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

McDonald's budgetWhile 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.

More: Fast Food Jobs And What They Pay

So AOL Jobs decided to write up a second budget for a McDonald's employee who is a single parent with one child living in Newaygo County, Mich., which has the average cost of living for the country. The income numbers are the same, but the expenses are based on the "budget calculator" from the liberal think tank the Economic Policy Institute, excluding tax, but with the original budget's ambitious $100 of monthly savings.

As you can see below, our McDonald's employee with a second job and one child will go into $1,548 of debt each month, or $51.60 a day.

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Al Davis

At McD's you can earn that and more by becoming a manager. You shouldn't expect to make what the manager/boss makes until you've advamced through the ranks. Sorry. It seems this strick is for the under-achievers. (Losers)

May 08 2014 at 9:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Al Davis

People go to college or learn a skilled trade to make $15 an hour.

May 08 2014 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Burger Patty depending on size - 18 cents, 48 cents, and 68 cents
Grilled Chicken Patty - 66 cents
Crispy Chicken Patty - 67 cents
Sausage Patty - 13 cents
1 McNugget - 6 cents
1 Egg - 9 cents
Filet O Fish Patty - 35 cents
Candian Bacon Slice - 14 cents
Hot Cakes - 8.3 cents
French Fries - 3.44 a huge bag for multiple servings
Yogart Mix - 4.14 a large bag for multiple servings
Slice Of Cheese - 6 cents
Hamburger Bun - 8 cents
Bacon - 16 cents
Tomatoes - 16 cents
McNugget Sauce - 6 cents
Paper Napkins - .001 cents
Plastic Straw - 5 cents
Ketchup Packet - 1 cent
Biscuits - 10 cents
Muffins - 10 cents
12 oz Soft drink no ice - 26 cents for Coke - 16 cents for others

Info Link: http://imgur.com/R8OyA

McDonalds profits are 20.4% or their revenue, which is double and triple
that of some other businesses.

Link: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2012/snapshots/2262.html

By comparison, the Supermarket industry operates on a 1 to 2 percent profit margin

Link: http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/profit-margin-supermarket-17711.html

August 12 2013 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While McDonald's or Mcjob's if I must say is only really intended for teenagers living at home with mamma and pappa, or senior citizens looking to get out of the house for a while,, due to the economic downturn which happened a few years a go and continues ( no matter what the Democrats or republican say or do ) and as Corporations continue to outsource good jobs/careers ( though not quite at the alarming rate as before), a lot of Adults have had to work in the fast food industry.
A lot of places now, warehouses, factories, are paying less than before, which can lead to foreclosures on homes, bankruptcies, people not buying cars, t.v., fixing their homes, taking vacations as they once did, this has a bad effect on the economy, because ( no folks get ready for this ) surprise, consumer spending drives 85% of the economy!! So if people don't have the money they don't spend, which in turn has a downward domino effect on the economy!!
No I'm not saying they should be paid $ 20.00 a hour but perhaps a living wage should be introduced!!
We can not count on Congress or the senate to do anything, as a long time ago they lined up with mega corporate donors, and could care less about the Average good American trying to raise a family!! Most, not all, but most Politicians are no longer for or by the American people!!

Have a nice day everyone!!!

July 25 2013 at 10:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The AOL budget requires an annual after-tax income of over $43,000. Michigan has local as well as state taxes, so, allowing for those along with federal and payroll taxes, this budget implies that a "living wage" in that part of Michigan is not less than $60,000. There is no sense in claiming that this is an alternative, more realistic budget for an hourly worker at McDonald's. One thing that it does show very clearly, on the childcare line, is the extremely high cost of single parenthood by choice. A couple with two incomes can afford this kind of cost, or they can decide to switch to a single-income way of life and let one parent be the caregiver for the children instead of paying someone else. Many women are not single moms by choice, true, but far too many are, and society has no obligation whatsoever to excuse or pay for such a foolish life choice. Some way must be found for social services to distinguish between those who deserve help because of pure bad luck and those who deliberately made foolish choices because they felt entitled to draw social benefits that were never intended to encourage or support a reckless lifestyle.

July 24 2013 at 8:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Places like McDonalds are not really meant to be career choices. They are meant for students to use while living with their parents and going to school to pay for expenses like a car payment, insurance and gas. Who in their right minds stops at McD's for their lifes choice for a job, you ask? People who didn't graduate, illegal immigrants who can't speak the language, and yes, as a 2nd job for another crappy job. It is a shame that people are having to depend on these types of jobs as careers, since the textile , auto, mining as well as millions of factory jobs are no longer in the USA. Talk to your represenatives about that, and give McD's back to the kids.

July 24 2013 at 4:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I Told you once n Im going to say it again.
You All always put Down Mcdonalds. Always tring to find a Fault .
Im Disabled and I work at Mcdonalds and have for 15 years now.
I dont find one thing wrong with Mcdonalds. Im there Everyday.
Before you put a place Down you ought to have the Facts.
Mcdonalds is the number one Fast food Place in the World.
To be the number one, how bad can they be.
If you say something about a place or some one you should know what your saying.
Mcdonalds is a Great Place to work.

July 24 2013 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to randyrhaus's comment

It isn't McDonalds they are upset with. It is the lack of wage to be able to sustain themselves above poverty. They make to much to get assistance (welfare), they make to little to exceed cost of living. It is manageable if you have 4 or 5 working adult roommates splitting the costs of a single living establishment, definitely an idea I would recommend if you want to get out of rental arrangements into home ownership albeit shared.

July 24 2013 at 11:51 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Debby Hanoka

Great! One more reason not to have kids! Would someone please tie my tubes?

July 24 2013 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

until I saw the check which said $7233, I accept that my best friend was like really making money in there spare time on their laptop.. there uncles cousin haz done this for only about eighteen months and as of now repayed the mortgage on there villa and got a great new Jaguar XJ. I went here, goo.gl/Fp9qx

July 24 2013 at 12:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't understand why the person named M thinks what he or she terms "Obamacare" is going to eliminate jobs in America. That's a bit of a stretch even for a Republican. If M has a job, I suppose it will myteriously disappear in 2014. I haven't seen an actual breakdown of exactly what the health insurance plan consists of, yet so many people seem to be experts, like M. To me, it's very irrational to comment on something when you don't know what you're talking about. I imagine M's grandparents probably had a terrible time accepting the concept of Social Security and Medicare, no doubt thinking that would wipe out the nation. But then again, M is very like many others who have been beside themselves since the election of the first black president. So angry that such a thing could happen and no one able to do anything about it, that's the basis of their collective hatred. They will be even more upset if the national health coverage works. Imagine that.

July 23 2013 at 9:10 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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