Living Wage

What’s the Cost of Living?


Your DGB for today is to discover the true cost of living in your area.

Tell me if you’ve heard this one: “Poor people should try cutting back on expenses.” This slice of profound wisdom is usually coupled with pearls like having too many kids/iPhones/cigarettes/luxury cars is the reason people can’t afford housing or health care. And it sure seems like everyone is staring down at a smartphone these days, amirite? So what are the economic facts when it comes to living a modest life in our country? Are people really spending too much on avocado toast? The EPI has compiled massive amounts of data about the cost-of-living in the U.S. and were nice enough to create a handy calculator to tell you what it takes to afford a decent life where you live. The results may surprise you.

Here is the calculator:

Looking up what it takes to get by will likely inspire you to agree that our workers need a raise. The Brookings Institute states that after adjusting for inflation, wages are only 10% higher than they were in the 1970s. Follow up the Grab today by supporting organizations like Fight for $15 that works to increase Federal, state and local minimum wage requirements to $15 an hour. You can support unions by buying their products, telling your politicians to vote for their requests and boycotting companies that treat workers poorly.


Can You Survive on $1000 a Month?

Your DGB for today is to play SPENT. How much do you know about poverty? Did you know, for example, that according to, 43.1 million people in the United States are currently living below the poverty line? And that line is quite low. It means that families of four are living on less than $24,250 a year. A recent report by the National Employment Law Project helps shed some light on why that is: 42% of workers in the United States make less than $15 an hour. And that $15 an hour only works out to about $29,000 before taxes.

So what do all those fancy statistics mean in real-life terms? How much toilet paper does a low wage job get me? Can I afford health insurance? The paltry minimum wage of $7.25 that the Federal Government mandates needs to be raised, that is certain. Playing the SPENT game will show you why. Could you make it through the month on $1000? Play the game and see the cuts you'll have to make and why raising the minimum wage to a living wage is so necessary.