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McDonald's is putting together a module to help its employees budget better, which is getting pilloried all over the Internet for making unrealistic assumptions about minimum wage workers.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/16/that-...

So the figures for heating and health insurance in the original Visa/McDonald’s sample budget are hard to defend. But overall, it offers a reasonable picture of how a typical person in the lower half of the income spectrum spends his money.
And the reality is that these low-income Americans have to make the kind of hard choices that critics are deriding as ridiculous. They have to make do with a used car, live in a modest apartment with a roommate, get by with basic cable and a low-end cellular plan, and travel and go out to eat infrequently.
Gawker calls the budget “just-shy-of-condescending,” but budgeting is an important skill that isn’t obvious to every young adult in America. Offering practical advice on how to live on a modest income is more constructive than ridiculing the choices required to do so.


I don't want this to be a political thread but you need to look at this from the extreme retirement people, who create a zero based budget starting from the hierarchy of needs and moving up. So you need food and would pick a thrifty food plan with what's on sale at the market that week, housing would be a room in someone's home, you would bike to work or take the bus, and your entertainment would be something free like walking or going to the library. Even in Los Angeles, you can find rooms, utilities included, for $600 or less - go to Craigslist and search under rooms for "utilities included". Food would cost you $150 a month, a bus pass would cost you $80 a month, laundry and miscellaneous expenses $20, and a prepaid phone might cost you $50 a month - for $900 a month in baseline costs, against a CA minimum full time wage ($8 an hour, 40 hours a week, minus taxes) of about $1100. Add an individual studio apartment, entertainment, etc. accordingly to fill out the amount and increase the comfort level. Health insurance is an issue, but starting in 2014 with the ACA someone making minimum wage will have free insurance at the "bronze" level.

The big issue is one time expenditures like clothing, security deposits, furniture, etc. and unexpected expenditures - which the minimum wage does not account for. A car would fall under this capital cost category. Many people run back to mommy and daddy for those things, but you would have to save over many months for the minimum subsistence wage to provide for this. If you didn't have someone to fund these one time expenditures you have to deal with the shady signature loan market, with accordingly high rates. But the point of a minimum wage is basically to allow one person to subsist and not starve or be without shelter.

Looking at this in CA, monthly expenses only, capital costs excluded:
---
Room - $600 (including utilities)
Food - $150 (thrifty food plan)
Health care - $50 (subsidized clinic now, Bronze health insurance + co pays post-2014)
Transportation - $75 (bus pass)
Incidentals - $25 (laundry, etc.)
Phone - $40 (Page Plus, needed for shifts at work)
---
$940 total

In other parts of the country I have seen furnished all utilities included rooms for under $300. In those areas you probably will need a car which will cost you about $300 a month in gas, car payment, and insurance (liability only) so it is a wash.

I sometimes think about this should I get into a situation where I need to seriously conserve cash. While in my case my housing prices are higher due to PITI, I would consolidate my stuff and have someone stay in an extra room. What's the lowest you could spend a month and still survive?

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A couple of those don't really inspire much sympathy.

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I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.

No kidding. I used to work a full time job with a one hour commute (each way) and go to school three days a week. Before that I served as an apprentice which was eight hours a day in a shop plus three hours at night of academics.

I think McDonalds is saying that absent cable, a smart phone, and a crack pipe, people can make ends meet on minimum wage. I applaud the effort.

People can absolutely make a living on minimum wage. I lived in a fairly nice house with 2 other people and traveled on about $15,000 dollars gross income in college. I don't know about supporting a family on it, but they can certainly support themselves.

Let's face it . . .BUDGET is a dirty word. I've been frugal, for as long as I can remember. Being the oldest of six, definitely encouraged that prospective. Disappointed in that with the recent turn in the economy, it's become more fashionable. Which makes finding deals more difficult because of more competition and from stores becoming more aware.

