You may be surprised to find out how much money it costs to live a modest life in the Hudson Valley.

The Economic Policy Institute updated their Family Budget Calculator. The goal of the calculator is to show how much money a family must earn to live an adequate but modest-standard life.

“Our Family Budget Calculator goes beyond traditional measures like the poverty line to paint a detailed picture of what families need to get by,” EPI Senior Economist Elise Gould said in a press release. “The latest update provides even greater detail on how costs vary throughout the country. It is above all else a tool for policymakers to advocate for ways to raise wages and make their communities more affordable.”

The Family Budget Calculator factors in many expenses including housing, food, transportation, childcare, healthcare and other basic necessities, according to EPI. The calculator doesn't include expenses like paying off student loans or saving for college or retirement.

Here's how much a Hudson Valley family of four, two children and two parents, must earn per year "to attain an adequate—but modest—standard of living," according to the Economic Policy Institute Family Budget Calculator:

  • Putnam County: $138,750
  • Rockland County: $135,580
  • Westchester County: $129,166
  • Dutchess County: $117,856
  • Orange County: $117,767
  • Ulster County:  $109,754
  • Greene County: $89,629
  • Columbia County: $88,294
  • Sullivan County: $87,699

“It’s clear from our analysis that, even in less-expensive areas, many families will struggle to meet their basic needs,” EPI research assistant Zane Mokhiber said. “The good news is we have many different ways to remedy this, from a higher minimum wage to ambitious child care reform. Policymakers should draw on a range of tools to help people meet the needs laid out in the Family Budget Calculator.

The budget calculator also has options to increase or decrease the number of children and/or parents in a household. CLICK HERE to calculate your family.

The Family Budget Calculator is a scary reminder that many don't earn enough to meet their family's basic needs, according to the Economic Policy Institute

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