $250.00 $65.33
    Electricity $30.00 $35.33
    Child Care $30.00 $5.33
    Phone $0.00
    Comfort
    School Clothes $5.00 $0.33
    Life Insurance $0.00
    Retirement $0.00
    Internet/cable $0.00
    College Savings $0.00
    Entertainment $0.00

    While in the process of analyzing and developing my list, I found myself asking, “Do we really need this?” in order to save as much money as possible. My main goal was providing the most for my children. In order to provide the most to them, I sacrificed my retirement savings. I know this would really affect my life as I got older, but I needed to sacrifice my future in order to help set them up to make the most of theirs.

    I chose to live in town in an apartment and spend my money on a monthly pass for the bus. Doing it this way allows transportation for my family, while elimination car insurance and maintenance. The apartment we’d live in would need to incorporate water and garbage within the $700/month rent. With my children being the age of 3 and 5, I would only need to pay child care for my three year old, since my five year old will be in school during the day. I would hope that I had a friend or family member willing to watch my child for a little price of $30/month. In order to keep my electric bill low, we’d unplug everything after we were finished using it. Therefore, we would not have any devices sitting there and plugged in while not being used. I wouldn’t be able to afford a cell phone so I would need to use a phone at work or if it were an emergency use my neighbors. After deducting for my monthly bill for health insurance, that left me with $39.33 to provide food and school clothes/supplies. With such little money for groceries, I’d need to invest much of my time searching for coupons in order to make my money go much further.

    Attempting this assignment really opened my eyes to how tight and stressful this kind of life would be. Both of my parents grew up in tight situations as children, but have luckily risen above their childhood and provided a comfortable life for me. There are too many situations where children in this situation get trapped and repeat this cycle within their family. Many people debate about the social programs our government provides and believe they throw too much money into it and should cut their spending. Especially in the economic situation we’re in now, this topic is one that is brought up often. Unless a person is one that has experienced this lifestyle or can relate to it, they should make little to no comments regarding families in this situation and how they don’t deserve the benefits they receive.

  3. First off, an income of approximately $13,000 a year comes out to a positive $1083.33 per month. The first payments would be the necessities, which would include rent at $700 for a two-bedroom house/apt and a monthly bus pass of $34 total for my two children and me. Health insurance would come out to $250 a month for the three of us also. Right now, with only rent, transportation, and insurance, I’m left with about $100 to spend on everything else such as groceries, utilities, electricity, phone/cell payments, garbage collection, clothing, and school supplies.

    This is highly unmanageable so unfortunately, I have to cut our health insurance and pray that none of us gets hurt or really sick. So I’m back up to $350 left to spend on other necessities. I tried Google-ing the average cost of groceries and the cheapest one I found was $200, and that’s with the use of many coupons. Utilities, such as water, electricity and garbage collection would be about $100 a month. Clothes, shoes, and school supplies for the children are also necessary and the rest of the money, about $50, would go to that as any other household items. Speaking of household items, how can I afford normal everyday things like tissue paper, dish soap, laundry detergent, toothpaste, shampoo, or female products?

    Sadly, there is no room for anything else. I can’t afford any type of insurance, so if anything happens to any of us, we will most likely be in a lot of debt. I won’t even have enough to pay for life insurance, so if I die, my children would probably go to the next of kin or into the foster care system. I can’t afford a cell phone or Internet connection so it would be very difficult to be in contact with the rest of the world. To me, I would consider a cell phone and having the Internet necessary in order to respond to emails or phone calls from my boss at work or my children’s school. But in this case, there is no room for it. My budget is too tight to afford cable or any other type of entertainment. I can’t even make a regular or college savings fund or save up any retirement money. I can’t even imagine how so many people in this country live like this. It’s literally impossible to make it month-to-month. This assignment actually made me stressed out because things that I would consider to be necessary can’t even be considered for with an income like this. It opens my eyes to the stressors of everyday life and the importance of going to college to get a good job. Finally, this assignment made me feel grateful for all the things I have, which most people, including myself, take for granted.

    • I thought it was really interesting that you chose to cut the health insurance in order to have more money for groceries and household items. I found this interesting because nobody else cut this from there budget, but in reality many low income families don’t have health insurance and there isn’t anything they can do if their child needs to go to the doctor or get medicine. Furthermore, realizing that if you died your children would probably become property of the state connects to many of the cases we talked about in class. Also, I liked how you mentioned other needs besides groceries like laundry detergent and female products, because these as well are realistic needs that many people simply cannot afford to have.

  4. When only pocketing &13,000 dollars a year, this family needs to be on a very very strict budget.
    Monthly spending: $1,083.33

    -In town housing (water and garbage included): $700
    -Electricity: $30
    -Bus Pass: $34
    -Groceries: $70
    -Child Care: $80
    -Health Insurance: To poor
    -Clothing (buy once a year): $35 (when clothing is bought I will have $420 dollars to spend)
    -Entertainment (TV, cable, internet): Way to poor (go play outside)
    -miscellaneous (school supplies): $34.33
    -Savings: $75
    -Phone: $25 (one cell phone with a very cheap plan)

    I don’t like living this way. If I was a parent with two children, I feel like I would be stressed to the fullest from working a job that isn’t going to take you very far in life. Having children makes this situation that much more difficult. Let’s face it, children are expensive!

    When trying to come up with a budget, I first figured out the monthly budget, $1,083.33. I decided to live in town in an apartment that is $700 dollars a month. That price also includes garbage services, and water. Since I’m in town I bought my children and I bus passes. This is cheaper then a car and all the upkeep that I would have to do on it. I will pay $30 for electricity a month by making sure lights are always off unless they are really needed (hopefully the apartment has a lot of windows so the sun can shine in. And I will even resort to unplugging all the electrical items so they don’t waist electricity. The youngest child is three years old, so he is the only one that needs child care, I hope $80 a month will cover the cost of care for him while I’m at work and my five year old is in school. Next, I did $70 dollars for groceries a month because I want my kids to have good nutritional values. I don’t want them eating unhealthy food so I figure that I can fork out a few extra dollars on their food. As for health insurance and life insurance, with this budget, i an just to poor so I hope nothing bad happens to me and my children.

