Recently Released Survival Budget Data: Heart of Florida United Way Reveals What it Actually Costs to Live in Central Florida

Blog Survival Budgets

It costs approximately $35,424 for a single adult and $93,228 for a family of four to survive in Central Florida. That’s according to Heart of Florida United Way’s recently released updated Household Survival Budget, which is based on updated research conducted from public sources.  

Single Final


Family Final

ALICE households are some of the most susceptible to increasing costs of living. ALICE®, an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed, represents the growing number of individuals and families who are technically above the federal poverty line but struggle to make ends meet. These families are working but are unable to afford the basic necessities of housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, and technology.  

That means that even if a family of four is earning $93,000, there’s still no room for savings.  

No room for extras like clothes, paying down debt, student loans, equipment for a job…nothing. This is strictly to make ends meet, keep a roof over one’s head, put food on the table, and ensure proper insurance and transportation. 
There’s nothing left for the unexpected.  
Surviving Without Support 
It’s also important to note that, while struggling to survive, ALICE individuals and families often earn too much to qualify for public assistance
According to the recently released ALICE in Focus: Children report, while 18% of all Central Florida children were deemed as living in poverty in 2019, 39% – more than twice as many – lived in families defined as ALICE.  
The most current data available in the report finds that more than 147,200 Central Florida ALICE children could not access the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, but suffered from food insecurity. Likewise, more than 99,700 Central Florida ALICE children did not receive medical assistance. 

Additionally, having two working parents didn’t guarantee financial stability, either. Among households with two working adults, 42% of children in Central Florida were living in families whose income still didn’t meet the cost of basic needs

In the News 
These numbers are startling, which is why you may have seen recent news coverage about these findings and the implications on Central Florida families struggling to survive:  

It’s vital that we all join this conversation and work together to find solutions to support working families who are struggling just to survive.  
What You Can Do 
To support ALICE families struggling to survive, you can: 

  • Share and encourage the use of this information to inspire change  

Stay Connected 
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