A few days ago, a suggested monthly "budget" that McDonald's (and Visa and Wealth Watchers International®) has been circulating to employees started circulated around the internet—it includes a line item for "second job" but no line item for "food," a line item for some magical $20 health care, a line item for even more magical "heating" at $0, and so on.

  • The Internet

CNN took it to the next level and asked actual McDonald's employees to fill out their real-life monthly budgets figuring in kids, medical costs, tuition, and the rest of reality. Here's one from a father of two whose kids' school doesn't have a bus:

Monthly Net Income

Income (1st job) $1,000
Income (2nd job) $0
Other income $0
Monthly net income total $1,000

Monthly expenses

Savings $0
Mortgage/rent $500
Car payment (cabs and buses) $290
Car/home insurance $0
Health insurance $0
Heating $45
Cable/phone $55
Electric $45
Other $815
Monthly expenses total $1,750

Monthly Spending Money $-750

Daily Spending Money Goal $-25

In 2011, McDonald's had an investor return rate of 34.6% and $5.5 billion in profits. (Interestingly, sales revenues only accounted for about 20 percent of McD's profits that year.)

It has 700,000 US employees.