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The McDonald Budget

In February I asked is it Time to Raise The Minimum Wage? Recently, McDonald’s (yes, the purveyors of fine hamburgers) offered up a budgeting guide for its employees.

McD Budget

It starts by assuming a second income. Which, in a sense, proves that minimum wage isn’t quite a living wage. I’m struggling with this budget, and trying to understand McD’s motive for it. If it’s an attempt to make the case that this income is enough to survive, it clearly misses the goal. Last I checked, if you don’t eat, you die, eventually. Where do you see food on this budget? Clothing? Haircuts? (I did go nearly a year without a professional haircut, but my wife and daughter put a stop to the home cuts.)
I’d also like to know where one can get a health insurance policy for $20 per month.

As I mentioned in my minimum wage article, I remember $3.10 an hour. For me, it wasn’t a living wage, it was beer money. My attitude back then was “I spent most of my money on women and beer, the rest, I wasted.” But even then, I had coworkers who weren’t high school or college students, they were adults for whom this money was their family income. I don’t know what their spouses did, hopefully this was a second income. As I see the unemployment rate refuse to drop as it should in any real economic expansion and I hear that people aren’t returning to full employment, but a hodgepodge of part time work, I’m concerned about where the middle class is heading.

Can you live on the budget above? What else do you see missing?

  • Simon @ Modest Money August 29, 2013, 7:52 am

    Even the extreme frugalists among us might find it hard living on this budget!
    So suppose you have kids, they need to be in school and expenses that come with it, you’d also include some retirement savings in there or else you will be living paycheck to paycheck till you drop dead.
    A second income…where is that gonna come from?

  • Special_Ed August 29, 2013, 10:36 am

    This budget seems to have been drawn up by someone that doesn’t really have to live by it.

    Car and home insurance for $100/month. Where can I get this deal. I’m sure a 20 something year old can’t. Same for the $20/month health insurance.

    It appears that McDonald’s gives their employees a corporate card to buy gasoline and do maintenance/repairs on their personal vehicles since this is not included either.

    Considering everything else, the rent/mortgage number seems high. It would appear that the figure should be $250 or less in the McDonald’s fantasy land.

    This budget doesn’t even mention food or clothing. What a joke.

  • Marty @ MyTwoCreditCardCents August 29, 2013, 10:29 pm

    How many MPG does a car owned by a McD employee get, since they never have to pay for gas?

  • cm August 30, 2013, 9:45 pm

    This is just odd.

    I like how they get your hopes up by bothering to list “other income” only to dash them with a stark: “$ 0”.

    I agree that the $20 for health insurance seems very strange. Is that what it costs for healthy 18 year olds?

    ‘Round these parts, renters often pay for water, sewer, and garbage, to the tune of maybe $70/month.

    Gas, car repairs?

    Maybe they are purposefully leaving out food so that it is considered part of the daily $25, so that workers will want to spend some of it right there at McDs for meals?

    There should be another one of these posted right nearby showing a 25 year old hedge fund manager making 7 figures and then just have the rest say “Who cares, I’m rich!”

  • Joe August 31, 2013, 12:41 am

    It looks like they really blew it with this. They’d have been better off just saying,”we pay minimum wage. It’s nothing anyone can survive on.”

  • Sandy October 3, 2013, 12:18 am

    This budget is doable…if you get public assistance like Medicaid, food stamps and Section 8. Although, we should keep in mind that plenty of Americans are living on unemployment which pays just about this much per month depending on where you live. Are they thriving? No. Are they scraping by? I guess they have to.

  • DealForALiving December 10, 2014, 3:31 pm

    Yeah, the fact that McD’s assumes the 2nd job is a big, flaming red flag against the idea that the minimum wage is a living wage. Unless you’re in a cheap city with a high minimum wage, this just won’t do.

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