Eli tries to address a good question on “How can we use technology to reduce poverty”? In this he proposes that the 3 major costs are housing, food and transportation.
I think that’s short term, though.
The major cost of “living” is actually education – or costs to educate a child.
If you ask anyone that has kids they will tell you that besides home and food the only thing they are saving for is kids education.
To raise a child costs about $500K in the US. The cost in the first 16 years is a “nominal” $150K to the $250K+ spent on their higher education and then another $100K for their wedding.
Using technology to reduce the cost of education is being tried, for e.g. with MOOC’s, but there’s a lot we can do to make it much less expensive.