New Interactive Tool Helps Chatham County Families Learn How Much They Need to Make Ends Meet

Chatham County’s working families will have a better understanding of how much income they need to meet their basic needs thanks to a partnership between United Way and Research Triangle Institute (RTI) International. The “Our Money Needs Calculator” is an interactive online calculator designed to show how much it takes for families of different sizes to make ends meet. In addition to providing income data, the calculator also links users to resources that may help them improve their financial situation.

The calculator uses information entered by the family along with data from the “Self-Sufficiency Standard for North Carolina 2017” to determine the costs of housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and other essentials such as clothing, as well as taxes and tax credits. After viewing the income required to meet their basic needs, families are directed to financial assistance resources. “Let’s Talk Money: A Family Guide” provides tips and tools to help families review their current financial situation and set goals for the future. The “Economic Security Pathways Report” shares information on pathways for families to build long-term financial security. Links to United Way’s NC 2-1-1,, connects users to information about health and human services programs in their communities.

The “Our Money Needs Calculator” is available at and you can read more about it in The News & Observer.

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