I always valued the money I made and make a direct correlation with the amount of effort that went into obtaining that dollar with the value I'm receiving for it. Pretty simple concept, that I have been unable to pass on to my children. As to amount a month I need to live off of? Na, just try to live below whatever my monthly income is. Positive flow into savings, I want to enjoy life, just not at the expense of my future earnings to pay for current expenses.

JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


I think it would be tough. It would for me. Imagine standing and slinging burgers that long, week after week. My first job was at a Taco Bell company owned store and they abused managers who worked enormous hours unpaid because they were "on salary." Most didn't last on the job very long. Anyway, spending your whole life at the fast food restaurant might cut your heating bill to zero because you're never home. You probably get to eat the stuff for next to nothing while on duty, so that will cut the food expenses. I don't eat 100% fast food, contrary to the popular belief. But if you do by eating at the McDonald's you work at, you've solved the retirement funding issue. You will never live long enough to retire.

burgerwars said:   JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


I think it would be tough. It would for me. Imagine standing and slinging burgers that long, week after week. My first job was at a Taco Bell company owned store and they abused managers who worked enormous hours unpaid because they were on "salary." Anyway, spending your whole life at the fast food restaurant might cut your heating bill to zero because you're never home. You probably get to eat the stuff for next to nothing while on duty, so that will cut the food expenses. I don't eat 100% fast food, contrary to the popular belief. But if you do by eating at the McDonald's you work at, you've solved the retirement funding issue. You will never live long enough to retire.


Aren't we missing the point that this job is supposed to be a stepping stone to further your career and gain experience? I don't many people who have career aspirations working at McDonald's.

talonesi said:   burgerwars said:   JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


I think it would be tough. It would for me. Imagine standing and slinging burgers that long, week after week. My first job was at a Taco Bell company owned store and they abused managers who worked enormous hours unpaid because they were on "salary." Anyway, spending your whole life at the fast food restaurant might cut your heating bill to zero because you're never home. You probably get to eat the stuff for next to nothing while on duty, so that will cut the food expenses. I don't eat 100% fast food, contrary to the popular belief. But if you do by eating at the McDonald's you work at, you've solved the retirement funding issue. You will never live long enough to retire.


Aren't we missing the point that this job is supposed to be a stepping stone to further your career and gain experience? I don't many people who have career aspirations working at McDonald's.


You're right. Working at McDonald's as a cashier shouldn't be someone's goal. Nothing wrong with the job. We all probably had such jobs in high school or college. If I had to plan my entire life working at $8 an hour, I would have probably jumped out the window.

Sorry. The budget is for a house with no windows. Windows cost extra.

burgerwars said:   JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


I think it would be tough. It would for me. Imagine standing and slinging burgers that long, week after week. My first job was at a Taco Bell company owned store and they abused managers who worked enormous hours unpaid because they were "on salary." Most didn't last on the job very long. Anyway, spending your whole life at the fast food restaurant might cut your heating bill to zero because you're never home. You probably get to eat the stuff for next to nothing while on duty, so that will cut the food expenses. I don't eat 100% fast food, contrary to the popular belief. But if you do by eating at the McDonald's you work at, you've solved the retirement funding issue. You will never live long enough to retire.


Do you have any idea of what those poor managers were paid? Most make well into the 6 figure range, not exactly slave labor, is it?

FWF and early retirement techniques require one thing that's hard to come by -knowledge of personal finance. Since there is no focus on that in this country, it's a little hard to expect people on minimum wage, with no education on the subject, to employ the techniques. Of course, they could think about what they need to do, try to find resources to learn about it and work on applying the knowledge, but they'd have to find the time to do all of this. And they are to do this after they've gone through 18 years of life with no guidance on the subject? Sounds like a stretch for most people at or below average intelligence (statistically >50% of the population).

Many people could live a comfortable lifestyle on minimum wage with a room mate. McDonald's obviously isn't doing themselves any favors by offering financial advice... it just makes them look condescending and creates an easy opportunity for the media to criticize them for paying the government-mandated wage for unskilled labor. If you didn't know already, every low skill job is suppose to provide an comfortable, high end lifestyle to raise a large family.

