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By The Numbers

McDonald’s tries to help employees budget

Katie Long Jul 16, 2013

McDonald’s, the Internet is not loving your McBudget. 

The fast food chain teamed up with Visa to create an online budget guide for its employees. And most of the criticism is directed at the fact that the company’s budget doesn’t list ‘food’ or ‘heat’ as monthly budget items.

McDonald’s isn’t the only large employer trying out money management advice — many firms have started to help staff with their personal finances. The companies, and personal finance experts, argue that a more economically-stable worker makes for a more stable workforce.

“Helping you succeed financially is one of the many ways McDonald’s is creating a satisfying and rewarding work environment,” the McDonald’s site’s about page states. “So you can take the next step towards financial freedom.”

To do that, the guide suggests journaling daily expenses, setting up a budget and outling a savings goal. Sound reasonable?

One problem: the sample budget offered by McDonald’s (below) doesn’t mention money for basic necessities like food, heat, gas and clothing.

The budget also assumes a worker will need to maintain two jobs in order to make roughly $24,500 a year.


So, how achievable is this budget?

The Huffington Post points out the average food service worker made just $18,130 in 2010, or slightly more than $9 per hour, according to Labor Department data. McDonald’s pays their workers an average of $8.25 an hour, which means employees would have to work well over 40 hours a week in order to meet the net income total above. The Consumerist criticizes the company’s $20/month health insurance assumption in its blow-by-blow of the budget, but mostly accepts the cable/phone and car payment figures.

In an email sent to The Huffington Post, McDonald’s Director of Media Relations Danya Proud indicated the sample budget was meant to be just that, a sample or general outline.

This is certainly not the first time McDonald’s has come under fire for wage and labor issues. In December of 2012, the company told franchises to stay open on Christmas Day, sparking worker complaints. Though as we reported earlier in the year on Marketplace, problems like these are likely to persist as fast-food workers struggle to unionize.

Tell us: What do you think of the proposed budget? How closely does it match your expenses?

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