    I plan on buying clothing once a year, so with saving $35 a month, I will have $420 to spend on clothing items once a year. The Palouse Thrift shop is going to come in handy. My father taught me that being out side is all the entertainment that one should need, so I will have no TV, no computer, or anything along that line for entertainment. The kids can go play in the dirt and use their imaginations. And I will also have a phone, I think it is important to have contact in need be, and Walmart sells month plans for $25 a month. And I will have a miscellaneous budget that has $34.33 a month for anything along that lines of school supplies and what not. Lastly, I plan on saving $75 a month so I can have a little extra money if an emergency of any sort happens.

    I have learned that I will not be working in a restaurant for the rest of my life, I don’t like having this tight of a budget, but it does help me see how people have to budget themselves in order to survive.

  5. Starting with the necssities, rent $450 a month x12 is 5400-18,803 is $13403, water and garbage are included in this, eletric is $50 a month based on my 5 roomates use excessive and our bill is aprox 100 so 50 x12. Food is another requirment $100 a month if shopping carefully and cooking vegtables which are cheap and sub prime cuts of meat can feed 3 healthy meals with the children getting free lunch and breakfest at school which i know of sevreal examples of children whos parents made over 20,000 that recived these. The food cost would likely also be lowered by applying for foodstamps which according to the USDA this family is eligable for. For a family of three to be eligable they must make under $2006 a month gross income (http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/applicant_recipients/eligibility.htm) and this family makes $1566. Now on to things americans consider luxuries that are not “required to survive” I would neglect to purchase health insurance and purchase one phone for the family $40 a month x12 often non smart phones are given away free when you sign up for a plan, I would also apply to the goverment program that gives families eligable for foodstamps free phones with service. I would not purchase health insurance and instead sign up for childrens medicaid and general medicaid both of which upon entering this familys stats I found they may be eligable for. (http://www.dshs.wa.gov/ESA/TEC/tec_calc.asp) I would set aside $1,000 a year for school and clothing. I would bundle cable and internet based on my current bill for both would cost $80 a month x12 is $960. Not owning a car no car insurance or payments would need to be made and living outside the city bus fare would be required bus pass would be required $34 x12 is $408. This proposed budget would leave this family with aprox $3,000 for entertainment and extra food, gifts ect.

    A quick recap
    Rent $5400
    Bus $408
    health Insurance( none/apply for medicaid)
    Water/garbage ( included in rent)
    School supplies/clothing $1,000
    cable/internet $960
    Food $1,200 plus food stamps
    Phone $480 plus goverment phone program so possibly free
    Car insurance/payments/gas none
    Power $600
    equals 10,048-13,000=$2,952 in discretionary income

    This budget is assuming the support of a few goverment programs that were calculated assuming no child support payments are being made to the single mother. If these payments were being made this would likely make this family ineligable for these but would increase thier budget. Some sacrafices were made because of this familys low income they are unable to own a car although they could put thier discretionary income towards that if that was a priority, they are dependent on medicaid for health insuracne or they will have none. They have the most basic internet and cable pacakge, and cannot afford to eat out with out dipping into discretionary income.

  6. When living on minimum wage the monthly income that they would be allotted would be about $1083.33 to cover all their monthly bills. The first things that I would make sure I paid would be $700 for rent and a monthly bus pass for $34. As important as health insurance is we wouldn’t be able to afford it due to our lack of funds. I know that with children ages 3 and 5 it is important that they get to see the doctor to get all their immunizations and our taken care of, so hopefully by cutting out health insurance we would have a small additional amount of money at the end to be able to do this for them if desperately needed. I would spend $200 a month on groceries and use as many coupons as possible. Water, electricity and garbage would hopefully be included in rent which would leave us with about $150 left to spend on clothes, school supplies, and probably a cheap phone and plan for the family to share.
    This is really unfortunate that people have to budget themselves this tightly and cut such important things out such as health insurance. I know some people that don’t have health insurance and I never thought about all the other things they probably don’t have if they had to cut that out. It’s also very unfortunate that it is expected for people to be able to live on this small of a budget before they are allowed to get help from the state, especially the children. You would think that the state would be able to come up with a way to give them certain things they will need if they fall below a certain budget, even if that budget is higher than the poverty line because with the money we do have the thing that got neglected the most was the kids and their needs.

  7. Looking at this I could tell that it was going to be pretty difficult to do. So the things that came to mind was to get healthcare then eliminate luxuries such as cable, Internet, cell phone, college savings, and retirement. I had to do this because living on $13,000 a year with two children is a very difficult thing to do. I realized that I had to give up what I want to do and just live of the bare necessities.

    Monthly total $1,083.33

    Health Insurance $250.00
    Apartment $700.00
    Bus $34.00
    Groceries $34.00
    Electricity $30.00
    Child Care $30.00
    School Clothes $5.00
    Phone $0.00

    Life Insurance $0.00
    Retirement $0.00

    Internet/cable $0.00
    College Savings $0.00
    Entertainment $0.00
    Car $0.00

    The first thing I did was to get the healthcare because that is the most important thing for me and my children because if something happens I need to be there for them and I get hurt I need to be cover because I might not be able to work. As I went farther through the presses of picking and choosing what the best thing I had to keep going back and changing what I had. Such as I wanted to have a car but after going through I realized that was not going to work and so I had to change where I lived. I wanted to be out of town but I couldn’t because I wouldn’t have a car so I moved into town and had to get bus passes. Then for my children one of them would be in school so daycare would only need to be fore one of the children. Then for school clothes and school supplies I am going to have to shop at Good Will and use the rest for supplies.

    This was a very difficult thing to do. I have never been put in a place that would have to do this. I grew up with one parent and one sister but my dad owned his won business and was able to provide for our family. After doing this I have realized that it is very difficult for people to survive in today’s world. the richer people in the world think that it is easy to get a good job but they have had all of the advantages to get where they are now. The poor people living on minimum wage have to work their whole life to pass by and they are the only ones that know what the hardships there are of having to skim by to just live and not have any help from the government.

  8. Initially I thought that this was going to be a simple task but then I started and quickly realized it is difficult to follow a budget.

