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Friday, July 12, 2013

McDonald's Offers Employees Some Handy Budgeting Tips

Posted by on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Advocates for local fast-food workers have been circulating some budgeting tips for employees they found in a handout from McDonald's, Visa, and Wealth Watchers International®. The McD's sample budget says that if workers get a second job and don't pay their heating bill, they can earn half of what families need for a "secure" standard of living!

Take a look at the budgeting handout—with a smiling, presumably two-job mother on the cover—over here. (If McDonald's pulls that link for some reason, you can see a Facebook version here.)

The numbers ("food" is not a category, but apparently comes out of the "spending money" budget—so fiscally helpful!):

mcdbudget.jpg
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(They left out a line item in the "expenses" column for wage theft.)

Here are some recent numbers from the Economic Policy Institute about what a one-parent/one-child household in the Seattle metro area needs to afford a "secure yet modest" standard of living:

epibudget.jpg
  • The Internet

The handout concludes: "Helping you succeed financially is one of the many ways McDonald's is creating a satisfying and rewarding work environment."

That's some bald-faced economics right there—and even the micro-economists (emphasis on micro) running the minimum-wage world know it.

 

Comments (43) RSS

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1
Who in this country has $20 a month health insurance?
Posted by 4est on July 12, 2013 at 12:39 PM · Report this
2
I guess they shouldn't try to save anything, either
Posted by rostin79 on July 12, 2013 at 12:58 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 3
@1,

Mine's about that much, but my company actually covers my health insurance, and is large enough to be self-insured. (And, of course, I still need to pay plenty out of pocket.) I guess that $20 is for Medicaid? Because McD's sure as shit isn't insuring their minimum-wage workers.

I also love how low-wage workers are apparently paying $100 for phone/cable, are paying $90 for electricity (what the fuck? My electric bill is $40/month, and that covers heat), and are also wealthy enough to afford a car. Speaking of cars, where's the money for gas?
Posted by keshmeshi on July 12, 2013 at 1:05 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 4
Uh...I don't see a budget line for FOOD in them thar calculations.

And, having worked at McD's upon a time, they don't feed their employees for free (not that you'd want to eat McD's more than once in a few years). Or is that what "Other" is for?
Posted by femwanderluster on July 12, 2013 at 1:10 PM · Report this
5

Income: 1,105
Housing: 1,104

When will poor people learn...Seattle isn't for poor people!

It's not even for middle class people any more.

Seattle is a retirement home for billionaires.

They took it over.

And they destroyed it in their image.

Once is was the last remaining Middle Class City

Now it's a boutique.

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://www.you-read-it-here-first.com on July 12, 2013 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Amalink 6
I worked in the apartment business up and down the Puget Sound until a few months ago. If you want an apartment for $600 it'll be a basement studio in the crap-tastic part of Tacoma! My brother was paying $700+ for 1 room in West Seattle and even I pay a small fortune for a house in Kitsappalachia. This "budget" isn't even a joke - it's truly insulting.
Posted by Amalink on July 12, 2013 at 1:40 PM · Report this
7
Where is child care in the "two job" McDonald's scenario?
Posted by Liembo on July 12, 2013 at 1:40 PM · Report this
8
So does the Stranger really pay staff writers $52,000 per year? Or should we be all sorts of pissed off and protesting there too?
Posted by the eyeroller on July 12, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
9
Why is there $0 budgeted for heating? Where does McDonald's think these people are living? Certainly not in Minnesota.
Posted by forgotmypassword on July 12, 2013 at 1:52 PM · Report this
10
Looking at this budget I would say, try very hard to save enough for a mechanically reliable used car. $3,000 or so. Saves so much money over the long term, and cheap cars are cheap to insure. I know coming up with that much is difficult for a fast food worker...

Dump cable and torrent everything.

