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U.S. Minimum Wage Equals $15,000 Yearly Income – Not Enough

February 14, 2013
son 17 month

son 17 month (Photo credit: from_ko)

The minimum wage set in the United States, $7.25/hour, allows a person working 40 hours per week to earn about $15,000 a year. Let’s do the math, and even at a conservative estimate, it’s still not a living wage for a single person.

$15,000/year = $1,250/month

Rent: $450/ month

Utilities: $100/month

Gas: $100/month (driving to and from work, which means that at close to $4/gallon, this person would live very close to his or her work, driving only 25 gallons worth of gas each month, no weekend visits to see Grandma)

Groceries: $300/month (less than $100/week, so very inexpensive food)

Phone: $50/month (cheapest no-contract service through Boost)

Car: $200 (and this is not any new car for $200/month)

Clothing/Necessities: $100/month (think things like boots, work clothing, jackets, etc.)

Healthcare: $100/month (just to fill prescriptions, not actually see a physician)

Total Monthly Expenditures: $1,400/month

This doesn’t take into account things like your car breaking down, flat tires, the dryer going out, or anything like that. Notice that this doesn’t take into account actually seeing a doctor, paying for any health care procedures, or even  paying for health insurance. And, this amount is supposed to support a single person. Imagine throwing the costs of two children into this mix–it just doesn’t add up to enough money.



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