125 North Fulton St. Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-4611
Toll Free: (877) 273-AFCU      Contact

Living Wage Notes - 2002 Study

Rent
HUD's fair market rent is $527 for 2003 for Tompkins County and includes all utilities except telephone.

Source: Housing and Urban Development

Transportation
According to Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council, 81.4% of Tompkins County residents use private transportation, 1.2% use public, 8.1% walk, 2.3% bike, 7.0% other.

Public transportation costs $1.00 each way, or $10.00 per week, plus 3 other trips for shopping, totaling $16/week or $69.33/mo or $832/year.

Using a car, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey for consumers in the second quintile (those whose incomes are between the 20th and 40th percentile) is $2442.

Claritas estimated $33 per year expenditure for bicyclists. We assume that walking incurs no extra costs.
A weighted average can be computed like this:

(.814)(2442) + (.012)(832) + (.081)(0) + (0.023)(33) to get an average of $1,998.53

Sources: US Department of Labor Consumer Expenditure Survey, WOW Self-Sufficiency Study, Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council, Bureau of Transportation Statistics website - www.bts.gov, Claritas Consumer Spending Patterns

Food
Low-cost plan from USDA Food Stamp Program for ages 20-50 is (monthly) for males $172.50 and for females $150.80 - the average is $161.65 (March 2003).
Source: USDA Food Stamps

Telephone
$26.50 from Verizon for unlimited local service, Ithaca area
Source: Verizon

Health Care
Health Insurance Premiums at Alternatives for 2003:
Aetna Individual coverage costs $2034/year. Staff pays 25% =$508.56

Consumer Expenditures Survey average per capita for Medical services, drugs and medical supplies = $591

$591 + $508.56 = $1099.36/annual; $91.61/month

Source - Sharon Kinnan, Human Resource Manager, Claritas Spending Patterns Survey for Tompkins County

Recreation/Entertainment
This category is more subjective than the others. We included expenses such as sports and recreation, reading materials, TV/radio/sound equipment, computer hardware/software. The final total came out to $114.75/mo. or $1,377.00/year.
Source: Claritas Spending Patterns Survey for Tompkins County

Savings
We kept the figure from previous studies of $50 per month.

Misc
Clothes (average of male and female apparel and footwear spending), personal care items, housekeeping, small appliances, and miscellaneous household equipment. This came out to $1,382.50.
Source: Claritas Spending Patterns Survey for Tompkins County (Note: WOW assumes miscellaneous expnditures will run at 10% of the costs of other basic needs, which would be a comparable $1365.67)

Taxes
These were calculated by Gerry Ruggiero, CPA

Day Care
up to 2 = ~$628.30/mo
Aged 3,4 = ~$541.60/mo
Source: Estimated by Day care, Day Care Council

Sources:
HUD = Housing and Urban Development, a government agency,
http://www.huduser.org/datasets/fmr.html

Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council
http://www.co.tompkins.ny.us/itctc/index.html

Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey
http://stats.bls.gov/cex/2001/Standard/age.pdf

WOW = Wider Opportunites for Women, Self-Sufficiency Study for Tompkins County
http://www.sixstrategies.org/files/Resource-StandardReport-NY.pdf

Claritas, Consumer Spending Patterns
http://216.239.51.100/search?
q=cache:55o20n5ZaYYJ:www.velocity.claritas.com/ExpressMarketing/
pdf/csp.pdf+claritas+consumer+spending+patterns&hl=en&ie=UTF-8


USDA= United States Department of Agriculture
http://www.usda.gov/cnpp/using3.htm

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My family's credit union has been Alternatives since '96; We liked the mission, and who could resist banking in a converted house? In 2005 I started thinking about a retail start-up called "Home Green Home" that would sell healthy and eco-conscious home furnishings and renovation supplies. The Business CENTS class helped me to understand and develop the elements of a business plan, and set me on the path to taking the big leap.

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