    Yearly earnings $13,000
    Monthly amount $1083.33
    Daily amount $36.11

    Rent: $700
    Bus pass: $34
    Health insurance: $0
    Electricity: $30
    School clothes: $15
    Electricity: $30
    Phone: $0
    Groceries: $75
    School Supplies: $15
    Child Care: $90
    Cable: $0
    Internet: $0
    Water: $14.33
    Savings: $25
    Phone: $25
    Miscellaneous: $30

    When thinking of what is essential and what a person can live without really has been put into perspective in this scenario. I would never want to find myself in this situation but for many people in the world this is a very real reality for them. I chose to live in town and purchase a bus pass for two children and myself. I did not want to own a car because of the subsequent costs associated with owning your own car. Also with today’s gas prices as high as they are riding the bus made the most money sense. Next I chose not to purchase health insurance because while nice to know you have insurance the $3,000 a year for three was too much of a strain on the budget in my eyes. I chose to spend $15 on school supplies because it is important that children are able to do their schoolwork. The childcare section is anything that they might need that comes up other than normal expenses. I chose to have a single cell phone for when I am at work our out of the house. This is a family phone just in case something happens and you are not there it is important that you can be reached. The miscellaneous section I chose to have $30, this is for anything that might come up during the year that is unexpected I will have some extra cash on hand. I also put 25 dollars in savings because you don’t have to spend your whole paycheck. I though this task was more difficult than meets the eye. Not only was it hard it was an eye opener. It really put into perspective how hard it is to live on minimum wage. It made me realize that not every one is able to live the life that I was brought up in. Not everybody gets birthday and Christmas presents, or is able to get new school clothes every year. Life can be very hard and this only showed a small glimpse into the world of living in poverty.

  9. Here is my budget planned for $1,083.33 of income a month ($13,000 annually):
    -Rent: $700.00
    -Bus Pass: $34.00
    -Groceries: $200.00
    -Childcare: $30.00
    -Clothes/school supplies: $25.00
    -Electricity: $65.00
    -Savings: $29.33 (money left over after expenses paid)

    It was very difficult to create a realistic budget with a monthly income of $1,083.33. I thought $200 was a very small grocery budget but it might be manageable with the use of coupons. I chose to pay $700 for the in-town rent because the costs associated with having a car would be too much. Other essential expenses include childcare, clothes/school supplies, and electricity, which lead to a total of $1,054 for the month. I would put the remaining $29.33 in savings to account for any miscellaneous expenses.

    While creating a budget for $1083.33 a month, I realized how hard it is to live off of this little of an income. This family would have to sacrifice a lot in order to feed and have a place to live for three people, including two children. It was a very difficult deciding which expenses are more important than others. The hardest decision was deciding if there is enough left over each month in order to pay for health and life insurance. I think this highlights why so many Americans do not have the access to health insurance. It would be very difficult to put almost a quarter of my monthly income towards health insurance, especially with rent being $700.00. In order to pay for health insurance, you would have to sacrifice a lot.

  10. This assignment made me realize how little minimum wage really is, even when working full time, and even in a state like Washington where the minimum wage is very high (comparatively). I cant even imagine doing this assignment in a state where the minimum wage was something like $5 an hour.

    $1083.33 available per month
    (below amounts are listed as price per month)

    $700 for in town apartment
    $34 for a bus pass
    $250 for health insurance for 3 people
    $75 for utilities
    $80 for cell phone
    $40 for clothing
    $20 for school supplies
    $200 for groceries

    these are what I consider to be the “essentials” and my total came out to $1399
    I had to cut out school supplies, clothing, and go down to $150 for groceries. This put me at $1289. I am still over. At this point, short of going hungry, and given the parameters of the assignment, I feel I am unable to pay the bills.

    In reflection it makes me realize how little minimum wage really is. It isnt enough to sustain a family. It MAY be enough to sustain one person, but even then the quality of living will be low. This assignment also made me realize how much kids would factor into the equation, as they cant provide any income and you must clothe and feed them.

    This assignment made me realize the importance of 1. having a good/well paying job and the difference on quality of living it will make. 2. how expensive kids are, and that with a one parent family, it is extremely hard to sustain yourself and kids.

  11. Monthly spending: $1,083.33

    -Rent: $700
    -Electricity: $30
    -Bus Pass: $34
    -Groceries: $90
    -Child Care: $70
    -Health Insurance: $0
    -Clothing: $35
    -Entertainment: $0
    -school supplies: $24.33
    -Savings: $75
    -Prepaid cheap Phone: $25

    This is a ridiculously low budget. I made it work by focusing mostly on just the essentials. No money was spared for frivolous things. The only thing I used money for that isn’t necessary was savings, but having a savings account is very important. It can help in times of crisis, or possibly for the children when they leave the house. The phone is necessary for emergencies, family, and possibly for job interviews. Child care is essential because the kids are young and cannot go to work with me, and they cant be left alone. School supplies are important for the education of the children, because I want them to have a better job than me when they get older. The rest are essentials: rent (housing), clothing, electricity, groceries, and a means of transportation (bus). Having a budget like this would be a nightmare. I think the federal aid should account for tax deductions when they put a cap on who they give aid to. In this scenario, I am barely above the cap, but its enough to make me ineligible for essential help. This made me realize how well off I really am, and how its very difficult to survive off of minimum wage alone. I can only imagine how hard it is to manage a budget in a third world country, making only a dollar a day.

  12. Living off of $13,000 dollars a year for a family of three is a very tight budget.

    The monthly spending would be $1,083.33
    -In town housing (water and garbage included): $700.00
    -Health Insurance: $250.00
    -Life insurance: $0.00
    -Bus Pass: $34.00
    -Electricity: $30.00
    -Groceries: $38.00
    -Child Care: $26.00
    -Entertainment: go play outside and have play-dates
    -Clothing/School supplies for older child: $5.33
    -Phone: $0.00
    -Savings: $0.00
    -Retirement: $0.00

    This is such a difficult budget to work with. I can’t imagine trying to actually live off this. I would be stressed and having two children definitely makes it much harder.

