Rena and her husband, Emanuel, are both employed full-time and raising their two children – Rebecca and Jake.

SES Case Study

You will earn 20 points for this assignment – 10 points for submission of the family’ monthly spreadsheet and 10 points for submission of the discussion questions.

Rena and her husband, Emanuel, are both employed full-time and raising their two children – Rebecca and Jake. As an early childhood educator, Rena earns the average hourly income of $11.25/hour, equaling 23,400/year. Emanuel is a mechanic who also earns $32,000/year. Together, Rena and Emanual earn $64,000/year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2020), they are earning what the majority of Americans earn. Since they are married and live in the same home, they are required to file their annual taxes as “married filing joint”. The Wisconsin tax rate for $64,000/year is 11.04%.


The family lives in an apartment complex on the eastside of Milwaukee to ensure that their son, Jake, has access to Fratney Elementary School because. They were interested in this school because it offers a bilingual education and is known to provide a high quality education. The family’s monthly rent for a three bedroom apartment is $1400/month. Plus, they pay $50/week for Jake’s tutor.

Healthcare Expenses:

The family qualifies for Obama care.

Child Care Expenses:

Rebecca is 2 years old and attends Milwaukee Area Technical College’s child care program on a full-time basis (approximately 8-10 hours/day). MATC’s tuition for a two year old is $278/week.

Vehicle Expense:

Together, Rena and Emanual lease one car for the household. Their monthly lease is $526. Due to their neighborhood, they pay $348/month for car insurance. Their average gas cost is $62/week.


· Rena is still paying off her student loans. She expects to receive support from Biden’s loan forgiveness program. However, she is currently paying $200/month.

· The family shares one cell phone and pays $115/month for this service.

· They typically reserve $100/month for clothing and personal items.

Directions :

· Use this background information to calculate their family’s monthly budget.

· Click to access the budget spreadsheet.

Reflection Questions:

1. A family’s quality of life extends beyond their monthly necessities for survival. After calculating the family’s income, determine what is left for:

a. an emergency fund

b. retirement fund

c. college fund for the kids

d. vacation savings plan

e. entertainment (i.e., moving, dining out, museums, extracurricular activities for school)

f. clothes

2. What did you learn from this case study? Discuss your findings? What expenses should the family give-up to make ends meet?

3. How is this exercise related to your role as an early educator?

4. What can you do to support young children and families who experience poverty?

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