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

Living Wage Notes 2005

Living Wage Notes and Sources- June, 2005

Rent: $602/month = $7224/year
Fair market rent for a single bedroom in Tompkins County for 2004.
*0 BR = $585, 2 BR = $705, 3 BR = $853, 4 BR = $885
Source: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website provides article titled "Fair market rents for housing choice voucher program and moderate rehabilitation single room occupancy - fiscal year 2004", pg.40.


Food: $167.90/month = $2,014.80/year
Average of low-cost food stamp plan for males and females ages 20-50.
Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at home, U.S. Average, April 2004
Monthly cost of food on low-cost plan
For women 20-50 years = 156.50
For men 20-50 years = 179.30 Average men and women = $167.90
Source: USDA


Telephone: $36.82/month = $441.84/year
Source: Cost of Verizon local plan ($33.07 including tax) plus the cost of Total Call long distance for 30 minutes/month ($3.75 including tax).
Verizon.com
Total Call long distance: 101phone-deals.com

Transportation: $153.28/month = $1839.40/year
According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 59.8% of Tompkins residents drive alone to work, 12.2% carpool, 4.8% use public transportation, 16.8% bike or walk, 1.3% use motorcycles, and 5.1% work at home.

TCAT yearly bus passes cost $495. The 2002 Consumer Expenditure Survey for the second quintile reports gasoline and motor oil to cost $907 per year, and other vehicle expenses to cost $1,570.

A weighted average:
(907+1570).733 + (495).048 + (0).168 + (0).51 = $1839.40
Numbers differ from 2002 because there are fewer people driving, the annual bus pass saves money, and gas prices are higher.
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics http://www.bls.gov/cex/csxann02.pdf.
New York Self Sufficiency Standard
http://www.sixstrategies.org/files/Resource-StandardReport-NY.pdf

Savings: $52.50/month = $630.00/year
We raised savings according to inflation
Source: The inflation calculator from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
http://www.bls.gov/ click on Inflation Calculator

Health Care: $101.26/month = $1215.17/year
Total represents the premium paid by Alternatives Federal Credit Union staff plus out-of-pocket expenses.
For Alternatives Managed Choice 1, the total premium is $272 a month and 25% of that is $68 a month, or $816 a year.

Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey, Northeast =$399.17 for Medical services, drugs and medical supplies.
http://www.bls.gov/cex/2003/region/region.pdf

Employed individuals whose employer does not provide health insurance can purchase coverage through Healthy NY for $$127.56/month w/o drugs, $186.79 w/drugs.
http://www.ins.state.ny.us/website2/hny/english/hnyr.htm


Recreation: $105.92/month = $1,271/year
The cost of sports and recreation, TV, radio, and reading materials.
Source: Claritas, Consumer Spending Patterns 3/04


Miscellaneous: $109.13/month = 1309.56/year
The cost of clothing, personal care, and housewares and small appliances.
Source: Claritas, Consumer Spending Patterns 3/04


Day Care: $562.50/month = $6,750/year for infant/toddlers
$395.83/month = $4,750/year for preschool
$291.67/month = $3,500/year for school-age
Source: National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NCCRRA)
http://www.naccrra.org/docs/Child_Care_In_America_Facts.pdf

Comparisons:
Federal poverty level: $9,310 for single person
Current Minimum Wage in New York: $6.00/hour = $12,480 annual @ 40hours/week
Recommended Living Wage: $19,102

OTHER STUDIES
Self Sufficiency Standard, Wider Opportunities for Women Six Strategies

ACORN
Living Wage Campaign

Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Study, Springfield, Vermont

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Laurie and Zoe Hill

Our family's strongest connection to Alternatives started at the Student Credit Union branch at Fall Creek Elementary School. Zoe started as a Saver and I as a Teller five years ago. Zoe is a regular depositor. I started putting money into my savings account on a more regular basis when we realized that it would be a good place to have a vacation account - one we didn't have a debit card or checkbook for. We saved enough for a trip to Zurich to visit friends on sabbatical and then the fast train to Paris.

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