Dump the home phone and get Google Voice.
Posted by ryanmm on July 12, 2013 at 2:54 PM · Report this
femwanderluster 11
@10 agree, and buy some food, too
Posted by femwanderluster on July 12, 2013 at 3:11 PM · Report this
12
$600 dollar apartments where?
Posted by treehugger on July 12, 2013 at 3:25 PM · Report this
COMTE 13
The fact that McDonald's saw fit to add lines for TWO jobs, says pretty much everything right there.
Posted by COMTE on July 12, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
venomlash 14
@13: IKR?
Posted by venomlash on July 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this
15
@13 - yeah, it says "this is a minimum wage part-time job that requires no skills, not a career, and will therefore pay like one."
Posted by weighing in on July 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM · Report this
16
If you follow the link to the entire McD's document, you'll see that after viewing this 'sample' budget they provide you with an empty version for you to enter your own info, based on where and how you live, using the sample as a guide. Or was this strictly meant for Seattle employees? Hmmm?

This is a basic format that many budgeting advice books and websites provide, at least from what I have seen over the years. At least McD's makes an effort to help their employees; I've never seen that at the employers I've had. I think it's great McD's provides something like this, especially for young people entering the workforce. I'd hope people are already familiarized with how to create and manage a budget by the time they start earning a paycheck but we all know this is not always the case.

Anyway, making a mountain out of a molehill to drum up hits. If you think McDs employees are so stupid that inaccurate or unrealistic numbers on a fake budget are going to lead them astray or greatly insult them... well it must be nice to have so few problems of your own to worry about.
Posted by Snore on July 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM · Report this
17
There is no line for food in this budget because they expect their employees to live off the rest of us through EBT.
Posted by iaremarc on July 12, 2013 at 5:15 PM · Report this
18
I was also surprised at first to see no line for food, and then it hit me that they know all of their employees will get that through the rest of us with EBT.
Posted by iaremarc on July 12, 2013 at 5:19 PM · Report this
19
Didn't mean to double post!
Posted by iaremarc on July 12, 2013 at 5:20 PM · Report this
20
"$600 dollar apartments where?"

Ever heard of sharing a room?
Posted by You can easily live on this much on July 12, 2013 at 7:30 PM · Report this
21
@10 I know of few people in this day and age who have a home phone (since they're useless), and a cell phone is going to range between at a bare minimum $50 to 100 a month. Not to mention that a lot of people at that income level are living literally paycheck to paycheck, so saving isn't really an option.

America is a world where the "working class" are one financial emergency away from homelessness.
Posted by blergh on July 12, 2013 at 8:00 PM · Report this
22
@3 I want to live where you live... my gas and electric bill has not been under $300/month in over 10 years. I don't live extravagantly, I don't have a huge house, I've lived in multiple places so it's not the building, etc. etc. etc. It's funny that you look at that $90 that's listed and think it's a lot and I look at it and think "ha, yeah multiply that by 3 unless you don't want power".
Posted by Let's trade electric bills on July 12, 2013 at 8:14 PM · Report this
23
Exactly what year does the McDonald's corporation think it is? Because there is no way in hell that is a realistic budget for 2013!
Posted by emiliedoll on July 12, 2013 at 8:42 PM · Report this
24
$100 a month left over to invest in savings?? bahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!
Posted by twinkie223 on July 12, 2013 at 9:16 PM · Report this
25
My fav is the zero for heating each month. "Here, honey" - to your 8 yr old child-"just wrap yourself in another blanket!" And these folks call themselves Christian?
Posted by pat L on July 12, 2013 at 9:35 PM · Report this
26
They may not even qualify for snap benefits depending on their state. I know my state's income limit is quite low. Would probably qualify if they have children.
Posted by lucydo on July 12, 2013 at 10:25 PM · Report this
27
MAYBE McDick's needs to take into consideration a person doesn't want to work two friggin jobs. Maybe they want to actually have a life outside of work, and maybe they should stop making up excuses to pay their employees fair wages in the first place!
Posted by WorkingPoorBeth on July 13, 2013 at 7:37 AM · Report this
28
@16: Fuck you.
Posted by treehugger on July 13, 2013 at 8:47 AM · Report this
29
@20: Why am I working two jobs and sharing housing again? On what planet is that a sane way to expect people to live?
Posted by treehugger on July 13, 2013 at 8:48 AM · Report this
30
Health insurance is courtesy of the medicaid so the taxpayers are subsidizing. Its section 8 housing so the taxpayers are financing. Its state subsidized day care so the tax payers are funding. Its WIC and SNAP to supplement groceries so taxpayers are funding. They qualify for the EIC so that's taxpayer funded. Now all low wage earners get to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. Many will pay the penalty because its cheaper. On top of this this embarrassment, legislatures let companies keep off shore all their profits earned off shore. When people are fed up with starving, they will finally rebel.
Posted by seekthetruth on July 13, 2013 at 9:46 AM · Report this
jabhawiya 31
looking at this clusterf*ck of a "budget" is making me seriously consider cashing in my chips and staying in Jordan. At least in Jordan this budget would be feasible.
Posted by jabhawiya http://www.shit-ancaps-say.tumblr.com on July 13, 2013 at 1:24 PM · Report this
32
I work at mcdonalds here in seattle, and I do OK.

