Things Many Of Us Take For Granted Are Not Feasible For Those On A Minimum Wage Budget
For most of us, the weekend means taking some time to relax and do something fun after a full week of work. Maybe it’s going out to dinner, seeing a movie, watching a child’s soccer game, or traveling to visit friends or family. But for full-time minimum wage workers, there’s little if any room to afford such activities. After housing and tax expenses, full-time workers earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour have just $77 per week on average left for other expenses. Take a look at some of the graphics below to see how many of the things we take for granted are simply not feasible on that budget. And ask yourself, where would you cut?
Workers who make the minimum wage have little, if any, leeway in how they spend their money each week. $7.25 an hour is not enough to live on—much less enough to invest back into the community. In solidarity with these workers, leaders and activists around the country are taking the #LiveTheWage challenge, attempting to live on $77 for one week in an effort to highlight the critical need to raise the federal minimum wage. Check out Governor Ted Strickland talking and tweeting about his experience so far.
BOTTOM LINE: It’s been over five years since the last increase to the federal minimum wage. If we raise the wage to $10.10, it would lift 4.6 million Americans out of poverty and would raise the wages of 28 million Americans by a total of $35 billion dollars. That means more than just a long-awaited paycheck increase — it means more people able to go to the state fair, watch their kid’s soccer game, or see a movie every once in a while.