That’s not mine, but a borrowed, somewhat sensational headline from Slate. I clicked so I guess it accomplished its purpose, but I was mostly drawn in by the teaser pic of a line-by-line personal finance budget.
Here’s the back story: McDonald’s — a global corporation with annual revenues of $27 billion — made available a pamphlet (PDF download here) to its employees –many of whom are paid at or near minimum wage — to provide ideas on how to budget; and in this budget, many of the numbers were very small. Oh, and the back story on the headline is that in McDonald’s suggested budget, it separated expenses into fixed expenses and variable expenses, such that the food part of the budget came from the “daily spending money goal” equal to the remainder after fixed expenses were taken from income. Zing.
One conclusion to draw is that McDonald’s made this pamphlet for the outside world to see that its wages are good enough to live off of and that it just wants people to shut up. That’s certainly the conclusion Slate draws.
Of course, the underlying problem isn’t that McDonald’s isn’t good at making pamphlets; rather, it’s that their employees don’t make much money and need to budget to get by (everyone should make a budget, but that’s a different story). In this very narrow sense, perhaps McDonald’s should be praised, not derided, for trying to spread personal finance knowledge.
That said, I understand that McDonald’s has a pretty big say in how much money their employees make. More than that, I understand that defending McDonald’s isn’t going to score me any points among people on the Internet. Let me hear your jokes that include some form of Mc-something-something.