McDonald's is under fire this week for launching a "budget planner" for employees that can best be summed up with the following maxim: If you don't want to end up homeless and possibly dead, get yourself a second job.
The Budget Journal — part of a joint initiative by McDonald's and Visa called Practical Money Skills for Life — contains a "Sample Monthly Budget" [pdf] that features fairy-tale expense totals and a blunt assumption that McDonald's meager salary demands that employees moonlight elsewhere to survive.
Irregular Times did the math and found that the $1,105 figure on the "1st job" income line is about what the average McDonald's crew member makes in a month on a $7.72/hour salary.
"With that in mind, McDonalds’ own sample budget confirms that, without a second job on top of full-time work at McDonalds, it’s not possible to make a personal budget work," writes Jim Cook.
And even with a second job earning $955 a month, McDonald's still had to fudge the rest of the figures to make their budget work.
For instance, the $600 a month for rent is pure fantasy.
Also, health insurance for $20? "What, is that nyquil and chicken soup?" asks a Gothamist commenter.
McDonadld's own health insurance is $61 a month [pdf] for a single employee with no children.
And McDonald's — a restaurant chain — apparently doesn't consider food to be a fixed monthly expense.
Sure, you have $800 left over after you spent no dollars to heat up your fourth-floor walk-up in Narnia's badlands, but the majority of that will be spent on, you know, keeping yourself from starving to death.
"You can have almost anything you want as long as you plan ahead and save for it," McDonald's assures employees.
Except being treated like a human. You can't afford that.
In response to a request for comment by ThinkProgress, McDonald's issued a statement saying the samples found on the site "are generic examples and are intended to help provide a general outline of what an individual budget may look like."
For what it's worth, heating has since been added in: $50 a month.
[video via Low Pay Is Not Okay]