Mickie3 said:   burgerwars said:   JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


I think it would be tough. It would for me. Imagine standing and slinging burgers that long, week after week. My first job was at a Taco Bell company owned store and they abused managers who worked enormous hours unpaid because they were "on salary." Most didn't last on the job very long. Anyway, spending your whole life at the fast food restaurant might cut your heating bill to zero because you're never home. You probably get to eat the stuff for next to nothing while on duty, so that will cut the food expenses. I don't eat 100% fast food, contrary to the popular belief. But if you do by eating at the McDonald's you work at, you've solved the retirement funding issue. You will never live long enough to retire.


Do you have any idea of what those poor managers were paid? Most make well into the 6 figure range, not exactly slave labor, is it?


Do you have a link or reference for this? I doubt McD's restaurant managers make 6 figures.

soundtechie said:   Mickie3 said:   burgerwars said:   JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


I think it would be tough. It would for me. Imagine standing and slinging burgers that long, week after week. My first job was at a Taco Bell company owned store and they abused managers who worked enormous hours unpaid because they were "on salary." Most didn't last on the job very long. Anyway, spending your whole life at the fast food restaurant might cut your heating bill to zero because you're never home. You probably get to eat the stuff for next to nothing while on duty, so that will cut the food expenses. I don't eat 100% fast food, contrary to the popular belief. But if you do by eating at the McDonald's you work at, you've solved the retirement funding issue. You will never live long enough to retire.


Do you have any idea of what those poor managers were paid? Most make well into the 6 figure range, not exactly slave labor, is it?


Do you have a link or reference for this? I doubt McD's restaurant managers make 6 figures.


I would guess the typical manager makes around $15-18 an hour. Maybe he was referring to the owners of the franchises, who potentially have millions of their capital invested in addition to their labor?

JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


McDonald's suggested budget assumes a monthly net income of $2,060. Even assuming no income tax withholding, do the math at a federal minimum wage of $7.25 minus 7.65% payroll taxes. That's $2,060 / $6.70/hour = 307 hours per month. If you have eight days off per month, that leaves you working 14 hour days the rest of the week. Good luck getting those hours from McDonald's.

Their suggested budget then advises you to spend $0/month on heat (what? poor people should have heat?) and $20/month on healthcare (Aspirin is my health plan!). Whatever your politics are on minimum wages or supporting the poor, this budget is a slap in the face.

Mickie3 said:   burgerwars said:   JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


I think it would be tough. It would for me. Imagine standing and slinging burgers that long, week after week. My first job was at a Taco Bell company owned store and they abused managers who worked enormous hours unpaid because they were "on salary." Most didn't last on the job very long. Anyway, spending your whole life at the fast food restaurant might cut your heating bill to zero because you're never home. You probably get to eat the stuff for next to nothing while on duty, so that will cut the food expenses. I don't eat 100% fast food, contrary to the popular belief. But if you do by eating at the McDonald's you work at, you've solved the retirement funding issue. You will never live long enough to retire.


Do you have any idea of what those poor managers were paid? Most make well into the 6 figure range, not exactly slave labor, is it?


Not at Taco Bell, at least when I worked there. GlassDoor lists McDonald's restaurant manager salaries in Los Angeles at about $50,000. I realize In-N-Out Burger says managers can earn over $100,000, but there may be only one or two managers per store. The rest are assistant managers on down, that earn less. To become one of those few top-paying managers, if you have what it takes, may be only after 10 years experience. The odds that a career in fast food is your path to wealth is extremely small.

In my experience at Taco Bell (this was a very long time ago), the managers (two of them) were there six days a week, about 10 - 12 hours each day, on average. They were paid a straight salary, which enabled the company to cheat them even more. Divide all their hours and their pay, while not slave labor, it looked like it. For all this work, most didn't last. Fired or quit.

