Step 1: (Create a budget, but backwards) (TURN IN YOUR BUDGET!)

  • Identify the cost of all the things a family of 4 would need to live outside of poverty.
  • Let’s pretend the family has two adults, one 6-year-old, and one 1-year old child.
  • This means you still have one child in diapers and out of school, and one child who just started to attend kindergarten.
  • Make a list of everything this family needs, and the cost, and decide on what amount this family needs to earn per year in order to be out of poverty.
  • In some ways, you are making a budget – but backwards (start with the necessary costs, and then decide on the necessary income).
  • You don’t want to make this family “rich” – I want you to figure out exactly what amount would make them not be “poor.” You want this family to not be called “poor” or “rich” – they are doing fine without help.
  • In other words, what amount they need to cover all of their expenses, and not fall into poverty.
  • Make sure to consider all monthly and yearly expenditures to come to your needed yearly income. (Don’t forget that you have to pay for food, diapers, wipes, daycare, school related costs, clothing, etc. – But also rent/mortgage, health insurance, car insurance, medical costs, home insurance/renters insurance, taxes, car/transportation/car maintenance, gas, all utilities, etc. … And, you may want to include internet, cell phone, entertainment, children’s activities etc. …this is your decision… – can someone be comfortable without the internet? Without a cell phone?)
  • Be thoughtful and thorough in what you include. You might want to reach out to your parents, caregivers, or fully independent friend and ask them to help you identify items they pay for every month and year. You can also reach out to a classmate and ask what items they are including.
  • You should research each expenditure for your community within the United States (Deland, your hometown, or where you plan on living in the future).
  • Make sure to look at multiple sources and compare numbers so you can pick the most realistic cost. You also want to find out how many diapers and wipes you will need for the year, the cost of daycare, etc.
  • Once you have completed the budget, and have a final yearly number, look up the official poverty line for the United States. DO NOT look at this number until after you complete your own budget.
  • You will turn in your itemized budget and the completed assignment (Below):


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Address the following questions and play “” online:


  1. What was your reaction to the official measure of poverty (poverty line) that you learned? Was it higher or lower than your “outside of poverty” budget estimate?


Complete “”



  1. What did you learn from this activity? Were you surprised by anything you learned?



  1. Did you make it through the month without running out of money?



  1. If you made it through the month without running out of money, – how much longer do you think you could have made it under the conditions of the exercise? (Don’t forget rent is due on the 1st…)



  1. What were some of the challenges of trying to succeed for a month?



  1. While playing the simulation, did you encounter any morally difficult decisions? How did you resolve the choice?



  1. What surprised you about this exercise? (Both creating the budget and playing playspent)



  1. What specific examples of role strain did you face in this simulation? What specific examples of role conflict did you face in this simulation? (Explain each)



  1. What specific things did you learn about poverty and society after playing this simulation?



  1. What was your original estimation of how much money it would take to successfully care for a family of four per month? Do you feel you need to revise your estimate? Why or why not?


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