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Even people whose income is well above the poverty line can sometimes find it di

by | Jun 23, 2021 | Sociology | 0 comments


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Even people whose income is well above the poverty line can sometimes find it difficult to make ends meet. Imagine a family of four living in your hometown. Suppose that there are two adults and two children in the home—one child is 7 years old and in elementary school and that the other is 3 years old and must be cared for during the day. Design a budget; make a list of all the goods and services this family needs to function. Be as complete as possible; be sure to include: food, clothing, housing, transportation, healthcare, childcare, utilities, cell phone, cable, entertainment etc. Estimate the monthly cost of each expense. You can utilize the internet to get estimates if you do not have these bills yourself. Total up your expenses—how much do you need to make a year to pay all these bills?
The 2021 poverty threshold for a family of four is $26,500 (up from last year’s $26,200). Look for ways to cut your original budget until you reach the poverty line. For example, if you originally estimated a housing/mortgage payment of $2,500, obviously, you will need to move this family into a smaller apartment. If you allocated $600 a month for food, how much will you need to lower this to? The point of this assignment is not to just present these tables but to analyze them. If you had to cut your food budget, what are the consequences of this? If you cannot afford your own home and live in a one-bedroom apartment what will the impact on your family will be? If you take your 3-year-old out of daycare and have them stay with grandma, what are the consequences of this? What is it like to be working poor? What type of things do these families have to live without (things you might take for granted)? What is the impact of poverty on children in poverty? How will the family’s difficulty in meeting its basic subsistence needs translate into access to opportunities (education, jobs, healthcare) for their children later in life? Finally, what does this also say about the root causes of poverty? Maybe people are being crippled by housing, education, and healthcare costs that have grown exponentially, while their wages have remained relatively stagnant. This is not a laziness problem—this is a structural problem! Do not just submit a budget. You need to write a critical essay analyzing the cuts you made and the effects of poverty on US families.

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