ONTD Political

McDonalds Tells Workers To Budget By Getting A Second Job And Turning Off Their Heat

1:03 pm - 07/15/2013


McDonalds has partnered with Visa to launch a website to help its low-wage workers making an average $8.25 an hour to budget. But while the site is clearly meant to illustrate that McDonalds workers should be able to live on their meager wages, it actually underscores exactly how hard it is for a low-paid fast food worker to get by.

The site includes a sample”‘budget journal” for McDonalds’ employees that offers a laughably inaccurate view of what it’s like to budget on a minimum wage job. Not only does the budget leave a spot open for “second job,” it also gives wholly unreasonable estimates for employees’ costs: $20 a month for health care, $0 for heating, and $600 a month for rent. It does not include any budgeted money for food or clothing.

Basically every facet of this budget is unachievable. For an uninsured person to independently buy health care, he or she must shell out on average $215 a month — just for an individual plan. If that person wants to eat, “moderate” spending will run them $32 a week for themselves, and $867 a month to feed a family of four. And if a fast food worker is living in a city? Well, New York City rents just reached an average of $3,000 a month.

The sample budget is also available in Spanish. On another section of the site, it concludes, “You can have almost anything you want as long as you plan ahead and save for it.”

Neither McDonalds nor Visa returned requests for comment by the time of publication.
Last year, Bloomberg News found that it would take the average McDonalds employee one million hours of work to earn as much money as the company’s CEO. This immense wage disparity in the fast food industry has sparked a series of protests and walk-outs by low-wage workers working at fast food chains around the country — in New York, Chicago, Washington, and Seattle, to name a few cities, workers from chains including KFC, McDonalds, Burger King, and Taco Bell have spoken publicly about the need for serious wage increases across the industry.

(H/T Low Pay Is Not Okay)

[Source]
magicpebble 15th-Jul-2013 09:32 pm (UTC)
My rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a small city (population of about 50,000) is $590/month, but no one living in a bigger city (or a bigger apartment, because lbr, if I wasn't single and childless I'd need more space) has rent that cheap. $600/month is like the lowest possible estimate they could have used and definitely does not represent any sort of average.
lickety_split 15th-Jul-2013 09:36 pm (UTC)
I live in SoCal near LA, so the only way I'd be able to pay $600/mon for rent for a place by myself I'd have to live so outrageously far away from civilization that the gas/traffic/time wouldn't be worth it or I'd basically be renting out a box next to the apartment complex dumpster.
magicpebble 15th-Jul-2013 09:43 pm (UTC)
Exactly, for most people that estimate is not reasonable at all. My sister lives just outside DC and pays more than me per month, and she lives with three roommates.
saygoodnight__ 15th-Jul-2013 09:52 pm (UTC)
The DC area is absolutely horrible for cost of living. When I lived in Fairfax, the 1BR I shared with my husband was $1300 a month. If you're a young person, the only real way to survive there is by having lots and lots of roommates.
roseofjuly 17th-Jul-2013 02:15 am (UTC)
The small one-bedroom I currently live in with my husband (in Morningside Heights neighborhood of New York) is also $1300 a month. We've been looking to see if we could move somewhere cheaper, but there really is nothing cheaper than this. Even if we were willing to live in a tiny cramped studio for $1100, we'd have to get unlimited MetroCards then for the commute (currently we live behind the university where we both work and attend school) and that would bring our expenses back up to what they are now.
otana 16th-Jul-2013 12:07 am (UTC)
Haha oh god don't even. We're looking for a new place in LA right now and the prices are making me cry. We've got a good deal right now ($1275 for 2bd/2br w/cats and a washer/dryer) except for the fact that the landlord is AWOL and won't fix the very serious structural repairs that have built up.

What's that? $800 for a studio the size of my current living room? With no pet allowance? And reports of cockroaches? In a sketchy part of Culver? Wow, what a bargain!
roseofjuly 17th-Jul-2013 02:12 am (UTC)
Either that or you can have 5 roommates. And even then you'll still probably pay more than $600/month. I've got a friend who has two roommates, and they're looking for apartments in Harlem for around $2500/month.
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