walk in my shoes

Choose Your Path

Amanda

Dave

James

Date Description Change Balance

James

You are 75 years old. As a retired widower without any family left in Arizona, your support system is meager at best. Living on a fixed income in an apartment forces you to rely on public transportation.

Social Security Check +1,600

Monthly Income: $1,600

Start

August 1

It’s the first of the month and your fixed expenses are due: rent, phone, internet, medicare partB, groceries, utilities.

Subtract $1200 from your budget.

continue

August 4

It is increasingly difficult for you to navigate stairs. Unfortunately, you live in a second story apartment. You can:

  • Stay at home, hire a home health aide.
  • Pay extra for a ground-floor apartment.

Stay Move

Stay at home, hire a home health aide.

The health aide costs $300 per month.

Subtract $300 from your budget.

Continue

Pay extra for a ground-floor apartment.

The new apartment costs $150 more than your previous apartment.

Subtract $150 from your budget.

Continue

August 8

It’s time to renew your annual bus pass. The cost for seniors is $27.

Subtract $27 from your budget.

Continue

August 15

Your doctor recommends you see a specialist, the specialist’s office is not on the bustling and you will need to make regular visits.

You can:

  • See a more expensive doctor whose office is accessible via bus.
  • Risk relying on a friend for regular transportation to your health center.

Doctor Risk

See a more expensive doctor whose office is accessible via bus.

Subtract $150 from your budget.

Continue

Risk relying on a friend

  • Your friend reliably drives you to your doctor appointments. Your budget stays the same.

  • Your friend fails to drive you to the doctor, so you spend $50 for a taxi ride. You then decide to try a new doctor who is on the bus route, but charges $150 more than Medicaid will cover. Subtract $200 from your budget.

  • Your friend has an emergency but doesn’t tell you in time to take a cab. You miss one of your appointments, as a result the doctor charges you $100 for a no show fee. Subtract $100 from your budget.

Continue

August 19

You call Arizona 2-1-1, United Way’s free information and referral service, and find out you qualify for a senior benefit program.

Add $100 to your budget.

Continue

August 22

Medicare will only cover half the cost of a new prescription you need. You can:

  • Pay the other half out-of-pocket.
  • Risk becoming sick by only taking half of your other medications to make them last longer allowing you to purchase the new medicine.

Pay Risk

Cover the other half out of pocket

Subtract $200 from your budget.

Continue

Risk becoming sick by only taking half the dosage

  • Taking less medication makes you sick and you have to visit your doctor again, who convinces you you’ll need all your medications. Subtract $100 from your budget.

    Subtract $100 from your budget.

  • Taking less medicine worsens your condition and your hospitalized. Your deductible has not been met yet.

    Subtract $300 for your hospital stay.

  • Your condition is alleviated with the reduced dosage of the prescription. Your budget stays the same.

Continue

August 28

Because summer temperatures were unusually high the utility company sends you an adjustment based on increased air conditioning usage.

Subtract $90 from your budget.

Continue

James’s Balance: $0

Could you imagine living on the edge of a financial cliff each month as James is doing? Thousands of our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living rises. You can help keep them warm, housed and fed with your generous donation.

Finish

Amanda

You are 23 years old. Without family support, dropping out of high school was your only option when you found out you were pregnant with your son. He is now six and your sole responsibility, leaving you limited options to schedule shifts and child care with your part-time waitressing job.

Paycheck & Tips +$2,000

Monthly income: $2,000

Start

August 1

It’s the first of the month and your fixed expenses are due: rent, phone and car payment.

Subtract $1500 from your budget.

Continue

August 4

You are offered full-time hours at the restaurant where you work. Which shift do you request?

Lunch Dinner

Lunch Shift

Work the lunch shift. You will earn less in tips, but your son will be in school during most of your work hours. You make an extra $1000 working the lunch shift. Because of your raise, you no longer qualify for free daycare through DCS, but now you need 2 daily hours of childcare for your son costing $200 per month, add $800 to your budget.

Add $800 to your budget.

Continue

Dinner

Work the dinner shift. You will earn more in tips, but will have to pay for evening childcare.

You make an extra $1500 working the dinner shift. Because of your raise, you no longer qualify for free daycare through DCS, but now you need 8 daily hours of childcare for your son each shift, costing $800 per month.

Add $700 to your budget.

Continue

August 8

Your housing voucher to help pay rent is based on income. With the extra income from working full time, your rent increases by $200.

Subtract $200 from your budget.

Continue

August 15

Your car is having trouble and has no air conditioning in 120º weather.

You can:

  • Have a mechanic fix your car.
  • Risk not fixing your car.

Fix Risk

Have a mechanic fix your car.

Subtract $500 from your budget.

Continue

Risk not fixing your car

  • Your car makes it through the month without breaking down.

    Your budget stays the same.

