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Could you support a family of four on one minimum wage job?

Also, does anyone know how minimum wage is actually calculated? I could not find anything that really stated how it is calculated. The reason I want to know is because it does not jive with the cost of living in a lot of ares. According to my calculations to maintain a single person on minimum wage they would not be able to be self-sufficient. They would need to stay with family or friends, would not be able to pay for college (unless parents can help), own a new car, pay for medical care, or buy a home. They would have no savings and they would barely be able to feed themselves.

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Asked by Anonymous at 6:32 PM on Aug. 12, 2009 in Politics & Current Events

Answers (26)
  • Well, I think you just answered your own question then. :P

    Answer by BEXi at 6:37 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • It is minimum wage for 1 person. I think you could. It would take a lot of planning. You would need to have a garden to put up vegetables for the winter, buy at the thrift stores for many items, do most of the daily work yourself. You would need to reuse and recycle, repair, have one of something (ie tv) instead of 4, and the such. Basically, you would do what my parents did during the depression when they grew and through the war years (1941-1975). I stop at 1975 because society was changing to fast after that. It is all a mind set and understanding the difference between what you need and what you want.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 6:38 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • Minimum wage was never INTENDED to be the sole source of income!

    How it's calculated

    Initiative 688, approved by Washington voters in 1998, requires L&I to make a cost-of-living adjustment to its minimum wage each year based on the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). This measures the average change in prices on a fixed group of goods and services such as food, shelter, medical care, transportation and other goods and services people purchase for day-to-day living. L&I recalculates the state's minimum wage in September, and it takes effect the following year on January 1.


    Answer by LoriKeet at 6:42 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • No. I only worked minimum wage jobs when I was in high school and college. Moved up the ladder after I recieved my education. I would never plan a family around minimum wage and don't know why so many do. Common sense would tell you that is a bad idea.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:43 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • Why would you consider wanting to raise a family on just one minimum wage job? Unless you are living in a commune that leaves out the American lifestyle (Amish, for example), this would be more destructive on a child's esteem, than productive. Can you imagine the wedgies your children will suffer in a public school? Kids are mean nowadays.

    Seriously, try researching state funded childcare because both of you will be working. And, at least one of you will be working two jobs.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:46 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • Bottom line.....

    $7.25/hour x 40 hours per week = $290 BEFORE taxes!

    Multiply that by 4.25 weeks (average) x $1232.50 per month = $14,790 per year.

    Now deduct your rent, utilities, cell phone, cable, gas, maintenance on your car or public transportation, groceries, diapers, formula, work clothes, daycare/babysitters, and even the most frugal people would have a hard time making ends meet for a family of FOUR!

    Minimum wage jobs are traditionally for high school/college aged workers, 2nd/3rd incomes, and retirees.

    Answer by LoriKeet at 7:00 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • Minimum wage is not a living wage.

    Answer by rkoloms at 7:19 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • I agree with some of the pp. Minimum wage was not intended for families.

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 7:24 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • you would have to be very frugal and eat very light. Manufactured housing would be your best bet and forget a newer car. It may have been meant for young people but there are single mothers who have had to get by on less than 14 K a year

    Answer by mamak57 at 7:41 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

  • Wow! Im amazed by the PPs.

    In this downturn people are going to take what they can get after getting shown the door by their 'better' jobs & if that means supporting their families with minimum wage as an over night stocker at the local grocery store then I can imagine how grateful they would be just to have that.

    Looking down your noses from your 'holier than thou' soapboxes is going to be alot crow to swallow if youre in that position one day.

    OP grow a garden hunt for your meat buy whatever else you can in bulk because it's cheaper you can even buy clothes for your kids in bulk lots.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:43 PM on Aug. 12, 2009

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