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Thread: 'Minimum Wage Challenge' To Live Off $77/week Budget for a Week!

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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    Question 'Minimum Wage Challenge' To Live Off $77/week Budget for a Week!

    Okay, this is the title of this article which explains that former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (now president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund) is trying to live off $77 a week budget which is essentially "full-time minimum wage minus average taxes and housing expenses for a week." This should cover "all of our food, transportation, personal care products and whatever entertainment"

    Here is how it breaks down I guess...

    1 full-time job
    40 hours a week
    $7.25 an hour minimum wage
    ~30% tax rate
    ~$500/month housing expenses

    If my calculation is correct, this would get you to $77/week he is referring too.

    Here is the link: https://thinkprogress.org/economy/201...enge-congress/

    What do you think? Thoughts?
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    Very flawed study. It certainly isn't going to be a 30% tax rate if you are making minimum wage. Plus you aren't including benefits to stretch your dollars (how much of your paycheck withholding are you going to get back due to your income level, the EIC, food stamps, housing assistance, low-income cellphone and internet programs that get you those things free or for very low cost, etc) that someone making the fed minimum wage might qualify for.

    If you take advantage of the various low-income aid available to stretch your dollars, it should not be hard at all to put a roof over your head, have health insurance, get food to eat, have a phone and internet "luxuries" that I think are necessary today, and still be able to have some money to stash away in a retirement fund or put in a savings fund so a car repair won't lead you to the devil of loan sharks.

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    Member digicat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MansGame View Post
    Okay, this is the title of this article which explains that former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland (now president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund) is trying to live off $77 a week budget which is essentially "full-time minimum wage minus average taxes and housing expenses for a week." This should cover "all of our food, transportation, personal care products and whatever entertainment"

    Here is how it breaks down I guess...

    1 full-time job
    40 hours a week
    $7.25 an hour minimum wage
    ~30% tax rate
    ~$500/month housing expenses

    If my calculation is correct, this would get you to $77/week he is referring too.

    Here is the link: https://thinkprogress.org/economy/201...enge-congress/

    What do you think? Thoughts?
    If I was single, I could totally do that. Heck, when I was single, I think I did do that (after you take away all the sports cards and video games I bought).
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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    Just to be clear, I'm not pounding the table with the story or think that minimum wage is too low or too high... just thought it was interesting.

    To be honest, I'm probably in agreement more with [MENTION=2726]rsmath[/MENTION] and [MENTION=3852]digicat[/MENTION]. I think that it's hard for me to really get all wound up over someone that just wants to work 40 hour a week. Sound crazy but even when I was in high school I had to jobs and even in my career now, I work 60-80 hours. I think it's jus interesting and think that if someone was in that position as laid out in the OP, they would have to make adjustments in their lives I guess. Not sure making minimum wage $8 or $10 will really move the needle.
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    I think McDonald's workers need to be paid $15+ / hour. They're some of the world's most skilled employees, working in some of the highest pressure jobs in the galaxy and need to be fairly compensated.


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    Quote Originally Posted by AmishDave View Post
    I think McDonald's workers need to be paid $15+ / hour. They're some of the world's most skilled employees, working in some of the highest pressure jobs in the galaxy and need to be fairly compensated.
    I'm going to tell my shift manager this when I go for my quarterly performance review on Friday. She is always telling me that manning the drive thru window is easy.

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    How about this....how about there is no housing budget set aside. Get out there, see if you can even get a 40 hr a week minimum wage job(most you'll likely find is 37.5 hrs a week) and take your earnings and rent an apartment, pay all the necessary utilities, and see if you even have any money left over. Because you won't. And no, no using food stamps or government assistance of any kind. Everyone is so hell bent on people needing to avoid handouts. That's fine. Don't use them and let's see you make it work.

    On minimum wage you'll be lucky if you can find an apartment that you can even afford to rent. Even in the hood.
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    $500/mo covers all of my housing and expenses? Sign me up!

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    Member digicat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Card Magnet View Post
    $500/mo covers all of my housing and expenses? Sign me up!
    Housing expenses, not housing AND expenses.
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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digicat View Post
    Housing expenses, not housing AND expenses.
    This.

    Although $500/month is not easy to come by depending on where you're living but clearly I know it's out there and probably pretty middle of the fairway for someone who is making only minimum wage and only working 40 hours a week.
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    I agree, I couldn't make it a day off of $77, just driving from home to work will cost me $60, plus toll both ways which is $12 which leaves me $4 for a cup of noodles, bottle of Pepsi and some gum...
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    Senior Member MansGame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enfuego79 View Post
    I agree, I couldn't make it a day off of $77, just driving from home to work will cost me $60, plus toll both ways which is $12 which leaves me $4 for a cup of noodles, bottle of Pepsi and some gum...
    You spend more than $77 every day in driving to/from work!? Whoa dude. That's like $20k a year in cash to just drive... not even including gas, parking, etc.

    By the way, for what it's worth... if you're living off $77 a week in free cash flow, you're probably making cuts in your life like not driving as much and using public transportation, etc.
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    Senior Member Card Magnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by digicat View Post
    Housing expenses, not housing AND expenses.
    I meant the same thing, just threw in the and not thinking since that's how I would say it. Rent and utilities, right?
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    Out here in the SF Bay Area you will be lucky to rent a room for $500/m

    A one bedroom apartment is usually around $1600/m
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    Senior Member Card Magnet's Avatar
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    Whoops, sorry for the double post. Meant to multi-quote and failed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Enfuego79 View Post
    I agree, I couldn't make it a day off of $77, just driving from home to work will cost me $60, plus toll both ways which is $12 which leaves me $4 for a cup of noodles, bottle of Pepsi and some gum...
    I think it's safe to say that you wouldn't be employed somewhere requiring such a long/expensive commute compared to your minimum wage salary.
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