In looking back at Taco Bell, it did teach me that it wasn't a company I would want to stick around at. They didn't value their employees at all, and cheated them out of earned pay. If they're that greedy and that makes them happy, so be it, but it's not what I'm about. I've moved on.

a typical fast food manager makes far less than 6 figures. now you may see a regional manager making in the 60's to 80's but not a manager for one location. brettdoyle is right with the 15-18 an hour comment....sometimes as low as 12, however they are exempt and generally working way more than 40 hours a week.

JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


McDonalds and franchise owners would see payment of overtime as a hardship though.
A McDs worker would need two jobs to get to that level.



About manager overtime: I worked for Dominos Pizza when I was a student. Managers got salary, plus a bonus based on store profit. They chose how many hours they worked, but if they paid trainees to do their work for them,it hurt profitability, which in the short term cost them their bonus, and in the long term might cost them their store.

They had four levels of manager trainees, plus there was a 'level five' which meant you had been put on manager's salary and then got your store taken away from you but they didn't take away your salary (but trainees didn't get bonus)

Managers who were given a salaried trainee tended to assign them a lot of hours to make up for their high base wage. One time a level five I knew got tired of being worked long hours, calculated her effective hourly rate with overtime, and announced that she was being paid like an hourly worker making 2.xx per hour when the federal minimum wage was 3.35. The corporation ended up giving her just enough to keep her from filing a department of labor complaint and I suspect demanding minimum wage pretty much ruined her future with the company.

Store managers are probably in the 50s +/-. But those shifts are probably only $1-2 an hour over minimum, and the salaried managers are probably upper 20s to low 30s, with 50-70 hour weeks.

Probably a more reasonable scenario for a Mcdonald's worker is they are only able to work 29 hours. Under Obamacare if you have 50 or more employees, then you have to provide them healthcare or else pay a $2,000 penalty if they work more than 30 hours a week (starting in 2015). So employers have responded by only allowing their workers to have 29 hour shifts.

So as an unintended consequence if a Mcdonald's employee wants to work more than 29 hours then in all likelihood that's going to require them to have multiple jobs and spend additional time and money commuting between those jobs.

JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


I disagree. 55 is pretty hard. Nobody should have to work 7 days (or even 6) a week just to survive at the low end. If you are an executive, running a business, or something like that, then yes it makes sense...you are making an investment that will pay off later. But people working McDonalds are not going to see that sort of payoff. The only thing working that many hours at McDonalds will do is futher lock them into a life working at McDonalds.

But the major problem with your comment is that I don't think you read carefully enough:
At a minimum wage of $7.25, (and assuming an effective income tax rate of 15 percent), our hypothetical worker would have to work about 75 hours per week. At $10 per hour, it would take about 55 hours of work per week. That’s a hard workweek.

So based on your 55 number...which McDonald's are paying $10/hour to employees? 75 hours is a DAMN hard work week.

unfortunately, in this economic environment, I've seen employers squeezing more and more out of their current employees, as oppose to hiring more people..
with the squeezed.. 55 hours per week has become a norm in all gamut of work, from management to the worker bees..

the only saving grace is that the worker bees do get x1.5 for hours over 40, so not too bad for them..

Also, just a thought..on the budget and "entitlement" mentality..

is $100 for Cable and Cell justifiable???

When i was growing up we don't have cable tv, and even now I don't have cable tv.. last I check, it's not a quintessential for survival?

Also when you make minimum wage, do you really need Iphone? a regular phone with Tmobile prepaid, $100 for 1,000 minutes, good for one year... comes out to $10 a month.. just saved another $90 per month, or $1080 per year

Cable is not a necessity.

LordKronos said:   JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


I disagree. 55 is pretty hard. Nobody should have to work 7 days (or even 6) a week just to survive at the low end. If you are an executive, running a business, or something like that, then yes it makes sense...you are making an investment that will pay off later. But people working McDonalds are not going to see that sort of payoff. The only thing working that many hours at McDonalds will do is futher lock them into a life working at McDonalds.

But the major problem with your comment is that I don't think you read carefully enough:
At a minimum wage of $7.25, (and assuming an effective income tax rate of 15 percent), our hypothetical worker would have to work about 75 hours per week. At $10 per hour, it would take about 55 hours of work per week. That’s a hard workweek.