    First I decided to live in an apartment in town for $700.00 a month because living farther away with a car, paying for gas (super expensive nowadays), and for car parts would be too expensive. Since I chose the apartment it means I have to buy a bus pass for $34.00 a month. I think that health insurance is very important because children tend to get hurt a lot so I had to make room in the budget for it. The minimum for health insurance for three people is $250.00 per month. With the leftover $133.33, I need to pay for electricity, groceries, child care, and clothing/school supplies. Having a phone, retirement fund, entertainment, life insurance, or internet/cable are things that are not extremely necessary. For entertainment, the kids can play at parks or have play-dates with friends. The sad thing is there is basically no money left for clothing or school supplies. I can see how difficult this is to budget and live off of. It’s practically impossible and it is sad that so many families are in this situation. I hope that in the future things will change for the better.

  13. Approaching this assignment, I had no idea how difficult it would end up being. I found myself going through each category multiple times decreasing the amount I spent by tiny increments, just to make the target budget. After crunching some numbers with my graphing calculator, this is what I came up with.

    Rent In Town: $700.00 per month; $8,400.00 per year
    Bus Pass: $34.00 per month; $408.00 per year
    Health Insurance: $250.00 per month; $3,000.00 per year
    Child Care: $29.58 per month; $355.00 per year
    School Supplies: $3.75 per month; $45.00 per year
    Phone: $0
    Clothing: $18.33 per month; $220.00 per year
    Grocery: $24.42 per month; $317.00 per year
    Electricity: $21.25 per month; $255.00 per year

    I feel in the long run that living in town would be cheaper than commuting because then you have to add in car insurance gas, etc. Health insurance is a must have. In this scenario I have two young kids who are very susceptible to sickness due to their age. Health care is very expensive without insurance, and in the long run paying a good portion of my income would be an ideal decision. It’s better to be safe than sorry. A phone is not a necessity. Plenty of people live without phones on a daily basis. The budget for clothing is $220,000 per year. I would buy the majority of clothes at goodwill because it’s cheap, and kids don’t care what they are wearing at a young age. My groceries would be bought at WinCo in Idaho via bus transportation. Electricity is $255.00 per year, the electrician cut a deal for us. For now there is no money for any extras, only the necessities.

    Making this budget made me realize how much I do not want to be in this situation ever. It is very hard managing a $13,000 income. You have to make many small decisions that can affect your future dramatically. Like paying for health insurance, or going without it. This assignment also made me think about the people that abuse the services that help the needy, versus the people that really need the services but don’t qualify because their income is slightly too much. People actually suffer from this problem. They either have to quit their job to qualify for programs such as food stamps, or continue to work 40 hours per week and take the difficult route doing everything by themselves.

  14. Here is how I would break it down:

    Total Every Month = $1,083.33

    Rent (gas, garbage and water included) $700.00
    Bus $34.00
    Groceries $119.33
    Health Insurance $0.00
    Electricity $30.00
    Child Care $30.00
    Phone $80.00
    School Clothes $5.00
    School Supplies $5.00
    Life Insurance $0.00
    Retirement $0.00
    Internet $80.00
    College Savings $0.00
    Entertainment $0.00

    First, I decided that going with the $700 apartment in town would be cheaper than an out of town apartment when you include all the extra transportation costs and extra time spent. It is also more convenient and if you get a place in the middle of town, you can walk to a lot of places. If you live in town, it also means you can have a bus pass instead of a car, which saves a lot of money.

    For the other costs, I decided to skip out on all the insurance and ‘planning ahead money’ i.e. retirement and college savings. On this budget, you simply don’t have that luxury. I put aside $10 for the combined cost of clothes and school supplies for a total of $120 a year which I think is enough to cover that stuff if you reuse a lot of the things from previous years as well as buy the cheapest stuff you can find (goodwill).

    What I decided NOT to go cheap on were groceries, internet, and cell service. In this scenario, I treated food almost like life and health insurance. The healthier you eat, the more you are going to be able to function at a higher level and reduce (but obviously not get rid of) the stress of not having as much money. If the family was fortunate enough to get any more money, maybe from family members or charity, it would definitely go towards more food.

    As for phone service, I feel as though it would be a huge disadvantage in today’s world to not have a cell phone, so I budgeted for that cost.

    Internet was another important one for me. I feel that internet, like having a phone, is essential in today’s society. Not only that, but there is almost unlimited knowledge at your fingertips when you have access to the internet. If I was the Mother in this family, I would encourage my kids to take part in learning programs on the internet and also try to make extra money myself on the net by freelancing or starting a side business in my free time (I realize there isn’t much free time for someone in this scenario, but I think you could find 30-60 minutes every day to try and advance your income stream).

  15. Morgan Willson
    CES 101
    Online Writing
    18 April 2013

    First off, I was shocked at how far the mom must stretch her paycheck in this circumstance to provide for herself and her two children. I eliminated some expenses altogether (didn’t account for), including, transportation, cable, Internet connection, and entertainment as I saw these as extras that weren’t necessary to survive. Overall, I organized the expenses in this way because I felt it absolutely necessary to cover those that were mandatory, like groceries, rent, insurance, and electricity and then contribute to the other funds if there happened to be money leftover. Living on this specific budget may be possible…however, due to the high rent and mandatory health insurance, there was an extremely small amount of money to spend on the other budgeted items.

    Groceries- $15
    I believe that two children (I say two because the mother will likely receive food from working at a fast food restaurant) need much more than $15 per month worth of food to survive…but this is the amount that I couldn’t help but narrow it down to after decreasing the amounts of the other categories.
    Rent- $700
    This is the required amount one must pay to rent the apartment.

