"In an effort to provide free, comprehensive money management tools, McDonald's first used the Wealth Watchers International budgeting journal when this financial literacy program launched in 2008," McDonald's USA said in a statement to CNBC. "As part of this program, several resources were developed including a sample budgeting guide, an instructional video and a web resource center that had additional tools and information. The samples that are on this site are generic examples and are intended to help provide a general outline of what an individual budget may look like."
The sample budget includes lines for monthly income from a first job ($1,105) and a second job ($955.) If that was one person with two jobs, he would either be working more than 60 hours a week at minimum wage or making more than $12 an hour on a 40-hour work week.
The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009.
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In a telephone call and series of emails with CNBC, Alice Wood, founder of Wealth Watchers, explained how the numbers for the guide were developed.
"In one of our generic budgeting samples that was created in 2008 we used actual information that was gathered from interviews with a number of minimum wage employees. The line used for income from a second job can mean the person was working two jobs, or there may have been another person in the household bringing in a second income. The figures used were after all withholdings including taxes and health insurance premiums. I don't recall the number of hours the person worked but it was based on the actual minimum wage in 2008. Heat was included in the rent for more than one of the people interviewed so it wasn't included as a line item in the budget. The health insurance expense should have actually said 'health care expenses' and that figure was based on a co-payment for a doctor's visit," she wrote in an email to CNBC.
"The budgeting sample shows two incomes but it doesn't necessarily mean that someone is working two jobs. It could also mean that another person is contributing to the family income," Wood elaborated in another email. "The income is after all withholding including health insurance premiums. Some companies cover more than others so it's a little hard to be completely accurate in this regard as far as what part of the premium is covered by the employer and what part of the premium is covered by the employee. It could be that some employees actually have no health insurance coverage so they don't have any expense for health insurance ... but they could definitely have health care expenses. There just isn't a one-size fits all budget for minimum wage employees ... or any employee for that matter. That's why we leave a blank page for people to use that will fit their individual circumstances. Everyone can benefit from having a handle on their finances and that includes knowing what's coming in and what's going out."
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Wood said that even doctors and lawyers spend more money than they make and that all types of people can use financial help.