I share bills with my SO, and pay 120 for the health insurance mcdonalds provides.

I don't drive, i often walk.

I'm not rolling in the dough, but I get by just fine, and I dj on the weekends, which they give me off, and make a little extra cash.

Their paycard shit is bullshit, but I never see anyone mention that you can always give them your info for direct deposit and you never get their paycard or it's fees. I do wish we were paid more, as the job is actually much more laborious than most would like to believe, but as far as my hours, benefits, treatment, etc goes, I don't mind it all that much. I can't find another job that will give me any time off I ask for, which is why I stay at Mickey Dees...
Posted by MickeyMike on July 13, 2013 at 1:32 PM · Report this
33
Is this some kind of sick joke? Where is this taking place Somalia? These insidious corporatist pricks must be high on crack! Fuck them and their 'reduce the American worker to third world poverty' BS! Isn't it McDonalds that is whining about not being able to afford to give their employees Health Care under the ACA? $20.00 a month for Health Care? Is that for some band aids and a bottle of aspirin? That is only $240.00 a year! What planet are these delusional corporatist robber barons living on, I am paying $1800.00 a quarter for Blue Cross and Blue Shield for my son and myself. $240.00 doesn't even pay for two weeks. America needs to put the companies out of business and build a new economy.
Posted by Kelly Cowan on July 13, 2013 at 1:39 PM · Report this
34
Hope reddit will have some photos posted of actual McD's employees who fill this out with realistic numbers. Oh the inevitable contrast! Trust McD's WILL take down the online form if they are shamed enough. Employee stories should become part of the national conversation. (Britin in Albany, NY)
Posted by allgoodbakers on July 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM · Report this
35
Omg. This budget is a joke. I looked at it and it just goes to show how disconnected these people are from what it's like for poor people. It's a fucking board room of Mitt Romney-esque assholes. fmc. This is why I don't do McDonalds anymore and never will again (well this and the fact that the food there is just gross).
Posted by rina on July 13, 2013 at 2:14 PM · Report this
36
If you take the time to go look at the budget, it actually is attempting to help people so they can create a budget and understand money. If someone is working at McDonalds full time, they possibly haven't had an opportunity to learn about budgeting, so would one rather s/he not receive an education about budgeting, than possibly a slightly flawed one?
This budget plan, as it OBVIOUSLY says stated across the picture is a 'sample.' In response to the comment in the article that McDonalds is telling workers no to "pay their heating bill," it is possible that this example was taken from a state where no heating is necessary.

It is writing like this that makes me angry. You have tunnel vision as a writer, which doesn't allow for the diversity of knowledge to help you reason.

