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United Way San Diego ShortFall tool: Can you make ends meet in San Diego County?

Posted at 12:07 PM, Sep 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-18 15:07:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Do you think you can make the critical decisions necessary to make ends meet in San Diego County?

With the United Way’s online tool “ShortFall,” users are challenged to stay within a budget and make numerous life choices within a virtual 30-day period.

To start, each user chooses one of three jobs:

-- Hotel concierge in Mission Valley making $12 an hour with no benefits
-- Gaslamp Quarter restaurant waiter/waitress making $11 an hour with no benefits
-- North Park store customer service representative making $9 an hour with no benefits

After picking a job and selecting where in the county to live, ShortFall takes users through various life scenarios, such as work-related problems, dealing with emergencies, having enough money to pay bills or choosing whether to let your child attend a birthday party -- which would require spending money on a present.

Once the 30 days of decision-making and financial challenges are over, a final summary is displayed, and users can share their results with others.

The online tool, developed by San Diego-based Odyssey Computing for the United Way, is aimed at bringing awareness to the struggles many families endure while living in San Diego County.

For more information on the many programs and resources available for local families, visit