A new report today shows how much money California families and single adults need to earn to have a “modest standard of living” without any public assistance, as calculated by the California Budget Project.

The report accounts for housing and utilities, child care, transportation, food, health care, miscellaneous and taxes, for four hypothetical families — single adult, single-parent family, two-parent family with one income, and two-parent family with two incomes.

The estimate includes nothing fancy, the group says:

The standard of living envisioned is more than a “bare bones” existence, yet covers only basic expenses, allowing little to no room for “extras” such as college savings, vacations, or emergencies.

The group broke down the estimates into 10 regions for California. For the region including San Diego and Imperial counties, the expenses per month were calculated like this:

And here are those expenses, broken down to an hourly rate:

In contrast, California’s minimum wage is $7.50. Multiplied by 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, that totals $15,600 — just more than half of this estimate for making ends meet for a single adult.


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