HomeNews & PoliticsRelated VideosMore From: CNN Business

This is life on $7.50 an hour

97727 ratings | 7936387 views
Safiyyah Cotton makes $7.50 an hour working at McDonald's. So how does she stretch her budget? With a lot of help from the government. Here's a look inside the life and budget of a low-wage worker.
Category: News & Politics
Get embed code!
Text Comments (86977)
TAB 805 (1 hour ago)
I pray she is at a better place now!!
Arlene Forde (1 hour ago)
Um update! She’s doing a whole lot better now! People are still bashing her for her past mistakes that she could not change. No one is perfect. Most of the people making nasty comments most likely never ever lived in poverty before.
Zombieman_339 Gaming (2 hours ago)
These people. These are the people that needs the help. We need to find those who are just lazy fucks and kick their ass off support to give a little more to people like this lady
Butcher89 (4 hours ago)
Everyone has been nurtured differently that's why some just can't get up from failure, they just don't have the mental discipline.
Rainbownorth75 (4 hours ago)
Sad to know our taxes are going to this!!! Why did she have a child so young?! It’s ridiculous to think our taxes go to fund the lives of human garbage.
Aidan Flury (12 minutes ago)
You're a fat bitch, fuck you and your grandkids for thinking this way. That's a hard working woman trying to provide for her family. Kill yourself.
ivanna (4 hours ago)
my mum makes 2€ per hour as a nurse (i live in slovakia)
Sean Antaine (5 hours ago)
I was working in mcdonalds in 2015 and i was making more than $7.50, i think it was $12 or something and i was getting $250-$300+ every week granted i was fresh outta highschool and living with my mom so most of my money went to sneakers and stuff but still it was not no $7.50. What state does she live in?
RJ Wisdom (5 hours ago)
I know exactly how she feels minimum wage jobs are the worse so many hard hours for pretty much nothing this world is pretty sick. I hope she can get a better paid job she deserves it along with so many others that work hard labour for bad payments
Collin Martin (6 hours ago)
Make better life choices the first time
Destiny Marin (7 hours ago)
Get a career bum
Twitch·Clan (11 hours ago)
Sadly this is all caused by world greed. Welcome to humanity. I still say fuck it
TheJCFan (13 hours ago)
So here's the breakdown: +440 / month take-home (McDonald's 20 hours/week at $7.50) - 40 / month child care co-pay +216 / month for food stamps +560 / month for child care +125/ month for housing Medicaid for medical ------------------------------------------------------- Personal income: $400/ month Government assistance: $801/month She doesn't need handouts or a raise; she's already getting more in assistance than she's earning by working. She needs to be educated and given a sense of pride! The federal government GIVES ( you do not pay it back) up to $5500 annually for low income families to go to school. She definitely qualifies! (www.fafsa.gov) Because she qualifies for the federal pell grant she can also take out personal student loans NOT based on her current income, that are repayable at rates as low as $50/month per loan 90 days AFTER graduation. You can receive up to $12,000 annually. (www.studentloans.gov) At 20 hours / week she has plenty of time to school during the day (roughly 8am-noon) and work 5 hours/day at her current job (or another) in the afternoons. Those grants and loans will add $17,500 annually to her current $17,200, giving her almost 35,000 / yr to live on. It is MORE than enough money. I've done it myself! Pell grants cover 95% or more (typically all ) of the tuition and book costs for school. Your state usually kicks in its own grants when federal grants dont cover everything so the personal student loans she takes out will be more than enough to cover her bills, food, etc. But sacrifices have to be made. Within 2 years her life will be headed an entirely different direction. Shes only 22. She has plenty of time to change things. I pray she does. Give a man a fish. Feed him for a day Teach a man to fish. Feed him for a lifetime.
VM805 (13 hours ago)
Who ever the father of her son is is not a man. He's a fucken coward. Ladies stop getting pregnant by useless fools just because they sweet talk you into dropping your panties. Think about your future before you spread your legs.