    Transportation- $0
    I decided that the mom and her children would live in town so that they wouldn’t have to pay for a car, car insurance, and gas. Therefore, the mother and kids can walk to work and school.
    Health insurance- $250
    In order to meet the annual $3,000 health insurance payment, $250 is the minimum limit that the mom would need to pay in order to provide health insurance for the children and herself.
    Life insurance- $8
    From this point on, I kept decreasing the following costs in order to meet the mom’s monthly income of $1,083. This amount will have to do for the family of three.
    Gas- $15
    I mother and her two kids will need to be extremely conservative in how they utilize household resources. Instead of using the heater and air conditioning, they will need to adapt by using blankets and opening the windows.
    Childcare- $14
    For the youngest child who receives care when the mom’s at work, this amount should be more as it accounts for a monthly amount. However, money and resources are far stretched and the other areas of expenses are properly accounted for, leaving childcare as the listed amount.
    Utilities- $13
    The mom and her children will need to use the utilities very sparingly, making sure to limit telephone use and other utility sources.
    Electricity- $10
    I chose the listed amount because the three will need electricity but will also need to limit this to a great extent by turning off the lights when leaving a room and not utilizing wall outlets.

    Phone/cell- $5
    Phones are extremely useful and prevalent in today’s society, but are not completely necessary for one’s survival. If the mother has one, she will use it sparingly, making sure the kids have her number so they can call only in the case of an emergency.
    Garbage collection- $5
    The family will limit unnecessary waste as much as possible. Consolidating and recycling will serve to their benefit. Five dollars was as much as I could calculate out for this budget system without taking from another more important expense.
    Water- $15
    Water is a bit higher than the latter few expenses because of how often and common it is for households to use it. Showers, laundry, doing the dishes, cooking, washing one’s hands – all require water and therefore, the family will spend a little more on this expense.
    Cable- $0
    There will neither be room nor money to include cable on the list of expenses and it is not vital to their existence. Therefore, the family will not be spending money on this cable.
    Internet connection- $0
    The family does not have enough money to own a computer. Furthermore, there will be no need to pay for Internet connection.
    Clothing (me & kids)- $10
    If the mother shops at thrift shops and any other places where one can find inexpensive articles of clothing, she will not need to spend much on apparel for herself or her kids.
    Entertainment- $0
    There is not room in the budget for entertainment expenditures, which are not necessary for their livelihood. However, she and the kids can create other venues of entertainment, like playing charades or going to the park.
    School supplies (older kid)- $5
    One can find cheap school supplies at stores, like the Dollar Tree and Walmart, which often carry notebooks and other supplies for 25 cents.
    Savings Account- $5
    I believe more than five dollars should be put into the savings account per month. However, in this circumstance where the mother makes $1,083 a month, there is barely any to put into a savings account.
    Children’s College 529 Plans- $6
    I think it is very necessary to put money away for the kids’ college. That is why I listed it higher than the savings account. It’d be helpful if there were an even greater amount being saved per month, but $6 will have to do for now.
    Retirement- $7
    The mom will need to have support by the time she reaches older age. Therefore, it’s good that she put aside money for her retirement on a monthly basis. I thought that $7 was an efficient amount and would give her something at some point…

    Overall, this budget was very difficult to account for due to the small income that had to be stretched in order to contribute to the various expenses. I thought is best to eliminate spending on the things that were not necessary for the mom and her children to live, like cable, entertainment, and transportation. This has shown me how difficult it is for those who are in this financial and family state and providing for one’s family and oneself, especially if you’re the sole parent figure in the house.

  16. rent: $700
    electricity: $30
    bus pass: $34
    groceries: $200 (kids eat a lot)
    child care: $40
    health insurance:0 too poor 😦
    clothes and supplies: $150 ( thrift shopping is ideal )
    entertainment, t.v, cable etc : 0
    phone:$50
    retirement:0

    this assignment was difficult to do one, because i am terrible at math and two thinking of all the things that are more beneficial than others was harder than i thought. I know someone close to me who’s in a similar situation as this scenario and it does cause a lot of stress on them so its really an eye opener to how very tight a budget they have to live on. I chose to live in town and take the bus so its more convenient to get around, for groceries i said 200 because, baby siting kids a lot growing up, i know they eat a lot and i want my children to eat healthy so i want to be able to provide good food so i would probably shop at like wal mart or even the dollar store too. I chose to have a phone hoping to get a cheap cheap plan of about 25-50 bucks so i can have ability to keep in contact with anyone like for instance the school when my 5 year old is there.

  17. Annual Budget: 13,000 Monthly Budget: 1,083.00
    Monthly Annual
    Beginning Budget $1,083.00 $13,000.00
    Rent $700.00 $8,400.00
    Food stamp eligible $400/month $0.00 $0.00
    Electric $60.00 $720.00
    Garden $12.50 $150.00
    Bus $11.75 $141.00
    Health Insurance $250.00 $3,000.000
    TOTAL REMAINING (to be used for unexpected costs, clothing, etc.) $48.75 $585.00
    Child Care Can’t afford Can’t afford

    The first thing I budgeted for was the rent, which I chose to live in Pullman and pay the extra rent and bus fee. If I were to live out of town and have a car and all of its costs, I would save about $500 a year but this benefit is not worth the risk of my car breaking down and having no transportation to work. The second item I budgeted for is food. I used the DSHS website calculator and learned that I would be eligible for $400/month. My boyfriend and I live on $200/month for groceries so $400/month for three people is feasible, but it will still be difficult. So, I chose for her to rent a house and build a garden, which would cost about $150/year and would yield her at least $600 worth of healthy food for her and her children in the first year. The garden would be easy and definitely feasible, also giving the children an outdoor learning activity. Electric would cost $60/month and that would be living with limited heating in the winter and the lights being turned off the majority of the time, along with washing the dishes by hand rather than using a dish washer, which is an added task for a single mother. As a single working mother, it is crucial to double check costs, and the cost in Pullman for an annual pass would actually only be $141.00. Her kids are both free because they are under Kindergarten age and she would only cost $11.75/month for an adult pass. There is no option for the family not to have health insurance, the children will be needing shots in order to enter school and physicals, and the cost of unexpected medications for ear infections or other common childhood illnesses would outweigh the cost of not having insurance, and this costs $3,000.000/year. After all of these expenses, I would be left with $48.50/month and $585/year for additional expenses such as clothing, school supplies, etc. The budget is perfect, but there is still one problem: Child care. Child care is $815/month per child for full time care. And this is at a low-range of child care in Pullman. The cost for child care for both of her children is higher than the total monthly income. For this, I would hope I can find full-time work at a daycare so that I can get care covered for free. I would also try to make friends and try to do a shared child care with a friend. She would also have no cellphone, but could qualify for a free house phone through the government.
    Aside from child care the budget is still very tight and it would be hard to make ends meet. Personally, I think finances would be easier for her if she earned less and then applied for government assistance, she would have health care, food, electric, housing assistance, and child care covered if she did that. It is unfortunate that minimum wage is too low to live off of. I have been living on minimum wage throughout college, and it is extremely hard, and I don’t even have children. This scenario is sad and stresses me out thinking about it, I could not imagine the stress you would face each month living in this scenario.

