McDonald's Advice to Its Workers: Get a Second Job
And heating is a luxury in sample budget
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2013 2:18 PM CDT
Updated Jul 21, 2013 7:00 PM CDT
A McDonald's drive-thru in Pittsburgh.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(Newser) – McDonald's has a new budgeting tool for its employees, but the advice on "Practical Money Skills for Life" is pretty laughable, critics are pointing out. The site, a partnership with Visa, is supposed to help these low-wage workers learn how to manage their money, ThinkProgress reports, but instead it illustrates just how hard—if not impossible—it is to get by on an average of $8.25 an hour. For example, the sample "budget journal" suggests workers have a second job, and even then budgets only $20 per month for health insurance (the average cost for an independent individual plan is $215 per month, and the company's own plan for full-time workers is $14 a week)—and exactly zero dollars for heating.

No specific budgeted amounts are given for food or clothing, though after paying the bills (including a $150 car payment and a $600 mortgage), $800 worth of monthly "spending money" is left over, so apparently the groceries (and car maintenance, and gasoline, and co-pays, and actual medical expenses, and any number of other things not allowed for on the budget) come out of that. The website claims that "you can have almost anything you want as long as you plan ahead and save for it." But the truth is, "basically every facet of this budget is unachievable," writes Annie-Rose Strasser. The Consumerist's take: "The path to financial freedom, according to Visa and McDonald’s, involves turning off your heat, not buying groceries, not having children, never getting sick, and getting a second job."

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American Hero
Dec 8, 2013 10:08 PM CST
Are you people smoking dog sh--t? In1969 I quit school to help my family pay a $200 MORTGAGE! I made $ 8.50 an hour then, I was only 16. I was a good worker then and 10 times better now, and I can't even get a minimum wage job now. I got my GED in 1999 and since then I have seen college grads, getting less then what a drop out made in 1972. Who the hell are they trying to fool? certainly not me. They are throwing figures out there that are way off base, and people think we are better now then 1970? If I ran for office and went for president, they would have me killed, because I have knowledge that they wont teach our kids. They are keeping the citizens so dumbed down with sports and competing each other that we have no will of our own anymore. Now we don't keep an eye on our government to make sure they are working for us citizens, that they are robbing us blind until even the middle class are so dumbed down that they lose all their wealth.
Jul 23, 2013 9:22 PM CDT
I'm only commenting on this "Budget" joke...As per "you don't HAVE to work there" that's for another time. Rough numbers: Full timers: $8.25 X 40 hours...= $330 X 52 weeks= $17,160/yr Divided by 12 months= $1430 month. ( Extra math because months are not 4 weeks even) ------------------------------------ Ok...... Take out S.S. ( 6.2% as your part of contribution. ) Plus 2.9% Medicare deduction= $ 130.13 per month GONE Left= $1299.87 We'll go with $1300 According to McD's >>>>>>>>>> After a $600 Mortgage ( Giggle, how you going to own, AND pay Real estate taxes and Insurance on Minimum wage?) ) and $115 for car ( They come with free gas AND Insurance?) You'll have $800 a month free money they brag. Hmmm, $600 Home+ $115 car = $715. $1300 minus $ 715 Equals $585 I'm not even going into Fed tax and State tax taken out. You MIGHT get that all back. Well, you DO still have hefty $ 585. Take out a Sparse $5.00 a day for FOOD, there goes $150 a month. Down to $435 "Free money". In Winter, that's almost taken up by heating alone ( wearing Sweaters. ) In Summer, 2-3 fans will jack your electric up big time. ( A/C? Fuhgetabowdit) Poof! The $800 gone and....... We haven't even bought TOILET PAPER yet? Get on more Junk Mail lists? Last.... "Unexpected" will kill the $2 a week you MIGHT be able to put aside.
Jul 23, 2013 1:55 PM CDT
As far as I'm aware, American's are free to pick up their lives and move to anywhere they think life is better or greater opportunity abounds. 37 years ago, I made $4.25 an hour after 3 years on the job. I decided that, "if this is all there is, I can do this anywhere". I took my last weeks pay, hooked up a U Haul trailer to the back of the car, packed up my family (wife and child) and possessions, took off into the unknown 2100 miles away, with no job and whatever would be left of that weeks pay when I got there. 13 days later, I had a job making $6.30 hr with benefits and a retirement package. The place I'd just left had a higher cost of living, so lower living costs (and taxes) came as a pleasant bonus. You don't get ahead in life by complaining, you get ahead by applying yourself to the task of earning a living, increasing your skills and pushing the envelope, even occasionally taking risks.