Self-Sufficiency Calculator Redesign Overview


The Self-Sufficiency Calculator was designed to support career planning, helping individuals to understand where they are starting, explore options, and make decisions about what to do next.

We are excited to announce that a design update will go live in early July. Read on to learn more, or let project manager Seanna Ruvkun take you on a quick video walkthrough.


In order to help individuals plan for their financial and career goals, and for programs to measure their impact, the Self-Sufficiency Calculator utilizes the Self-Sufficiency Standard, a sophisticated metric incorporating validated national, state, and local data to determine individual costs of living, accounting for variations in cost by geographic location and family composition.


The Standard report is packed with great info, but it can be hard to find just what you need in a print report. The Calculator is designed to:

Provide a tool that integrates cost of living information (the Standard), basic budgeting, and career and vocational planning

Embed information about work supports, such as food stamps or subsidized health care, that can help when expenses exceed income

Allow programs to measure their effect on customers’ ability to make progress toward economic self-sufficiency

In King County, career counselors use the Calculator as a tool to support customers to gain a sense of their financial situation, goals, opportunities, and challenges.

The Calculator is updated with new data every 2-3 years. The WDC also provides ongoing training to staff in our system and partners in our community to support use of the Calculator.