  18. Rent: $700
    Food: $175
    Bus Pass: $34
    Health Insurance: $0
    Life Insurance: $0
    Clothes & School Supplies: $50
    Car: $0
    Phone/Cell: $10
    Child Care: $30
    Electricity: $29
    Cable: $0
    Internet: $0
    Entertainment: $0
    Savings Account: $55
    College: $0
    Retirement: $0

    As many other people chose for this assignment, I decided living in town would be the smartest option for this family. In town a car is not a necessity. Many cheap cars have problems which could put the family in debt and cause transportation problems for them. I chose not to have Health insurance because if I had it my kids would go hungry with the small food budget and nutrition is important for the kids. As a college student I go through this food budget in a little over a week so I know the family is going to be eating sparingly even with the extra money for food. I have a much larger savings account than most people on the thread and this is because this money can be used in case of crisis, such as a kid getting ill or injured. Also if needed the money can be used to buy more food or anything that could come up in life. This assignment is very eye opening because this family is obviously in a very poor situation and it is sad these kids won’t have the privilege of growing up and being able to have many things other kids will be handed. Entertainment and college funds are out of the question because they cost too much and college is so expensive even the left over money won’t be enough to get any real hope of paying for college.

  19. Monthly Spending: $1083.33

    Rent: $700.00
    Food: $80.00
    Bus Pass: $34.00
    Health Insurance: $250.00
    Clothes and School Supplies: $18.00
    Child Care: $30.00

    It was really hard to fulfill all of the things listed for a person in this situation. There was no way to budget in life insurance, phone/cell, cable, internet, entertainment, college, or retirement. I chose to spend the money on rent, food, bus pass, health insurance, clothes and school supplies, and childcare because I saw these as the most important for the parent and most of all the children. Children need a roof over their head rather than a car, so I chose to live in town and buy a bus pass for the whole family. In case any of the children or the parent got sick, I budgeted in health insurance. The parent will most likely need someone to look after the children while their working so I put money aside for child care and of course the children will need clothing and school supplies. Through the process of making a budget, I had to think about the most important things and take off the things that were not as important or could be done in a different way like entertainment.

  20. Basically I am working with $1083.33 per month. I disagree with the maximum salary to qualify for government subsidies. I believe it is a bit too high. $13,000 is barely enough to scrape by for one person, and definitely not enough for three people! That being said, I think that having children is a privilege, not a right. If you cannot afford to have children, you should not willingly bear children. I would like to believe that I will plan ahead enough to not have children until I have a job that pays well enough to support them.
    Anyway, here is my breakdown of my salary:
    rent: $700
    electricity: $30
    bus pass: $34
    groceries: $200 – I eat for $80 a month, I’m not sure how much kids eat, but it might be alot since they are growing.
    child care: $40
    clothes and supplies: $79.33 I would shop around for the lowest price, possibly at Palouse Treasures
    I have absolutely zero money for a phone, health insurance, TV, cable, internet, retirement, or my kids college fund! This also leaves no money left in my savings for ANYTHING. Any unexpected expense such as a hospital bill will leave me in debt forever, or until I get a raise.

  21. Net income: 13,000
    Spending money/month: 1083.33
    Groceries: 35
    Rent: 700
    Bus Pass: 34
    Health Insurance: 250
    Life Insurance: Cant Afford
    Electricity: 29
    Utilities: Included in Rent
    Garbage: Included in Rent
    Cable/Internet: Cannot Afford
    Clothing/School Supplies (twice a year): 32/6mo
    Child Care: 30
    Entertainment: Anything free, parks, playing in the yard ect.
    Savings Account: None
    College Fund: None
    Retirement: None

    The first thing I realized while doing this assignment is that minimum wage is called minimum wage for a reason, it is no way to live ones life on. If I were in this situation I would try my hardest to get some sort of supplemental income to make life a little easier. One of the ways I have thought about is finding free things or things for cheap on websites such as craigslist or garage sales and re-selling them for profit. Any income that you can make off of this is income you didn’t have before with little effort. While doing this budget I did not put any sort of savings, college fund, or retirement for my self, this is simply because there is no money left over. This sets up my children to perpetuate this cycle because they have no leg up on going to a college, or more realistically a community college where they can pay less money for an education. If I was to give up one thing to make my situation a little better would be to not pay for health insurance for myself and then have extra money to put in savings accounts and college funds to help my children have a better life, even if this is a risky move. This assignment really made me realize how lucky I am to have a parent who has the skills to provide for my sister and I as a single parent and gave me a little insight to what she has to do to budget for our years.

  22. When trying to make a budget off $13,000 a year I soon realized this would be a very hard task and that most things I currently enjoy in life such as having internet and cable or spending money on going out for dinner would not be possible. $13,000 barely leaves you enough to survive let alone have any type of financial stability or retirement. I allotted myself $1000 per month so that would leave me with $1000 per year in emergency money to spend on various expenses such as repairing something that’s damaged in your home or if you need to fly somewhere to see a sick relative.

    Rent $450
    Food $200
    Bus Pass $34
    School Supplies $16
    Clothing $100
    Entertainment $100
    Electricity $50
    Cell phone/Internet $50

    Based off my budget you would realize two things those being I simply cannot afford to put any money into retirement and not having any money for health care. Its a sad reality that thousands of Americans actually have to live their lives with an income that is so low and not be able to receive any type of welfare from the government. As the adult in this situation I would preach to my kids that if they wanted a better life they would have to work hard to try and earn a high paying job to create a better standard of living for themselves. Whats hard for me to fathom is that if you were working a job like this in the back of your mind you would realize that you will never be able to retire and have to work for the rest of your life.

