Please construct a monthly budget that you believe will be suitable (not extravagant, but will enable you to live
a “decent” life) for your “family” to survive on. Include:
Housing Payment (consider: How many bedrooms will you need? Will you own or rent? If you own, you must
also account for taxes (can be looked up online if living in Erie county) and home insurance (about $75/month).
Where will your residence be (what town/city?). Find an actual listing online. Include these details in your
Utilities such as gas, electric and water (if you own). Include cable, internet and cell/landline phones if you
want them. Include details in your budget (how much is each utility bill?). Ask friends or family for help with
estimates if needed.
FoodChild Care You cannot rely on family or friends for your daycare. You may allow $380/month for child care- this
is the approximate cost of before and after school care at the YMCA.
Transportation (will you own a car or two, or walk/bike/bus?) If you will have a car, you must include gas,
insurance and maintenance. Include details in your budget.
Medical Expenses (medicine, health insurance, co-pays, etc). Family health insurance costs about
$175/month if you have a low income. If you qualify for food stamps, it is often free.
Clothing (you may only buy clothing once a year for adults or twice for children, but this should be included as
a “monthly” expense (how much per month will you save for clothing?)
Recreation costs (dance classes, sports fees for kids, entertainment for parents, etc.). Include details (what
activity and how much).
Miscellaneous (school items, gifts,etc)
Savings (if any)
What is your total? Please provide your allowance for each category, and well as the total budget (for all
categories) BEFORE adjusting with the budget cap.
Adjust your budget with a cap of $1,776 PER ADULT. Determine if you are eligible for foodstamps. This is not
an arbitrary number- this is full time pre-tax wages for people who work at minimum wage jobs). Show the
new, adjusted allowances for each category and explain any changes that you made to accommodate the
Food Stamp Guidelines are as follows:
For 1 person households: 1,316.00
For 2 person households: 1,784.00
For 3 person households: 2,252.00
Therefore, you will be able to rely on public assistance such as food stamps, subsidized rent (30% of income,
heap and daycare assistance. You can pretend that food stamps will cover your food, and you will have a 50%
reduction in heating costs.
For your knowledge, the federal poverty threshold is $12,140 for a family of 1, and $16,460.00 for a family of
2, and $20,780 for a family of 3.