Budget cuts families must not make at the kitchen table in 2014

Former Clinton U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation discusses what is off the table for us to make ends meet

Jan 13, 2014, 09:15 ET from Partnership Possibilities for America

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Oliver McGee, former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of transportation for technology policy in the Clinton Administration, gives his take on financial cuts in 2014 that are non-negotiable for families balancing their budgets at the kitchen table.  McGee also comments on how these essential financial decisions will impact the daily housekeeping choices of families.

According to Corey Whalen, contributing to Care.com on ways to keep families solvent and safe, "electric bills, groceries, pediatrician costs, new soccer uniforms … new expenses seem to crop up everywhere you turn.  You try to save money where you can, but how do you know what to cut and what to keep?"

Rent or Mortgage Payments

"One has to protect the roof over one's head, first and foremost, inside a rough economy, in order to gather oneself and our family safely and securely to think rationally and creatively about how to survive in the other core areas of one's life, such as health, education, food and transportation," says Oliver McGee, author, finance expert and former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for the Clinton administration.

Health Insurance

Whalen suggests "[we] may not have quite figured out how Obamacare (also known as The Affordable Care Act) will affect [families]."  McGee advises nonetheless keeping up on health insurance premiums and allocating 20 percent of your family budget to these expenses.  "When determining what type of health insurance to buy, tally in the cost of deductibles and co-pays, as well as prescription medications, ambulance service, emergency room visits and dental care such as braces," recommends Whalen.

College Savings

Tuition for colleges has risen about 7 percent in the past decade, according to McGee.  "Colleges and universities are feeling the pinch of cash crunches and are asking families for more support.  This cost item has become non-negotiable for receiving cuts in the typical family budget."  Look into opening a 529 plan to save money.

Healthy Food

"Healthy eating for families has become a non-negotiated family budget item," says McGee, who recommends putting 15 percent of your family budget toward groceries.  A healthy diet is vital for not just our bodies, but also our minds.  And, "family budget cuts on food starve out our 'rational thinking' inside our cranial brain, and our 'intuitive thinking' inside our abdominal brain," says McGee.

About Partnership Possibilities for America:

Founded by Oliver McGee in 2010, the mission of Partnership Possibilities of America is to provide focused expertise and leadership by fostering greater public awareness, appreciation, advocacy, and advancement of social, technological, educational, economic, and political (STEEP) capacity of philanthropy working across government, university, and industry partnerships.

About Oliver McGee:

Oliver G. McGee III is a teacher, a researcher, an administrator, and an advisor to government, corporations and philanthropy. He is professor of mechanical engineering and former Vice President for Research and Compliance at Howard University. Dr. McGee is former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Inc. He was Professor and former Chair (2001-2005) of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Geodetic Science at Ohio State University. He is the first African-American to hold a professorship and a departmental chair leadership in the century-and-a-quarter history of Ohio State University's engineering college. Dr. McGee has also held several professorships and research positions at Georgia Tech and MIT. McGee is the former United States (U.S.) Deputy Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Technology Policy (1999-2001) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and former Senior Policy Advisor (1997-1999) in The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He is a certified graduate of UCLA John E. Anderson Graduate School of Management's 2013 Director Education and Certification Program, and NYSE Governance Services Guide to Corporate Board Education's 2003 Directors' Consortium (on corporate board governance). McGee is a 2012-2013 American Council on Education Fellow at UCLA Office of the Chancellor Gene Block. He is a 2013 University of California Berkeley Institutes on Higher Education (BIHE) graduate. He is also an Executive Leadership Academy Fellow of the University of California, Berkeley Center of Studies in Higher Education (CSHE) and the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE), Inc. McGee is an American Association of State Colleges & Universities' (AASCU) Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Fellow - educational leadership and management development programs for prospective university chancellors and presidents. Education Background: Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Masters of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering, University of Arizona, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Engineering Mechanics, Aerospace Engineering (Minor), The University of Chicago, Booth School, Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.), The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Certificate of Professional Development (C.P.D.), Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy - Certificate of Fund Raising Management (C.F.R.M.). Partnership Possibilities for America - Invested in STEEP Giving Forward, founded by McGee in 2010, is based in Washington, DC.

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