McDonald's has launched a website devoted to financial advice and tips for its employees called Practical Money Skills for Life, and in the process possibly signaled the fast-food giant isn't paying employees a decent wage.
The site is intended to make "every day and every dollar make a difference." It has pictures of smiling faces and plenty of encouraging words. "Get your money on track." "Take control of your finances today." But is any of that really feasible on a McDonald's salary?
According to a tool called the budget journal, it's not. In the sample monthly budget, it lists $1,105 income from a first job and $955 from a second job, implying you need two jobs for a budget to work. It also assumes someone's health insurance payments will be $20 a month, car and home insurance together $100 and $150 devoted to your car for a car payment, gas, etc. It all adds up to a monthly allowance of $750 and a daily allowance of $25.
There is also a calculator to help manage your car payments, school payments and others, and money guides for renting an apartment, buying a car and one titled "Welcome to real life."
According to the budget, that leaves no room for school tuition, food, clothing and any number of other expenses an employee who supports a family may have.
The organization Low Pay is Not Ok is attempting to stop low wages, specifically targeting fast-food chains that pay minimum wage. The site points out that many fast-food workers are not college students looking for some extra cash. They're often people who need to support themselves and others. The site also names McDonald's, Wendy's, Burger King and KFC as "making billions in profit, but pay poverty wages."
The low numbers struck a nerve with Newsweek Daily Beast columnist and editor Daniel Gross, who called the tool "clueless and more than a little condescending" in a recent article.
What do you think of the new budget tool? Would you be willing to pay more for that Big Mac if the company increased wages? Let us know in the comments below.