Katie Campbell (15 hours ago)
I hate to see people struggling. You can see it just weighing her down. She looks so unhappy. I hope she gets a better job.
Marie Marie (17 hours ago)
She's so pretty. I have been in her shoes with 4 kids I know how it is. I pray her situation changes for the better.
70s Baby (18 hours ago)
I live near that McDonald's
70s Baby (17 hours ago)
Looks like Broad and Alegheney I think or close to
Person Person (18 hours ago)
I hope that this interview helped shed light on her situation and help her out too.
TeshniKiKwang (19 hours ago)
I feel like a job option, like working in a Nursing home as a personal care worker, or dietary aid, could be helpful for her, because she can receive a better hourly wage... if that is possible in the States...
Abando (19 hours ago)
She Kinda Cute 😂 Id smash But fr God bless yall Life ✔
Brother Rosando (20 hours ago)
Then Do DoorDash on the side
Erfan Ballew (21 hours ago)
God bless her soul
Sal Paradise (21 hours ago)
Why have a kid then?
Ruby Lighten (21 hours ago)
i hope things work out for her, she is working and doing what she can. For the people who have something negative to say this could be anyone of us at anytime. I am praying. for you
ąղժɾҽա ҍɾąժӀҽվ (22 hours ago)
This is why we need free education here in America.. more college graduate.. no struggling people.
jaenyu (16 hours ago)
my country provide free education for everyone except schools like college and university.
Cock (18 hours ago)
If everyone got an education then the bar would be raised even higher for good paying jobs and the cycle would continue.
Alex Giron (20 hours ago)
have you ever took an economics class
kaylyn marie rivera (22 hours ago)
even though I'm still young and come from a middle/high class family, I'm scared that I won't be able to make it on my own and end up like this. my family isn't as generous when it comes to giving money they want us to do shit on our own.
Junior Gonzales (19 hours ago)
As it should be
NutLover360 (23 hours ago)
And I am here making 0 dollars an hour still looking for a min wage job
Derek Williamson (20 hours ago)
That's the double edged sword of the minimum wage
bobbytatum84 (23 hours ago)
Damn this shit is depressing. At least she's out there trying compared to some. However, why would you have a kid with a guy that brings nothing to the table and cannot help you raise your child. I bet the child's father is calling home more worried about money on his books than the baby.
Bee (1 day ago)
They said the dad in incarcerated not deployed
Bee (1 day ago)
There’s a lot of under the table side hustles .. I learned this after going to school for a two year degree and only getting two days of work a week :/ the side jobs actually can pay you more than your job.. and no pyramid scheme bs. Poor girl wish I could help her
Asif Nazir (1 day ago)
And I earn 5 US dollar a day
shimmer burnett (1 day ago)
I hope she finds a better situation for her and her son.
se7ensnakes (1 day ago)
Most of us believe that the seat of power is in the fancy government buildings. But the facts are quite different. It begins with the manufacture of money because money affords you the ability to collapse the economy, and thereby take control of corporations on pennies on the dollar. Most of our money today consist of signed promissory notes that banks have acquire for free. During the 1800s the courts said that “AN UNCONDITIONAL PROMISE TO PAY IS CASH”. This was an effort to make gold certificates legally valid. But the banks took it a step further. The public go into a bank looking for credit to buy a house. What the bank does is to take their promissory note deposit it in a transaction account where it is converted into an expendable note in the form of a check. Imagine, if you will, that in every bank foreclosure the bank gets an absolutely free house, or that all our federal income tax revenues goes to this secret cabal by way of getting free treasury securities. Otherwise exactly how does the base money aggregate pays for 21 trillion dollar of suppose treasury securities? The cabal does not pay for anything but they have all the control. Subsequently this secret banking cabal who are behind the government control transportation, the gas you pay at the pump. They control the economy, education, the food supply, jobs, the judicial, the military, the entire voting process through television, the health industry. It appears that on March of 1915 they began to take over the news sources. Walk into any modern city and the financial district. You are looking at the seat of power. The fancy buildings and offices are what controls the city. These corporations are homologous and follow the dictate of shareholders from Super Entities. Look closely at these financial centers because it is they who make the important laws. The pet projects of this cabal is the implementation of total private bank control of the manufacture of the world's money. The expansion of Israel and subduing states that they may be in conflict with. The populace are like cattle arguing about capitalism vs socialism, gold vs fiat currency, and the sex and racial exploits of politicians. Their shoe laces tied to each other stumbling every which way and are led to argue about nearly irrelevant events. You may believe that this post is an exaggeration but the truth is worse than what is said here. Education rarely touches on the person behind the curtain.
