Phone: (716) 853-1101 | 960 Main Street Buffalo, NY 14202

Poverty Challenge: Explaining The Budget

Explaining the Poverty Budget Expenses and Income Supports

State and Federal Taxes were calculated using the Salary Paycheck Calculator at


The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) estimates the “Fair Market Rent” for regions around the country. Fair Market Rent is HUD’s way of determining the average rent and utilities combined in Buffalo.

In 2010 Fair Market Rent for a one-bedroom in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls metropolitan area was $605 a month.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 consumers spent on average $1801 a year on apparel.

Divide $1801 by 365 days = $4.93 a day

Private Transportation:

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, in 2010 the average cost of owning and operating an automobile (including fuel, maintenance, tires, insurance, license, registration and taxes, depreciation, and finance and assuming 15,000 vehicle-miles per year) was $8,497 a year.

Divide $8,095 by 365 days = $23.28 a day

Public Transportation:

An one month Metro Pass from the Niagara-Frontier Transportation Authority costs $64.

Divide $75 by 30 days = $2.50 a day


Health Care

A monthly plan on New York State of Health, to cover an individual, was $339.57.

Divide $339.57 by 30 days = $11.32 a day


Tuition for two semesters of three classes (9 credit hours) at Erie Community College, plus fees, is $3690.

Divide $3690 by 365 days = $10.11 a day

Cable TV & Internet:

Time Warner Cable offers a Cable TV & Internet package for $74.90 per month.

Divide $70 by 30 days = $2.33 a day

Cell Phone:

According to CTIA-The Wireless Association, the cell phone industry’s trade group, in 2009 the average cell phone bill was $49.57 per month.

Divide $49.57 by 30 days = $1.65 a day


According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the average cost of supplies for a small dog was $580 a year and $670 a year for a cat.

Small Dog:

Divide $580 by 365 days = $1.59 a day


Divide $670 by 365 days = $1.84 a day


Income Supports:

Food Stamps:

According to the Food and Nutrition Service of the Federal Government, the average Food Stamp benefit for an individual was $150.63 a month.

Divide $150.63 by 30.42 days = $4.95 a day$PP.htm

Home Energy Assistance Program:

According to the US Dept. of Health and Human Services, the average HEAP benefit in New York was $531 a year.

Divide $596 by 365 days = $1.45 a day

Earned Income Tax Credit:

Based on the Internal Revenue Service and New York State Tax Code, the combined Federal and New York State EITC for an individual would be $190.

Divide $190 by 365 = $.52 a day

Prev Next