Real Cost Measure


The above information comes from the 2018 Real Cost Measure (RCM) compiled by United Ways of California. The RCM estimates the amount of income required to meet basic needs (the Real Cost Budget) for a given household type in a specific community. It builds a bare-bones budget that reflects constrained yet reasonable choices for essential expenses: housing, food transportation, health care, taxes, and child care. Here are 3 Real Cost Budget examples for our County showing how much each household would need to make to afford the basics:



At the heart of the Real Cost Measure are household budgets. Household budgets are easy to understand as they speak to the realities families have to deal with everyday: How much can I afford on school supplies for my children after my reduced work hours this summer? How do I replace my leaky roof when all my income has gone towards this month's mortgage payment? How am I going to give my daughter medical attention when the transmission in our car is broken? Through the interactive household budgets tool, you have the ability to better understand the hardships faced in our community.
There is a lot more information shared from The Real Cost Measure and we'll be talking about it on our social media channels in the coming weeks and months. If you would like to review the entire RCM, you can click below to access the data, methodology, and even more.
In addition to the RCM, United Ways of California has teamed up with Benefit Kitchen to provide an amazing resource to help you figure out what benefits you may be eligible for in Riverside County based on your income, family size, and other factors. The service is free and you can access it by clicking below. You'll need to enter either a phone number or email address and then you'll receive a specialized link to find out what benefits you could receive. 
If you have any questions on how to use the tools, interpret the Real Cost Measure, or need help accessing financial stability resources, please contact our Communications Manager, Kristen Dolan, at 760.323.2731 x103 or email her at