For all of last week, I worked hard to live on the budget of a minimum wage worker. That meant I had $77 to spend on food, transportation, activities and other personal expenses for the week. I didn’t make it.
Most mornings started with eggs and toast, bought last Sunday during a grocery trip costing more than $15. Lunches were normally leftovers, macaroni and cheese or McDonald’s. There were no big dinners or coffee stops on a whim. But the challenges were beyond food.
Wednesday morning, I had a meeting about a mile from my apartment, but in the opposite direction of my office. I would normally take a cab, but this time, I took off my jacket and walked the mile in 90-degree heat, then walked back almost 2 miles to my office. Walking made me late to my meeting, but a minimum wage budget doesn’t allow for extra transportation costs, making it my only option.
The above excerpt was originally published in Politico.
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