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Could you live off of $438 a week?

Daryl Paranada and Paul Brent Oct 5, 2012


What’s it like to live in poverty? Unless you’ve been there, it’s hard to know. But every day, millions of Americans have to make tough choices about how they will survive, what they will eat, and where they will live. When you have very little money, the financial decisions you are forced to make are not only difficult, but also life changing.

Marketplace Money — in collaboration with the Wealth and Poverty Desk and KPBS in San Diego — have focused on these important decisions in a special called “Tough Choices” airing this weekend on Public Radio stations and the Marketplace Money Podcast.

One story from the show explores how people who are not poor can experience what it’s like to live in poverty. They take part in a nationwide Poverty Simulator, a real-life workshop that requires them to face the tough choices that people make when living at or below the poverty threshold.

The Poverty Simulator program is intensive, but we’ve condensed the experience into a simple interactive game above. Try it out above to see if you can get by supporting a family of four on just $22,811 in a year.


SPECIAL REPORT: Listen and read more stories and interviews from the Marketplace Money special report, “Tough Choices.” Read more.

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