Living on Minimum Wage
You will assume the role of the primary wage-earner for a minimum-wage family. You will be assigned a semi-major US city based on the third letter of your Penn State Access ID: DAN
|Third Letter of Access ID||City|
|A-D||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|N-S||Salt Lake City, Utah|
You must develop a budget on how you will spend your family income and identify a current job posting for a job that pays close to that city’s minimum wage. Ideally select a job that is closely related to the industry you actually want to work in after you graduate. For example, if you are hoping to earn a position as an HR Specialist after graduation, you may want to find a posting for an HR Generalist in the project.
You will also need to provide supporting documents for all numbers included in the budget and the job and describe the process you used to complete the assignment in a brief report (2-page maximum). Include an appendix with your Excel tables and supporting documents on separate pages at the end (they do not count towards the length requirement).
Written material should be typed, 12 pt. font, double spaced with 1 inch margins. Please do not ask me to accept assignments that are not combined, and please do not exceed the space limit of two written pages of text–my grading will stop there. When you are ready to submit your project, please include your paper and the file containing your data.
For each number in the budget and the job that generates your family’s income, supporting documents should be included. These can be screen shots of webpages or printed copies of quotes. For example, if you want to spend $500 per month for an apartment you must go online and find an apartment in the area that costs $500 per month. The supporting documents prove that the apartment actually exists. If the apartment is significantly far from the job posting, be considerate of how you will get to work!
Budgets should be complete, meaning that all categories for living should be included. Budgets should be submitted on an EXCEL spreadsheet. The total amount of expenditures should not exceed the family’s income. Recall that health insurance is now mandatory in the US and if your family has a car, you must also have car insurance. If your family decides against being insured for health or auto, you must provide justification and the fiscal impact of that decision.
You must provide supporting documentation for the sole earner in the family. You must go online and find a job description or a job category that fits within your constraints. The income and hours worked for workers in your family must be described.
Your Excel sheet will include two tabs: the first showing the budget for someone earning close to the minimum wage and the second sheet showing how your budget changes if you maintain your job (and hours worked) following an increase in the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.
You must describe how you came to the budget and work decisions, issues that arose, and overall thoughts on the assignment. Examples of questions that should be addressed include:
Feel free to add other information as needed that you feel is important or interesting. As a conclusion to your project, please visit the MIT Living Wage Calculator and search for the living wage in your assigned area. How does your budget differ from the one provided by MIT?
 Typical expense categories include food, childcare, medical, housing, transportation, and taxes. These are the minimum number of categories you need to include.