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Old July 17 2013, 10:05 PM   #15
Scout101's Avatar
Location: Rhode Island, USA
Re: Sample McDonalds Budget

Wondering if heat isn't listed because they are assuming electric heat in that example? $90 for electric seems like a lot, otherwise. And it DOES say car insurance, so gas must be part of the $27/day or the $100/month *other* charges.

Was this a Canada thing vice US (wondering per comment about where it showed up)? Maybe $20/month had a bearing in their healthcare system vice the US model (which clearly won't cover anything here). other than that, it DOES work as a menial, entry level, no skill sorta job/lifestyle.

As i keep reading the comments here, though, would like to ask the question about EXPECTATIONS. If you're working a minimum wage job (at McDonald's or elsewhere), what are the EXPECTATIONS of what kind of life you should have? We've had comments about how you'd have trouble with:

-going out to movies
-eating out in restaurants
-raising children

Let's assume that the $27/day, plus $100 month covers your minimum food/clothes needs. Not going to get you fillet or new Jordans, but living frugally, splitting food money with roommates and eating together, not really buying lots of new clothes, maybe it can just work. If you live near work, and don't drive a ton extra, maybe gas just works as well. Let's say you have a roommate for your 2 bedroom apartment, so the other costs go down slightly and make the rest of that about a wash for 'extra' food/gas money. Maybe sometimes you're even up enough to see a movie, maybe sometimes stuff goes wrong and you don't put $100 in savings.

Are the expectations here REALLY that while working literally flipping burgers at McDonald's, you should be able to afford to buy a house and have a mortgage? How about living alone in your own apartment? Raise children and pay for their expenses? How about even things like how often should you be able to go out and drop $20 to see a movie in the theater or eat out in a restaurant? If you can barely feed yourself, please don't get pets.

Maybe I'm thinking about it differently, but I just don't see those as reasonable expectations at this income/career level. If you live at home and don't have all those bills, this money should cover more of the 'fun' activities. If you at least get a bunch of roommates and live cheaply, maybe you get a *little* fun money at the end. But if you're just straight up working minimum wage and bringing in 2k/month, how much of the money should be going to essential survival (food/clothes/shelter), and how much should be for a 'nicer' place, going out to movies, $100/month for cable tv / phone service (likely including a cellphone bill now), etc? Nice to have those things, but they really aren't NEEDED or rights, and at this level of income, aren't practical.

Seems that in the US, they are seen as must haves (like a flat screen tv) and then people can't pay their regular bills. Or insist minimum wage should be $20/hour so that the numbers in that budget work out to get the things mentioned.

I guess I'm having a hard time with this. It's certainly not desireable to live like that, but you CAN make the numbers work and live on that. I just don't WANT to, and wouldn't enjoy it. But at that level, SHOULD you?
Perhaps, if I am very lucky, the feeble efforts of my lifetime will someday be noticed and maybe, in some small way, they will be acknowledged as the greatest works of genius ever created by man. ~Jack Handey
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