NBC News recently reported that divorce rates are dropping and the lackluster economy may be the explanation. The article below spotlights the issue of what raising children as a single parent truly requires in a financial sense, and for most the reality is somewhat grim.
FRONT PAGE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER – JULY 29, 2008
A single parent with two children must make over 31.71 dollars per hour or 66,966 per year to be self sufficient.
The current California minimum wage is $8 an hour ($16,640 a year).
The cost of self-sufficiency includes $1,595 for housing. An adult with no
children could get by on $15.24 an hour ($32,177 a year) because they
would pay a lesser $1,330 for housing and not have to cover childcare
costs, says the report.
The numbers come from a
California family economic self-sufficiency
created jointly by United Way, The Insight Center for Community Economic Development
and more than 13 community-based organizations and other agencies. It was designed to show the
gap for the working poor whose income exceeds the poverty levels that would allow them to get
government aid, but who still can’t make ends meet because of the high cost of living here.
The United Way says part of the problem for Orange County families is that they have been beset
by skyrocketing costs over the last five years, including a 31% jump for housing. Child care is up
22% and health care soared 26%.
Over the next year, the United Way project said it plans to have pilot agencies use the selfsufficiency
calculator in conjunction with job training, workforce development, education, housing
and other family support programs as a larger program and policy strategy to get families off of
public benefits and into high-wage, family-sustaining jobs for the long-term.
“Our pilot agencies and network of community partners have provided the resources to connect
families to services and programs they need to truly prosper,” said Maria Chavez Wilcox, president
of Orange County United Way. “With the over 150,000 households in Orange County earning less
than $25,000 a year, we know the need to build self-sufficient lives is great.”
To learn more about Orange County United Way visit our Website at
www.unitedwayoc.org or call 949.660.7600.
I have had clients that find themselves looking outside the home for work, however the irony is that the parent ends up spending more in daycare expenses while at work then he or she is actually bringing home from the job. As prices continue to increase for bare necessities I have found with some clients that they are making a business and financial decision to remain in the home together because the financial alternative is either too difficult or simply not feasible. One can only hope that out of this seemingly awkwardand potentially volatile situation perhaps some type of reconciliation or a new understanding of the other person will emerge.
For those of you who cannot make ends meet as a single parent and remaining in the same home with your former spouse or partner is not an option, call on family members or friends near by to help you.
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