In The Best Sites For Students To Create Budgets, I talk about the best site for students in California to get a grasp of what the real costs are of living on your own.  It’s the California Reality Check. If I had to design a site for English Language Learners, it would be close to how this tool looks. It has a step-by-step process for developing a basic budget, and it includes the different specific costs for living expenses in all the major California cities.

The drawback, however, is that it only shows the income needed if you are in a California community.

Now there’s a site that will provide you with a localized budget of what you need to live in any city or town in the United States.  It’s called The Living Wage Calculator, and has been developed by people at Pennsylvania State University.

Note that the budget is shows is their calculation of the basic costs that a family will have,not necessarily one that will provide what is commonly called a “middle class lifestyle.”

I’m adding this resource to ‘The Best…” list.