  23. I’d spend $450/monthly to live out of town and use the $408 travel expenses for the bus and the required health insurance and $45 weekly on food $100 on clothing (consignment stores and what not) with $20 for electricity, $60 for cellphone, $200 for school supplies / items, $200 for each child’s college fun (which comes to $12,128) and the rest needs to be there for flexible spending. This entire process really shows that there’s not a lot of money to spend on anything extra and as I was writing this out I kept thinking “okay, this could be fine for one year; and then something better has to come down the line” however it’s obvious that nothing ‘has’ to happen for anyone. Many families in this situation force their children to work to assist in bringing home money. There would also be a lot of stress and lack of general health (in reality when families don’t have enough money they may not pay for health care) making schooling and education a lower priority.

  24. As I started to prepare a budget for living in Pullman as a single parent with a three and five year old child and working full-time I found it unrealistic and impossible to live off of $1,083 a month. The first thing that came to mind was the children. In order for you to work full time you need someone to care for you children since they cannot care for themselves. After doing research on the daycare’s in Pullman part-time to full-time ranges from $500-$1,000 a month. If you were to pay for rent out of town you would have $550 leftover for everything else- paying rent for $700, you would have $300 which would probably only cover half a month. It is completely sad and devastating that people are in this situation and I honestly have no idea how they live like this with two children because realistically it seems strictly impossible. How do you pay for childcare when you only can spend $1,083 a month? How do you work when you can’t afford childcare to take care of your children? These are the people living in the bottom level of poverty, the worst of the worse where it comes to living out of a box almost.Say you were in a situation where you had free childcare, or a friend to watch over your children then this is how I would budget things out with the scenario that is given to me:

    Monthly budget of $1,083.30

    Rent: $700- I would stay in town because in Pullman you can walk everywhere. It is sad (and I am sometimes one of these people) that we live a 15 minute walking distance to the grocery store and would rather drive. When studied abroad in Italy over the summer it was crazy how you had to walk everywhere for anything you needed or to take a bus, I absolutely loved it, but here it is so different.

    Groceries: $100- I’m feeding myself and my two children, I would make sure that they have food before myself because they are constantly growing so my main things I would worry about is making sure they have breakfast and dinner and a semi-lunch snack.

    Phone: Pay as you go $10-25- I would get one of these phones to stay in contact with family, work and emergencies. This would be the best plan because obviously I wouldn’t sitting talking or texting all my friends as I do now because I have different priorities.

    Clothes/School supplies: $25- this would be a part of the yearly balanced, shopping at thrift stores and the cheapest places I an go for supplies and clothes to keep my children warm in the cold nights that Pullman loves to give us.

    The extra $150 would go in between everything else, depending on the months and events that go on such as birthdays, health wise (sicknesses, flu, coughs, colds) and the bus passes.

    This is an extremely different situation because it is difficult to live off this much money, especially with two children. The two children would be my main priority because so much can happen that can make the living situation worse for a single parent and you want to make sure your children are getting the proper nutrition and education so that way they can be successful and live on their own once they have grown up. In my own opinion once you become a parent, your child should always be your number one priority so a lot of things would change for me if this was my living situation. The entertainment and social aspect would disintegrate and pop up every now and then and my funds would mainly go towards my two children.

  25. My monthly budget :

    Rent-700
    Food-70
    Bus-10
    Health insurance- 200
    Life insurance-0
    Clothes & other needs- 30
    car-0
    cell phone-0
    child care-23
    Trash,water,electricity-Inc. in rent
    college-10
    internet-0
    savings-10
    entertainment-0
    Extra-.33
    Total monthly spending/savings -1,083.33

    This is a very modest budget, and can be very hard and humbling to live on every year. With a budget like this, means that there is no going out to eat, no going to movies, or shows. This is the bare minimum that a family can scrape by on. When living like this life is hard, but we have a lot of Americans living like this. These are the reasons we need to tips people. and or give them a raise when they have been dedicated to a company for several years.

  26. This task if not impossible would be improbable unless you had some other form of income on the side here is the jist of what plan I made for my monthly payments
    Monthly total $1,083.33
    Health Insurance $250.00
    Apartment $700.00
    Bus $34.00
    Groceries $34.00
    Electricity $30.00
    Child Care $0 School Clothes $10.00
    Phone $25.00

    Life Insurance $0.00
    Retirement $0.00

    Internet/cable $0.00
    College Savings $0.00
    Entertainment $0.00
    Car $0.00
    Without proper life insurance Retirement plans, internet cable ect it will become very difficult to progress further in life unless you are extremely lucky or have some other form of income or means of acquiring the necessities to get by. I personally find it unimaginable to live without the internet let alone life insurance.

    This is a serious problem, I cannot help but think back to Mazlows hierarchy of needs. Basically meaning that if the basic needs of living are not met it is not unusual for a human being to disregard the rules of their culture to survive. I.E. start moving towards a life of crime to ensure the survival of themselves and their children. This could provide an explanation to why less fortunate areas have a higher rate of crime than those that are more privileged. This is something that is even hard for me to fathom as I have not experienced this first hand and hope to never have to deal with.
    The things I chose to spend my money on such as health insurance, cell phone, clothing, and rent were purchased purely out of nessessity. I chose the phone so that I could stay in contact with people whom I would need to help me watch the kids or feed me if we went without food, I chose croceries so we wouldn’t starve. And I chose health insurance over life insurance because the policy on life insurance would surely not be enough to keep my children going. If these decisions were ever brought to me I am unsure what effect it would have on my personality but it would surely not be a positive one.

  27. This was an interesting task to do, it made me realize that living on minimum wage is hard, but being a single parent living off minimum wage and not qualifying for any sort of financial aid is very hard.
    There would be a monthly budget of $1,083.33.
    The monthly expenses include:
    Rent: $700
    Food: $175
    Bus Pass: $34
    Health Insurance: $0
    Life Insurance: $0
    Clothes: $25
    School Supplies: $25
    Car: $0
    Phone/Cell: $10
    Child Care: $30
    Electricity: $29
    Cable: $0
    Internet: $0
    Entertainment: $0
    Savings Account: $55
    College: $0
    Retirement: $0
    This task is hard but not impossible although it does not lead to a very exciting or fulfilled life. On this budget there is no room for any entertainment, cable, internet, cell phone, or retirement, or college fund. The only way to live on this kind of a budget is to only buy the essentials. If you do not really need you should not buy it. It is hard and boring to live this way but certainly not impossible.