Lastly, I would rather that people be working at McDonalds, and learning about budgeting than not attempting to do anything with their lives. It is a stepping stone for people to learn, and build up their resumes, so if they do want to advance at some point in time, it will be possible. I believe this is the better view of what our society and American Dream allows, instead of wallowing in all the wrongs society still has.
Posted by goodsense on July 13, 2013 at 3:40 PM · Report this
37
There's no category for food...Which is kind of an important one. Plus even if $20 health insurance existed for part-time minimum wage workers, you'd have to also factor in any co-pays, prescription, deductibles, blahblahblah. McDonald's sucks.
Posted by brittany234234234 on July 13, 2013 at 5:08 PM · Report this
38
no food, no heat, no back up money to fix the frozen pipes and stuff because of no heat, no gas to put in the car so why have the car, no child care, no up keep on the car that you can't buy gas for, no money for the upkeep on the home that is unlivable because the pipes burst and you have no money to fix so now mold oh and now house is condemned and have no money to move.... uh missing a lot
Posted by melisana on July 13, 2013 at 10:14 PM · Report this
39
I live in North Vancouver, B.C. Slightly more expensive than Seattle, with far more taxes. When I started my first job at McDonalds, they paid me a training wage of 6.5/hr. That wage was abolished only about a year ago. That's why I got a job in pharmacy and still don't expect much for savings each month.

That's why we Canadians go down to Washington to buy your cheap food products, devices, flights, gas (half price), and clothes. But we dare not go over our spending limit for cross-border shopping, or they will tax us again on products brought in from a foreign country (which was until recently 12% HST).

Anyway.. I can't imagine trying to live off McDonalds' wage, or even trying to work 2 jobs without going suicidal. I tried it once for about a week while in college. McDonalds and Wal-Mart are just the product of our mindless consumption. We need to exercise our consumer power and start growing food. My condolences go out to the minimum wage workers and uneducated Americans.
Posted by crazyphire on July 13, 2013 at 11:10 PM · Report this
40
I live in North Vancouver, B.C. Slightly more expensive than Seattle, with far more taxes. When I started my first job at McDonalds, they paid me a training wage of 6.5/hr. That wage was abolished only about a year ago. That's why I got a job in pharmacy and still don't expect much for savings each month.

That's why we Canadians go down to Washington to buy your cheap food products, devices, flights, gas (half price), and clothes. But we dare not go over our spending limit for cross-border shopping, or they will tax us again on products brought in from a foreign country (which was until recently 12% HST).

Anyway.. I can't imagine trying to live off McDonalds' wage, or even trying to work 2 jobs without going suicidal. I tried it once for about a week while in college. McDonalds and Wal-Mart are just the product of our mindless consumption. We need to exercise our consumer power and start growing food. My condolences go out to the minimum wage workers and uneducated Americans.
Posted by crazyphire on July 13, 2013 at 11:11 PM · Report this
41
This is not just McDonalds. This is every box store you know and love to shop at. Target, Gap, Walmart, etc. When these people say they are bringing jobs to your community this is what they are bringing. The sad thing is that it doesn't stop with the box stores. This is also a budget for grad. students, artists, service industry workers, non-profit sector workers, and more. When we talk about wage inequity let's look at our tax structure and our minimum wage policies.
Posted by brujabruja on July 14, 2013 at 12:17 PM · Report this
42
I did the math for a single mother living in Alabama (where I live.) Our housing costs are relatively low, so I could probably find an apt for $600/month. But even factoring in an unrealistically low childcare rate, I wouldn't qualify for any state benefits. I don't know how people get by.
Posted by it'snotenough on July 17, 2013 at 9:04 AM · Report this
43
I did the math for a single mom with one child. Where I live (in Alabama), the housing costs are low, so I could probably find an apartment, although not in a neighborhood with decent schools. There is no reliable public transportation in any city in AL, so that $150/month car had better get me to work on time. And, even factoring in an unrealistically low child care amount, I would not qualify for any public assistance. How do people get by?
Posted by it'snotenough on July 17, 2013 at 9:11 AM · Report this

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