Matt Winborn (1 day ago)
This is all based on her life choices. 1. You should only have kids when you can afford them, now look at the state she is in. But if you want kids at this age and while you work at this job, that's your choice, your responsibility. 2. Nobody is stopping you from going to find another job or to gain a skill to go work somewhere else. 3. Minimum wage increases do nothing, if you want to punish large companies for paying their workers low wage, then follow #2. Go get a better job, then these large companies offering minimum wage will see that they are losing workers and may increase their wages on their own behalf without government inference telling them they have to. 4. We don't know her full story, she could be a terrible worker and that's why she makes that much. They should interview other works to see how much they make and confirm if they got any raises. 5. McDonalds is not responsible for your life. Yes, they make lots of money. Do you know how many people, how many stores they have to maintain? It adds up. 6. Taxpayers now how to pay for your life through welfare programs which is not right. 7. You say you are struggling but you live in a decent sized townhouse (by the looks of it), wear pretty decent clothes and not to mention the first thing that is in your cart when you are shopping is are x2 2L bottles of pop?! Not to mention you are over weight, you are eating fine! 8. This is fake news!
DJ GaFFLe (22 hours ago)
Bee are those people against contraception?
Bee (1 day ago)
And some ppl are against abortion
Bee (1 day ago)
Matt Winborn I work as a radiology tech and make 300 a week so ... you can’t really say school is the way.. now I’m 30k in debt and barely scraping by so you can’t judge this girl
Becci Krayecki (1 day ago)
It says $240/week and that comes out to a little over $6k a year? That's really $12,480 annually.  Also, in reality, she cannot only be taking home minimum wage --- this video has millions of views, she has to be taking home a commission.
Kimberly Wright (1 day ago)
She' s complaining about making $7.50 per hour....I remember making only $4.50 per hour
Ryan Li (1 day ago)
She is so strong and I hope that things get better for her and her family.
Nabil Aiman (1 day ago)
Wtf , in malaysia, your money is multiplied by four . Fuck i can br rich huhuhu
Leslie Griffin (1 day ago)
Yall want to exploit her struggles but did yall help her?
The Notorious TG (4 hours ago)
Leslie Griffin how the fuck would people help her are you fucking Retarded or some shit??
Mark Lance (1 day ago)
I bet she has 5 kids now, and 3 different "baby daddy's".
BlAcKiN_BiZkIt (1 day ago)
I do not feel bad for her, she made the choice to live like that.
DJ GaFFLe (21 hours ago)
Bee a baby b4 wedlock and most likely, unprotected sex.
Bee (1 day ago)
BlAcKiN_BiZkIt how
Jack Escobar (1 day ago)
They should show this video to students that want to work in McDonald's and those students will seen how they would be living their lives like her and her son and nobody was ants that. Just saying. I know I don't want that.
NOCDIB (1 day ago)
22 and decided to have a kid on that salary? Where is the man who knocked her up?
Derek Williamson (20 hours ago)
In prison (I'm actually not joking)
PaulieCrack 29 (1 day ago)
I would sell dope befor I worked at McDonald’s
Aaron Matthew (1 day ago)
for all the people saying the guy left her if you listen closely it says the babies dad is deployed right now so he’s in another country in the army.
