What Happens If You Try To Live On McDonald's Wages: A Budget

McDonald's budget
McDonald's budget

While fast food workers across the country are asking for a "living wage," McDonald's has launched a budgeting website with Visa to help its employees deal better with the money they've got. The "sample budget" provided was greeted with sneers, and sure enough, with more realistic numbers, this McDonald's employee would go into over $50 of debt a day.

Critics of the McDonald's budget pointed out that it involved employees working a second job, turning off their heat, spending just $20 a month on health insurance, and never buying food or clothing. But even more glaringly, the budget ignores a fundamental fact of the fast food workforce: It increasingly includes women with children. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median age of a fast-food worker is now 28; and for women, who make up most of the workers, the median age is 32.