Making Tough Choices: United Way Simulation Educates People about Living with Financial Hardships
Although we might not always know who they are, people all around us in our community are struggling to cover basic expenses. These include over 11% of Wisconsin households who live below the poverty line along with nearly 26% who live above the poverty line but below a basic cost-of-living threshold. This second group of households are known as ALICE families. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.
ALICE families constantly face difficult choices about how to use their limited funds. In this online United Way simulation, visitors can experience life in the shoes of a typical ALICE family. The simulation starts with a scenario then offers life and financial choices such as which job to take, where to live, what childcare to use and even whether to go out to eat for an anniversary or call in sick to work. Participants watch their money dwindle throughout a 30-day period as they try to cover their expenses.
You can learn about United for Alice, a “collaborative research effort identifying and communicating the needs of the voiceless part of our communities; allowing for local change-makers to understand, measure, and advance change to improve the lives of ALICE households, ultimately strengthening our communities.” You can even learn how you can get involved to make a difference.
If you’re ready to give it a try, head over to United Way of Wisconsin’s website. See how long you can make it before you run out of money - and get a peek into the lives of ALICE families.
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