I Tried to Live on Minimum Wage for a Week

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.

This article was originally published in Politico.