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)

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alryssa 15th-Jul-2013 10:50 pm (UTC)
Hello, serf class. How we haven't missed you.
darlahood 16th-Jul-2013 01:24 am (UTC)
Neo-feudalism. Seriously. I think sometimes how we're headed for another dark ages... then I think how we may have never truly come out of the LAST dark ages.
blackjedii 16th-Jul-2013 12:02 am (UTC)
Dude I budget regularly (for a given value of budget at least) and... hah. I just got lucky enough to get full time but there's now a I could afford an apartment right now on top of saving up for a car, food, credit card debt, etc.

Just... seriously. Who made this?
ebay313 16th-Jul-2013 01:09 am (UTC)
This reminds me of when I was talking with a professor about doing a PhD program, and I said I didn't see how I could afford to live on what was being offered for assistantships (<$2,000/month gross) without any other income. Her response was that it was more than enough- I could spend $800/month on rent and the rest is spending money!
I still think about that because I still can't wrap my head around in what world everything besides rent is spending money.

And $20/month on health insurance? I don't have insurance through work, and it costs me $500/month for insurance. (Can't get anything cheaper right now because of pre-existing conditions :-\) Then actually using it costs me on average $100/month, assuming nothing goes wrong and I don't need to go to the hospital or have more frequent appointments than expected.
foureyedgirl 16th-Jul-2013 03:12 am (UTC)
Wow..I guess they didn't remember what it was like when they were a student?? $800 for rent if you're lucky. ugh.
robintheshrew 16th-Jul-2013 02:12 am (UTC)
What the actual fuck?
365reasonswhy 16th-Jul-2013 02:19 am (UTC)
Fuck these companies. I actually laughed out loud when I got to the car payment $150 part. In what fucking world? Even used car payments are more than that, and that's only if you can qualify for financing.
joyfulljunebugg 27th-Jan-2016 03:15 am (UTC)
Right I don't anybody paying under 250 a month on car payments.
sitakhet 16th-Jul-2013 02:22 am (UTC)
So basically you're screwed if you make less than 1000$ a month.
beetlebums 16th-Jul-2013 02:40 am (UTC)
Why I will never live on my own again tbh. Roommates are great help in times like this but it sucks to know I refuse to be independent because of shit like this.
foureyedgirl 16th-Jul-2013 03:14 am (UTC)
I'm honestly scared of living on my own (without help from my dad) after I graduate. I don't know most people do it these days.
atheistkathleen 16th-Jul-2013 03:00 am (UTC)
wow mcdonalds is stupid
lithiumflower 16th-Jul-2013 03:07 am (UTC)
$90 electric? You could live in the dark, taking cold showers every day, and eating beans out of a can and my hometown would find a way to bill you $100 a month for it. Electric bills there are $200-300 a month. They also charge you for everything. They'll charge you $50 if they have to send you a notice that your lights will be disconnected. A NOTICE. If they actually turn them off, it's another $50. It's so bad they keep uniformed police officers on their premises.

kyra_neko_rei 16th-Jul-2013 03:51 am (UTC)
That reminds me of MY attempt at apartment living.

They told me when I signed the lease that the heating bills average around $30 a month in winter.

I get my November gas bill and it was $120.

Which was bad enough, but the way they built the place! There was no insulation---I shit you not, they REQUIRED you to have the thermostat set to at least 55 so the pipes wouldn't freeze in the exterior walls. And it was heated with forced air, and the heat vents were up at the ceiling. Hot air rises. So I was basically shelling out $120+ a month to add heat to the people above me (I was on the first floor.)

A couple years later I came back because a friend and I were weighing being roommates and she wanted to check them out again. And they showed us one of the apartments where the heat is included in the rent (they had both). Cue us touring a downright cozy boiler-heated apartment with visibly thicker walls (you could tell by the windowsills). Oh fuck do they do it right when the heat is their responsibility.
valkeakuulas 16th-Jul-2013 12:35 pm (UTC)
I can't believe they have that as an example of budgeting: with only the McDonalds job, without the second job, the expenses are bigger than the wage. How many hours a week would a person work for the 1000 dollars in the sample budget? I'm not American so I don't know but I assume it's part-time, but seriously, this is basically them acknowledging that you can't live with their pay so take a second job. Um, not a solution, McDonald's.
roseofjuly 17th-Jul-2013 02:38 am (UTC)
No, it's not part time. Minimum wage in the U.S. is $7.25 an hour, so a person making $1105/month at McDonald's (or about $276/month) is working 38 hours a week. Full-time here is 40 hours a week.

But that's not taking into account that this is net pay. The taxes have already been taken out of it, so really the McDonald's worker needs to work more hours to make that. Assuming that the worker is paying 15% of their income in income taxes (not unreasonable), that McDonald's worker is now working 45 hours a week. Which is very unlikely, because food service jobs are notorious at keeping people under the full-time 40 hours a week because they don't want to pay benefits (health care insurance, time off) to the workers.

And that's just at the first job. If we assume the same thing at the second (15% taxes and $7.25/hour), the worker is ALSO working about 39 hours a week at the second job, for a combined total of 84 hours a week.

Even if we assumed that they were making $10/hour (unlikely at McDonald's) they'd still have to work 60 hours a week at the two jobs in order to make this salary.
miss_makiba 16th-Jul-2013 01:29 pm (UTC)
I'd say this budget assumes you live in Wyoming (the rent, phone, and electric about work, and I imagine the other category could be lumped with those if needed) but being that it's a rural state, the car payment is off, and you spend a lot on gas (which is not budgeted here.)

So really, I have no idea who came up with this.
red_pill 16th-Jul-2013 02:09 pm (UTC)
then the ceo earns a year? an hour? a week? a month?
darth_eldritch 16th-Jul-2013 03:15 pm (UTC)
McDonalds, you forgot to include the fees that some of your employees have to pay use your Chase debit cards that you use to pay them.
roseofjuly 16th-Jul-2013 08:33 pm (UTC)
I've lived alone and $32 a week to feed yourself is not reasonable. That's not even a "moderate" amount.

In New York if you had roommates you could maybe pay $1000 in rent. Your MetroCard would be $112 (but would probably go up next year and the year after); your health insurance around $300/month (and it wouldn't be good). Gas/electric $100/month. Phone by itself around $80; forget cable. You're already at $1592 and we haven't even factored in food and clothing yet. God forbid you have any children.

Oh, let's also not forget the fact that $2060/month at $7.25/hour would require a worker to work just over 71 hours a week to make - 38 hours at McDonald's and 33 hours at the second job. What McDonald's do you know is giving out 38 hours a week to employees? Even if we assumed that they were making an average of $10/hour at both jobs (HA!) that's still a 52-hour work week.

And that's not even factoring in the fact that they'd actually have to work MORE hours because this is net income. If we assume that about 15% of their income was taken in taxes, then they'd have to work 82 hours a week at $7.25 or 60 hours a week at $10 just to scrape by like this.
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