New Family Budgets Tool Highlights What Texas Families Must Earn to Meet Basic Needs

“A new data tool released today by the Center for Public Policy Priorities finds that what a two-parent household with two children in Texas must earn to cover basic expenses like affordable housing, food, child care, and health care ranges from $35,320 a year in Abilene to $50,023 a year in Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, and that’s without family, community, or government assistance.

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and other public sources, the Center for Public Policy Priorities created the Better Texas Family Budgets, an online public education tool that measures what it really takes to survive and thrive across 26 metropolitan areas for eight different family sizes.

The Better Texas Family Budgets tool measures rental housing and utilities, food, health insurance paid largely by their employer, child care, transportation, and other necessities such as minimal clothing and local telephone service.

“The basic budgets we’ve created paint a picture of what it takes for Texas families to cover basic needs and have a safe and healthy lifestyle,” said Frances Deviney, senior research associate at the Center for Public Policy Priorities. “Our base budgets don’t account for what it takes to get ahead, such as college savings for their children or emergency savings to protect against unexpected hard times.” ”

-taken from the Center for Public Policy Priorities’ press release