Yes, you can live on minimum wage

McDonald’s and VISA say so. Didn’t you see their sample budget PDF?

Wealth Watchers are my friends!
Wealth Watchers are my friends!

Yes, they completely confirm that, at a national wage of $7.25, you can earn $2060 per month at your two jobs. In no way do they expect you to be living at home, either! No sir, their sample budget gives a whole $600 for rent! That’s right: you get your own place to sleep no hours every night. (Actually, a word to the budget-savvy: if you’re working your two jobs just right, you could share a house with lots of people and probably never see any of them! You could even work out a bed-share program with your roommates. Don’t worry; you won’t use it much.)

Some quick math here, that requires 9.5-hour days for 30 days straight (they use 30 days in a month to simplify your budget! Isn’t that nice? Also, one day most months (you know, the 7 of them that have 31 days), you have zero dollars budgeted to spend).

And since we’re just starting out with budgets and math, that’s 71 hours a week AFTER taxes. Let’s assume you need another 15% for tax coverage (and actually, that’s still too low an estimate, even for the lowest wage earners in the US), that’s 81 hours a week you need to work (no breaks or lunches though), or just about 11 hour days every day for 30 days. Because 30 days are simpler to budget for! How fun is math?!


Oh, but let’s not forget that you also need to get yourself to your shifts, provided they align perfectly for you to work both jobs normal hours. In no just world would you work two jobs like my buddy’s: one from 7am to 3pm, the other from 7:30pm to 2am. What a fun night’s sleep he got! Oh, he also got a sweet new ride after falling asleep driving between his jobs, which were a handy-dandy 15 miles apart.

So essentially, you can TOTALLY live on minimum wage. With two full-time jobs. And no dependents. And that’s all you do, every day, with no days off unless that month has 31 days. But you’re fucked in February, even in leap years. Oh, but handy tip: you have an unspent fifty bucks every February! Go crazy!

Now where the hell is my snark tag?


2 thoughts on “Yes, you can live on minimum wage

  1. This is horrible yeah, but I don’t think anyone is saying that working for minimum wage takes you out of the poverty line. I agree it’s not fair. I don’t think that having your own place without roommates or family is something they’re concerned with. I also don’t think its a right.

    Sounds like if you’re on your own, trying to keep your own place and a car and all the other shit we expect, you’d be working like a slave. And since ALL of your time is absorbed by your two jobs you’re never going to be able to make time to study or gain new skills so you’re stuck.

    Being out of work myself, I’ve been running the numbers on how I’d survive on minimum wage and it’s not pretty. I’ll either have to move in with family or find a roommate to get things lined up.

    I see things like this and I just figure that yep, these guys intend for the working class to STAY the working class.

    1. Did you notice there was no budget for food?

      And anyway, I live with roommates because I need to, too. I’m just annoyed at the assumptions in their budget, and annoyed that our minimum wage doesn’t let people live on it. There’s no justice in that, and this budget makes it seem like it’s totes cool. It’s not.

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