You may have heard by now about the McDonald's budgeting tool that assumes people only pay $20 for health insurance and doesn't account for food, gas or other living expenses (and if you missed it, check out the video below).
Not only is this budget condescending and unrealistic, it underscores just how hard it is to work a low-wage job in the United States.
CNN Money interviewed McDonald's workers to see how they swing paying for everyday necessities on a McDonald's salary. First, there is Devonte Yates, who is 21 years old and working at the fast-food chain 25 hours a week to pay for getting his associate's degree. He lives at home to cut costs, but between bus fare, the rent he pays his mom, food (which is $300 a month) contact lenses and the cable/phone bill, he's short $435 a month (he only makes $525).
Then there's Tyree Johnson, who works at two separate McDonald's restaurants in Chicago trying to make ends meet. CNN Money writes:
He's worked at the fast-food chain for 21 years but said he still struggles to pay for a monthly bus pass and his prescription drugs.
“I pray to God that I can come out of this situation and try to better myself,” he said.