Scraping by

From a report by the California Budget Project, a Sacramento-based nonprofit and self-described nonpartisan organization that aims to affect public policy regarding low- and middle-income Californians. The report, called “Making Ends Meet,” was released earlier in the fall and can be viewed at the California Budget Project Web site, at

Annual income needed by a single adult living in California, in order to achieve a “modest standard of living": $25,867

Annual income needed by a single-parent, two-child family to reach the same standard: $53,987

Annual income needed by a two-parent, two-child family in which only one parent works: $51,177

Annual income needed for a two-parent, two-child family in which both parents work: $71,377

Hourly wage each parent must earn to reach that annual income: $17.16

Current minimum wage in California: $6.75 an hour

Percentage of income a California family of two working parents and two children spends on food: 11.9

Percentage the same family spends on taxes: 15.3

And on housing: 25.2

Fair market rent for a three-bedroom housing unit in Sacramento County in 2005: $1,403 per month

Median home price in Sacramento County for March 2005: $357,360

Median annual income needed to purchase that home on a 30-year conventional mortgage with a 20-percent down payment: $72,047

Sacramento County’s median annual income for 2005: $64,100

Amount of cash savings included in the “modest standard of living” budgets: 0