McDonald's Criticized For Employee Finance Site

Personal finance experts tell the Today Show that McDonald's example estimates are unrealistic for what employees actually make

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    A new website started by McDonald's to help employees with personal finance tips isn't getting a lot of love from personal finance experts.

    Experts told the Today Show that Oak Brook-based McDonald's site, which gives tips on money issues like how to create a monthly budget, doesn't create a realistic view of actual workers' monthly spending.

    "I thought, 'good for them,' but they missed the boat as far as some of the numbers were concerned," Today financial editor Jean Chatzky said.

    A sample budget evaluated by Today assumes a hypothetical worker has two jobs and takes home about $25,000 per year.

    "$150 for a car payment? That is not a big car loan," Chatzky said. "$600 a month for an apartment? You're going to need a roommate or a very small apartment. $20 a month for healthcare? If you can buy healthcare at those rates, I want you to show me where."

    In a statement McDonald's said the numbers were generic examples that were "intended to help provide a general outline of what an individual budget may look like."

    The criticism comes as labor experts hold protests over the minimum wage for fast-food workers. McDonald's workers rallied in Chicago this spring seeking an increase from $8.25 an hour to $15 an hour.

    "We just want a livable wage. We're tired of getting full hours but coming home with short checks," spokesman Robert Wilson said at a pre-rally outside River North's Rock 'n Roll McDonalds.

    According to the Census Bureau, the median annual income is $18,000 a year if they get full-time hours.

    Nancy Delgado, a single mother of two, has worked at McDonald's for 10 years and takes home about $11,400 a year for an average 40 hours a week.

    "Every dollar, I've got to stretch it, and you just can't believe how hard I've got to stretch it," she told the Today Show.

    Her monthly car payment is $0 because she can't afford one.