Monday June 1, 2020

updated - June 1, 2020 Monday EDT

McDonald's Finance Guide Insults Workers, Encourages them to Save on $7.72 an Hour

Jul 16, 2013 07:06 PM EDT | By Staff Reporter
McDonald's, Budget

McDonald's is dealing with a rather embarrassing blunder after it teamed up with Visa to create a financial planning site for its low-pay workforce. Unfortunately, the budget gives unrealistically low amounts for monthly essentials like rent, gas and car payments.

Suggested monthly expenses include $20 for health care; $600 for rent; and $150 payment for a car (that apparently needs no gas.) Unfortunately the budget doesn't have an allowance for food.

"It doesn't speak to the realities of low-wage workers in the food industry," said Teo Reyes, the program director for Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a non-profit that seeks to improving working conditions for restaurant workers.

"I think it would be commendable if it was also part of a movement to increase wages," Reyes said. "At this point is seems to be disingenuous and insulting."

 Jim Cook at Irregular Times notes, the $1,105 figure up top is roughly what the average McDonald's cashier earning $7.72 an hour would take home each month after payroll taxes, if they worked 40 hours a week. So this budget applies to someone just about working two full-time jobs at normal fast-food pay.

The Practical Money Skills Budget Journal was created for McDonald's in 2008 by Wealth Watchers International in coordination with Visa. Print copies were given to employees and the online version of the guide remains available online at Visa's McDonald's mini-site. A spokesman for Visa declined to comment on the record for this story.

"In an effort to provide free, comprehensive money management tools, McDonald's first used the Wealth Watchers International budgeting journal when this financial literacy program launched in 2008," McDonald's USA said in a statement to CNBC. "As part of this program, several resources were developed including a sample budgeting guide, an instructional video and a web resource center that had additional tools and information. The samples that are on this site are generic examples and are intended to help provide a general outline of what an individual budget may look like."

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