  • You find a friend who will fix it for cheaper than the shop.

    Subtract $300 from your budget.

  • Your car breaks down on the road. You have to pay to have it fixed plus the extra for the tow.

    Subtract $600 from your budget.

Continue

August 19

You decide to take the GED prep classes.

Subtract $25 from your budget.

Continue

August 22

You are eligible for health benefits as a full-time employee, but you have to pay part of the insurance premium.

You can:

  • Give up your car and use those payments for insurance and a bus pass.
  • Risk not having health insurance.

Give up Car Risk

Give up your car and use the money for health insurance and a bus pass.

Your budget stays the same.

Continue

Risk not having health insurance

  • You get strep throat and have to miss work to go to the doctor for medicine.

    Subtract $250 from your budget.

  • You crack a tooth this month.

    Subtract $450 from your budget.

  • You stay healthy this month.

    Your budget stays the same.

Continue

August 28

Extremely hot temperatures in July mean your utility bill is much higher than expected.

Subtract $200 from your budget.

Continue

Amanda’s Balance: $0

Could you imagine living on the edge of a financial cliff each month as Amanda is doing? Thousands of our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living rises. You can help keep them warm, housed and fed with your generous donation.

Finish

Dave

You are 42 years old. When a disability forced you into early retirement, your wife picked up a part-time job. Still, your mortgage, medical bills and the needs of your three kids make it difficult to make ends meet.

Retirement Check +$2,000

Wife's income +$1,000

Monthly income: $3,000

Start

August 1

It’s the first of the month and your fixed expenses are due: mortgage, phone and car payment.

Subtract $2,000 from your budget.

Continue

August 4

Your physical therapy sessions are before your wife can return from work to watch your youngest child.

You can:

  • Ask your wife to leave work early
  • Pay extra for in-home physical therapy sessions

Ask Pay

Ask your wife to leave work early

You ask your wife to watch the kids while you’re at physical therapy. Your wife takes unpaid time off of work and her pay is reduced by $300 per month.

Subtract $300 from your budget.

Continue

Pay extra for in-home physical therapy sessions.

In-home therapy sessions cost an extra $400 per month.

Subtract $400 from your budget.

Continue

August 8

You save on your monthly grocery bill by going to a local food pantry.

Your budget stays the same.

Continue

August 15

You do your family taxes at a VISTA free tax preparation site and qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit. In anticipation of a tax refund next month, you debate delaying veterinary attention for your beloved dog, Jake, who has developed a mysterious growth.

You can:

  • Take Jake to the vet.
  • Risk delaying a vet visit until you receive your tax refund.

Vet Risk

Take Jake to the vet

Subtract $200 from your budget.

Continue

Risk delaying a vet visit

  • Jake’s condition worsens and you are compelled to take him to the vet anyway. The delay in taking Jake to the vet allowed the growth to develop into a more expensive problem.

    Subtract $300 from your budget.

  • Jake’s condition worsens and you are compelled to take him to the vet anyway. At the vet Jake receives treatment for $200.

    Subtract $200 from your budget.

  • While waiting for your tax refund to afford taking Jake to the vet, the mysterious growth disappears. You no longer need to take him to the vet.

    Your budget stays the same.

Continue

August 19

Your middle child breaks their ankle during a school basketball game.

Subtract $400 from your budget.

Continue

August 22

It’s coming up on summer and your air conditioning unit starts leaking everyday. You’re not sure what’s wrong, but it’s still pumping air for now.

You can:

  • Pay to have your air conditioning unit inspected and serviced to fix the leak.
  • Risk no action and hope your air conditioner doesn’t break!

Pay Risk

Pay to have your air conditioning unit inspected and serviced to fix the leak.

Subtract $200 from your budget.

Continue

Risk no action and hope your air conditioner doesn’t break!

  • Your air conditioning unit breaks and it costs you $500 to have it repaired.

    Subtract $500 from your budget.

    Continue

  • Your air conditioner is fine.

    Your budget stays the same.

    Continue

  • Your air conditioner stops blowing cold air. It costs $200 to repair.

    Subtract $200 from your budget.

    Continue

  • Your air conditioner breaks and it costs you $500 to have it repaired.

    Subtract $500 from your budget.

    Continue

  • Your air conditioning unit breaks irreparably which costs $4,000 to replace.

    Subtract $4,000 from your budget.

    Continue

  • Your air conditioner breaks and it costs you $200 to have it repaired.

    Your budget stays the same.

    Continue

August 28

Unusually hot temperatures in July mean your utility bill is much higher than expected.

Subtract $300 from your budget.

Continue

Dave’s Balance: $0

Could you imagine living on the edge of a financial cliff each month as Dave is doing? Thousands of our neighbors are struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living rises. You can help keep them warm, housed and fed with your generous donation.

Finish