So based on your 55 number...which McDonald's are paying $10/hour to employees? 75 hours is a DAMN hard work week.


Why are people entitled to be paid more than the market value of their labor?

At the end of the day, we have to focus on how to help people be better off. I'd rather have an economy that creates jobs netting people $1100 per month after taxes rather than no job at all, in which case they don't contribute to society. I know it isn't perfect, but it's the better of the options. If we support a growing economy, labor prices will move up due to competition to get the employees, and that will likely allow people to earn more than any increased minimum wage will. If I made $2 an hour at a restaurant but McD's gave me $10/hour, you can be sure I would move over. I'm not entirely convinced of the impact of a minimum wage - I think the markets probably do a better job of it.

enc0re said:   JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


McDonald's suggested budget assumes a monthly net income of $2,060. Even assuming no income tax withholding, do the math at a federal minimum wage of $7.25 minus 7.65% payroll taxes. That's $2,060 / $6.70/hour = 307 hours per month. If you have eight days off per month, that leaves you working 14 hour days the rest of the week. Good luck getting those hours from McDonald's.

Their suggested budget then advises you to spend $0/month on heat (what? poor people should have heat?) and $20/month on healthcare (Aspirin is my health plan!). Whatever your politics are on minimum wages or supporting the poor, this budget is a slap in the face.


The $2,060, base on their figures, is you have a second job that contributes 46% of your income. Not realistic. Is McDonald's promoting everyone have two jobs of about an equal amount of hours, somehow co-ordinate that between the two, and leave enough time between them to commute? When will they sleep? Might as well add a third job, so you can toss out the rent payment. Working 24/7 then you don't need a place to live. If McDonald's wants to provide financial guides, they should leave those sample values blank.

valueinvestor said:   

Why are people entitled to be paid more than the market value of their labor?


I guess it comes down to that if enough people are desperate enough, they will riot and take your stuff. That's the best I can come up with if you want to pretend to be a completely selfish entity.

burgerwars said:   enc0re said:   JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


McDonald's suggested budget assumes a monthly net income of $2,060. Even assuming no income tax withholding, do the math at a federal minimum wage of $7.25 minus 7.65% payroll taxes. That's $2,060 / $6.70/hour = 307 hours per month. If you have eight days off per month, that leaves you working 14 hour days the rest of the week. Good luck getting those hours from McDonald's.

Their suggested budget then advises you to spend $0/month on heat (what? poor people should have heat?) and $20/month on healthcare (Aspirin is my health plan!). Whatever your politics are on minimum wages or supporting the poor, this budget is a slap in the face.


The $2,060, base on their figures, is you have a second job that contributes 46% of your income. Not realistic. Is McDonald's promoting everyone have two jobs of about an equal amount of hours, somehow co-ordinate that between the two, and leave enough time between them to commute? When will they sleep? Might as well add a third job, so you can toss out the rent payment. Working 24/7 then you don't need a place to live. If McDonald's wants to provide financial guides, they should leave those sample values blank.


Or as another article said, it's not for 2 jobs for 1 person. It's household income for 2 people each with a job.

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021091165_fastfoodxml.ht...

quote: Their demand, as stated on their Facebook page, Good Jobs Seattle, was simple: “I make $15/hr or less and am worth more.”

valueinvestor said:   LordKronos said:   JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


I disagree. 55 is pretty hard. Nobody should have to work 7 days (or even 6) a week just to survive at the low end. If you are an executive, running a business, or something like that, then yes it makes sense...you are making an investment that will pay off later. But people working McDonalds are not going to see that sort of payoff. The only thing working that many hours at McDonalds will do is futher lock them into a life working at McDonalds.

But the major problem with your comment is that I don't think you read carefully enough:
At a minimum wage of $7.25, (and assuming an effective income tax rate of 15 percent), our hypothetical worker would have to work about 75 hours per week. At $10 per hour, it would take about 55 hours of work per week. That’s a hard workweek.

