I want to live without making extreme tradeoffs.
Despite working hard, too many Californians still have to make difficult decisions about what they can afford in order to survive.
Tradeoffs are a part of life, but some of the people we spoke with face particularly tough decisions about what they can afford on a weekly basis. A key factor is the high cost of living in many California communities: Housing is critical for stability, yet rent is often the most burdensome cost for individuals and families.
Housing costs can have a ripple effect that leads to various tradeoffs that alter or disrupt pathways to opportunity. For example, working to pay the bills might influence one’s decision to devote time and resources to completing high school and/or postsecondary education.
Other critical decisions can happen quickly and have long-lingering effects: When a child gets sick and childcare isn’t available or affordable, a parent risks losing wages for the day or even possibly losing his or her job.