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

Living Wage 2011 Notes

2011 Living Wage Study Notes

$811.00/month One-Bedroom = $9,732/year
6.29% increase in cost of housing from 2008
•    Efficiency: $789, 2BR: $950, 3BR: $1,150, 4BR: $1,192

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Final FY 2011 Fair Market Rent Documentation System

$203.60/month = $2,443.20
Low-cost Official USDA Food Plan: Average of male and female ages 19-50
Monthly cost of food on low-cost plan:
    Men 19-50 years: $217.90
Women 19-50 years: $189.30
    Average of men and women: $203.60

Source: Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Home at Four Levels, U.S. Average, December 2010

$179.03/month = $2,148.36/year
Population of Tompkins County: 100,583
56.9% Drive Alone, 11.9% Carpool, 5.9% Public Transportation, 16.4% Walk, 1.5 Bike, 1% Other, 6.3% work at home
Transportation cost according to BLS = $1,498 (gasoline/motor oil) + $1,872 (other, including insurance, maintenance and repairs, vehicle finance charges, licenses) = $3,370
Cost of annual bus pass on TCAT= $450

Drive alone: $3,370 x 0.569 = $1,917.53
Drive in car pool, divided by 2: $3,370/2 (0.119) =$200.52
Public transportation: $450 X 0.059 = $26.55
Bike: (250)(.015)= $3.75
No transportation cost for walk or work at home
Total $2,148.35/year


$44.99+$15 taxes and fees/month = $719.88/year
Verizon local calling and internet service Upstate New York

Verizon, www.verizon.com

$103.16 + $69.92 = $173.08/month = $2,076.96 year
Health Insurance: $103.16/month = $1,237.96 Annual average premium for Employee (while premiums have increased, some staff have HSAs at reduced premiums)
Out of pocket expenses:
Consumer Expenditure Survey 2009:
    Medical services:       $446   
    Drugs:       $326
    Medical supplies:         $67
    Total:       $839/12 = $69.92/month

Sources: Alternatives Federal Credit Union
Bureau of Labor Statistics 2007 Consumer Expenditure Survey: Table – Region of Residence:

$101.62/month = $1,219.44/year
Activities important to employee work-life balance
Based on previous studies, a minimum of $100/month is required. Increased by inflation 1.62%

$60.78/month = $729.36/year
Adjusted from 2008 by inflation rate over the last two years of 1.62%


$110.46/month = $1,325.50/ year
Housekeeping Supplies = $345
Average Apparel cost for men and women 16 and over = $290.50
Footwear = $177
Other apparel products and services $168
Personal care and services = $345

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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The Credit Path

As Alternatives Credit Union has grown and changed, our use of the Credit Path model of financial empowerment has changed as well. Originally developed by Bill Myers as a way of understanding our members' financial situations and incorporating that into our business planning, the Credit Path describes where people are situated at various points along a continuum between poverty and self-sufficiency. Our job, as a community development financial institution, is to help our members move along that continuum by empowering them to make decisions, and offering opportunities, that will move them towards financial self-sufficiency. more»

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