So based on your 55 number...which McDonald's are paying $10/hour to employees? 75 hours is a DAMN hard work week.


Why are people entitled to be paid more than the market value of their labor?


Because the "market" is manipulated by those who do the paying. There is no true market value. The market is not free from manipulation.


Thinking that is true market labor value is like thinking stocks are priced soley on the companies financials. Which is not even close to being true.

burgerwars said:   enc0re said:   JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


McDonald's suggested budget assumes a monthly net income of $2,060. Even assuming no income tax withholding, do the math at a federal minimum wage of $7.25 minus 7.65% payroll taxes. That's $2,060 / $6.70/hour = 307 hours per month. If you have eight days off per month, that leaves you working 14 hour days the rest of the week. Good luck getting those hours from McDonald's.

Their suggested budget then advises you to spend $0/month on heat (what? poor people should have heat?) and $20/month on healthcare (Aspirin is my health plan!). Whatever your politics are on minimum wages or supporting the poor, this budget is a slap in the face.


The $2,060, base on their figures, is you have a second job that contributes 46% of your income. Not realistic. Is McDonald's promoting everyone have two jobs of about an equal amount of hours, somehow co-ordinate that between the two, and leave enough time between them to commute? When will they sleep? Might as well add a third job, so you can toss out the rent payment. Working 24/7 then you don't need a place to live. If McDonald's wants to provide financial guides, they should leave those sample values blank.


I worked two jobs for well over a year. One was days, one was nights and weekends. I worked around 70-80 hours a week (12hrs on Sat/Sun). Did it suck? Yes, but it paid my bills until i could find one good paying job.

soundtechie said:   Mickie3 said:   burgerwars said:   JonnyRock said:   I really do not see 55 hours per week as being the hardship that authors appear to believe.
That would be only 8 hours per day for 7 days a week, or 9 hours per day with one day off.
I bet the average salaried restaurant manager works at least that.


I think it would be tough. It would for me. Imagine standing and slinging burgers that long, week after week. My first job was at a Taco Bell company owned store and they abused managers who worked enormous hours unpaid because they were "on salary." Most didn't last on the job very long. Anyway, spending your whole life at the fast food restaurant might cut your heating bill to zero because you're never home. You probably get to eat the stuff for next to nothing while on duty, so that will cut the food expenses. I don't eat 100% fast food, contrary to the popular belief. But if you do by eating at the McDonald's you work at, you've solved the retirement funding issue. You will never live long enough to retire.


Do you have any idea of what those poor managers were paid? Most make well into the 6 figure range, not exactly slave labor, is it?


Do you have a link or reference for this? I doubt McD's restaurant managers make 6 figures.


I looked into being a manager of a local fast food restaurant once, about ten years ago. Pay was $35K per year, for 55 to 60 hours per week.

brettdoyle said:   soundtechie said:   
Do you have a link or reference for this? I doubt McD's restaurant managers make 6 figures.


I would guess the typical manager makes around $15-18 an hour. Maybe he was referring to the owners of the franchises, who potentially have millions of their capital invested in addition to their labor?


The owners work for delayed gratification. Typically, they must spend the lion's share of the franchise income on repaying the franchisor for a 20 year loan necessary to buy the store initially. They earn $30K-$40K per year for incredible hours and responsibility for 20 or 30 years, and then they own the franchise, which is worth about $2 million, outright.

I strongly applaud McDonalds for this! I make just shy of $40k/yr and support a stay at home wife, 2 kids and 1 due in Nov. We are not rich but we are happy. I wish more people would learn to budget and live within their means. And $600 for rent is very reasonable. We are paying $450 for an 850sqft place and are doing well with 4. 5 will be a little tight, but we'll manage.

valueinvestor said:   LordKronos said:   
So based on your 55 number...which McDonald's are paying $10/hour to employees? 75 hours is a DAMN hard work week.


Why are people entitled to be paid more than the market value of their labor?


This is where it gets controversial because that's an ethical question, a question about 'just desert' i.e. what someone deserves.

