How realistic is the 'minimum wage budget'?

Corp­orations offer employees sample minimum wage budgets

SAN ANTONIO - In an effort to show how it can be done, companies such as McDonald's and Visa are offering their employees a sample budget to live by.

It’s based on a take-home net of $24,720, which, after taxes, is what someone making $7.20 an hour in two part-time jobs.

KSAT 12 News asked local financial planners what they thought of the budgets, which have been criticized by some as ridiculous.

John Fosdick from Kercheville & Company admits he managed to live on minimum wage as a college grad, but wouldn’t try it long term.

"When I looked at this, I thought (to myself), 'Could you make this work?' Yes. The big thing is food," he said.

The McDonald’s budget offered only $9 a day for food and only $150 for gas.

There’s a small savings account, but Fosdick notes that if the worker gets sick, the financial hole sinks deeper.

“He gets injured, he can't work. He's not going to make $275 dollars for the week, he's out that money. All of a sudden, this budget gets blown out the window," he warned.

He advises to keep the idea in mind that a full-time minimum wage job should be only a temporary plan for a year or two.

Beyond that, it would be tough.

For a list of recent stories Ursula Pari has done, click here.


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