The Income Peril
Even with more than one family member bringing in wages - or one person holding down two or three jobs - many families are just getting by, with no ability to save for college, a home or retirement. Wages have not kept up with the rising cost of housing, health care, child care, gas, and other needs. Just one unanticipated expense - a car breakdown, an uninsured illness, a week without a paycheck - can lead to crisis.
United Way of Reno County is focusing on helping families achieve greater financial stability. Achieving greater stability allows low-income working families to move toward financial independence.
A revealing indicator of this level of stability is the percentage of lower-income working families who spend more than 40% of their wages on housing. This situation has worsened significantly since 2000, according to data from the American Community Survey. See table below. United Way, through it's Financial Stability Partnerships, is working to reduce the number of families who are financially unstable.
% of lower-income families spending more than 40% of wages on housing National Goal
|% of famiiles||25%||28%||32%||34%||36%||18%|
In Reno County, a single person needs an hourly wage of $10.40* per hour to maintain self-sufficiency. A family of three would need an income of $12.80* per hour to achieve self-sufficiency. (*Based on low-income housing rate of $425 per month and a 40 hour work week).