  28. The monthly budget (should no more than $13000/12=$1083.33):
    Rent (in town): $700
    Car payments: $0
    Bus pass: $34
    Health insurance: $0
    Child care: $80
    Clothes: $45
    Electricity: $35
    Groceries: $80
    Water: $14.33
    School supplies for older child: $50
    Savings account: $45

    Although this is an open budget choice, however, my monthly income is only $1083.33; so I need to make a good monthly plan. Through this assignment, I knew the hardships of life. In this assignment, my family need live in town which is convenient in daily life. In addition, bus is enough for my family. In my opinion, the growth of child is very important, so I spend more money on child like child care and school supply. In addition, I also spend a lot on food, child need to eat nutrient-rich foods to grow up.

    Guoxiao Zhu

  29. Living off of $13,000 per year, this is the budget I came up with

    Monthly Budget – $1083.33
    Rent – $700
    Bus pass – $34
    Groceries – $200
    Electricity – $30
    Child Care – $30
    Clothes – $20
    Miscellaneous – $40
    Savings – $29.33

    This was a difficult process because I only had so much to work with. Given $1083.33 per month, I found out it was near impossible to enjoy life and do the things you want to do because you end up only having $29.33 to spend on things you would want to do. Rent, bus pass, groceries, electricity, child care and clothes are things that need to be paid for. The miscellaneous can only cover so much of other things that could happen. As I was working on this, I found out that working as a single parent, making a minimum wage and having two kids is near impossible. If some surprise event would occur there would be no way for you to cover the expenses. If one of your kids got sick, you would need to take care of them or pay for the hospital bills. Things like insurance and car payments would not even be an option for you at this point. This made me appreciate my family and what my parents have done for me to keep the food on the table and paying for certain things some can not even dream about having in their life.

  30. I actually had to do this for a class before where I did budget my money, but this is slightly different. SInce the scenario was given to me. I would have to own a car, live in Pullman, I would have to get car insurance, I would have to pay for internet, utilities, child car, electricity, phone, clothing, groceries, and college fund. Those would have to be first priorities. I would spend all my money on getting those things first, then I would have to spend the rest of the money (if I had any left) on retirement, health insurance, and school supplies in that order.
    My budget would be:
    Rent:$700
    Car Insurance: $1000
    Utilites (including internet and electricity):$1000
    Phone, Child care, groceries and clothes: $1000
    College fund: $3000
    End of limit (no money left)
    The issues I thought about was how was I going to support two children on my own and how was I going to make everything work, paying for everything. There would be no way to make ends meet. I would not have any money for any secondary priorites and not getting help from the state would be catastrophic.

  31. Earning $13,000 a year as a single parent with two young kids with having $1,083.33 a month does not give you many options to buy whatever you want. You really have to think what you really do need. I calculated per month I would use the money for:
    Rent: $700
    Groceries: $125 ($50 less when buying clothes)
    Bus Pass: $34
    Health insurance: $0
    Life insurance:$0
    Child Care: $150
    MWF 8am-4pm TTH 8am-2pm Sat 12pm-3pm
    Utilities/electricity: $25
    Water: $25
    Phone/Cell: $20
    Clothing: $100 (Every other 2 months)
    Saving Account: $4.33
    Retirement: $0
    Children College 529 Plans: $0 ($20 every other 3 months)
    When calculating within a budget I found it very difficult. As a college student now I am living with a budget and have to second think everything I buy however knowing you have a family in this situation and working full time is harder and not being able to ask your family is even harder. Having two young kids you want them to watch cartoons and enjoy being a kid; having more options, but we can’t afford cable or internet. I know there are many other options that don’t require spending money. Also with the budget I have, I decided I will not have a car or any type of insurance unless I work overtime,which in this case thats not an option so I will take the bus and travel that way. I realized child care would take up a lot of my monthly check besides the rent, but you shouldn’t go cheap when thinking of child care because you can’t just leave your child with anyone. Also I decided $125 is a reasonable price for groceries and school supplies. However I decided every other 2 months I will take some of the grocery money and take the kids shopping for clothing. Every month I thought it would be a good idea to save money and put the extra money left over in my savings account; at the end it will add up to about $52. Then lastly I couldn’t just not think of putting money towards my kids college education. I decided I will have two accounts and will put in their accounts each $10 every 3 months. I know I will be short in some months and unexpected things could happen but with the money I have monthly I know I will have to use it wisely and make a list of ‘needs and wants’ and only get the necessities. Every now and then if I save up, I can buy a want for my kids.
    After doing this assignment I knew I wasn’t just thinking about myself and I put myself in that situation. I realized that the real world could be very difficult and the reason people work is to provide a better life for their children because they are your main priority.

  32. When analyzing this situation I could tell that it was going to be pretty difficult to do. First I had to figure out essentials some that came to mind was to get healthcare, rent, and retirement funds started, and then to eliminate luxuries such as cable, internet, cell phone, and entertainment. I figured my monthly expenses of $1083.33 would be broken down like this: Rent: $700, 
Food: $35, 
Bus Pass: $34, 
Health Insurance: $250
, Life Insurance: $0,
Clothes & School Supplies: $5
Car: $0
, 
Child Care: $30
, Electricity: $29,
 
Cable: $0, 
Internet: $0
, Entertainment: $0
, Savings Account: $0
, College: $0
, Retirement: $0. This kind of budget does not allow a person or especially family to live in manageable day. Not only do they struggle to eat and pay rent, living paycheck to pay check, there is no opportunity for social mobility. Because their parents can’t afford tutoring in high school or especially pay for higher education, often these kids stay in the cycle of poverty. Until inequalities are fixed within this country, we will continue to have social classes that have to struggle to live and survive everyday.

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