Now personally, I would want to see even the least among us have a reasonable lifestyle if they are working full time. To me that includes some entertainment and news (basic cable, Internet), having modern communication (a cell phone with texting), and most importantly to have access to at least a basic level of healthcare and education. For that matter, I do not think my fellow citizens should have to work 70+ hours a week for most of their lives just to make ends meet. For a short period of time, OK. If they are doing it to get ahead, gold star for you. But not as a matter of course to scrape out a subsistence existence.

That's my ethics. Alternatively one could take a more objectivist approach and say that people only deserve what a business is willing to pay. In that scenario, even if you are working hard, 70 hours per week, you may only scrape by as in this McDonald's budget.

I'll be frank: McDonald's taking the latter approach offends me. Working 14 hour days, 22 days a month, to end up with $20/month healthcare and no heat? You know damn well their executives who had this budget prepared would crack if they were in that situation. It's one thing to pay that little. It's another thing entirely to tell those employees that they are doing it wrong.

MarsdenFubar said:   
I worked two jobs for well over a year. One was days, one was nights and weekends. I worked around 70-80 hours a week (12hrs on Sat/Sun). Did it suck? Yes, but it paid my bills until i could find one good paying job.


Glad to hear FW pays above minimum wage.

ZenNUTS said:   http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021091165_fastfoodxml.ht...

quote: Their demand, as stated on their Facebook page, Good Jobs Seattle, was simple: “I make $15/hr or less and am worth more.”


Following the strike news was Jim Spady, vice president and son of Dick Spady, co-founder of the family-owned Dick’s Drive-Ins in this area. His burger joints were not targeted:

"This is not supposed to be a place where you work all your life. We encourage our employees to get a B.A., a B.S., and get a better job in an industry that pays more."

He's right there. Individuals in these jobs have to realize they aren't lifetime careers. Unfortunately, complaining about the low pay isn't going to help. No union is going to bother trying to unionize fast food workers at a Burger King. Employees generally don't stay in these jobs long. Not worth bothering. Best most can hope for is to stick around until something else better comes along.

Well, my mortgage (including tax and insurance) is right around $600/month, so that number can be pretty reasonable if you're not in NYC.

I spend around $100/month on cable/internet/phone, but I would cut that right down to $35 (phone only) if I was working fast food. Broadcast TV still exists, is much prettier than it used to be, and is free.

$90 for electricity isn't unreasonable. My monthly utility bill (gas+electricity) averages $100, and that's in a city with high energy costs. Of course, that's heating to 65 in the winter and cooling to 78 in the summer, in a small house.

No car anymore (I walk to work), but I have always owned ~$2,000 reliable 80s Japanese cars in the past and spent ~$75-100/month in insurance.

Besides my admittedly high expenditures on eating out, I'm actually living at or below that "ridiculous" budget, and it really doesn't feel like I'm slumming it.

While there is some irony in Visa preaching fiscal responsibility, it seems like an approachable and sensible pamphlet, no matter what a bunch of trust-fund bloggers think.

Skipping 135 Messages...
Yeah, basically because of the high turnover, anyone who can follow instructions and play nice with the manager gets promoted quickly. Or, you use the skills at McDonald's and learn additional skills, such as bus driver. Out where I am, they are always hiring bus drivers, primarily from customer service positions because 80% of what you do is dealing with passengers and 20% is actually operating the bus. $14.81 an hour after training, union pension, and although you start part time, you can do charter work over your breaks for $10-$15 an hour.

For an associate's degree in criminal justice, employee #1 should apply for financial aid and use the American Opportunity Credit, which eats up the first $2,000 of tuition per year. For others, like employee #4, Obamacare will reduce the amount paid for prescriptions significantly, and there are free clinics and samples available right now if you are persistent enough.

There is a problem of bringing information to low income and working class people. How many have heard of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the American Opportunity Credit, the FAFSA, food stamps, lifeline phone service, etc.? These programs don't advertise themselves, but could benefit many of these people.



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