Sal Paradise (21 hours ago)
Wrong. JAIL
Bee (1 day ago)
If he is deployed and they aren’t married it’s tough bc when my boyfriend gets deployed we don’t get the check until weeks after he gets home
Bee (1 day ago)
Aaron Matthew it said incarcerated
Aaron Matthew (1 day ago)
2:46 is where she says it
If you dont like min wage get a better fucking job. Raising the min wage will make the middleclass dissappear. It will ruin the value of a dollar.
Malacki 655 (2 days ago)
.Don't have a baby if you can't afford to raise it .Don't have unprotected sex .Get a skill that is worth more than $7.50 an hour
Nikki Schumacher Official (2 days ago)
She's doing well with what she's got. I pray she continues to move forward as I am sure she will and that she always has what she needs through finding other jobs and from the kindness of so many like those who helped me when I was in a similar position.
Andy Orbet (2 days ago)
Joshua K (2 days ago)
If she's making $230-240 every two weeks at $7.50 she's only working 16 hours per week. I'm sure she's looking for a better job or at least a second job during the remaining 152 hours of the week?
Platinum Video Productions (2 days ago)
How the hell is anybody supposed to live on $7.50 an hour?! This is why we need unions folks! The morons who live in so cold right to work states contribute to the busting of the middle class because they won’t let people clump together and demand a higher wage. Corporations like McDonald’s and Walmart will never ever Pay more than minimum wage unless they are forced to do so through union activity.
Olle & J (2 days ago)
I pray for ppl like these. At least shes willing to get off her ass n work whether it's minimum wage or not. Shes a single mom looking like shes trying her best n still not getting anywhere its not fair at all. Its bullshit ppl like her im more willing to help then welfare pieces of shit that have more than 1 kid that dont work at all wats ur excuse? Too many kids maybe dont have more than 1 if ur struggling. Get off ur ass and try n better urself for ur child n dont have more. I underatand ppl fuck up n get pregnant but i have more respect 4 her since shes willing to work whether its harder or not. At least she's trying unlike alot of the welfare pieces of shit today that use kids as an excuse on why they cant get a job.
See Nomore (2 days ago)
Jackson Nassir (2 days ago)
This is why it's so important to wait until you are financially stable to start a family
hannahhh b (2 days ago)
You can see the pain in her eyes😢
K.M. Brown (2 days ago)
As much money as McDonalds make, workers should be making more than $7.50 an hour.
Sal Paradise (21 hours ago)
jamesdor55 (2 days ago)
We poor are live stock, they need us cattle branded and fenced in.
Bonzo (3 days ago)
Go back to school and train for a better job! Maybe you should not have become a single mom.
ScottKS14 (3 days ago)
That’s plenty of money in food stamps. I can feed 3 adults and toddler on $50/week. Stop buying processed food. Google recipes. Write down a plan. I see she’s buying name brand food. That’s the first mistake. She just needs financial guidance on how to use the money she does have. Did the math on her hourly wage. She needs to work more while her son is in daycare. Financial education will benefit her for much longer than more hand outs.
Suck MyUnit (3 days ago)
Boys getting females pregnant and leaving them to raise kids on their own is one of several reasons people stay in poverty... Break the cycle... Man up and handle your responsibilities
Marie Marie (17 hours ago)
Andreas Dengler (3 days ago)
Open borders means this will just continue.
Chris Hansen (3 days ago)
She looks so depressed
leedsman54 (3 days ago)
How do McDonald's have the cheek to pay such crappy wages?
Irina Lupu (3 days ago)
My mom makes 2.7 € per hour, and she s a single mom. She works day and night for that. We are very poor , but we manage. Nothing to whine about.
Adorable Pandie (3 days ago)
This woman is an angel. "I dont want him to see a struggle" That's so sweet! God bless her!😊
Sal Paradise (21 hours ago)
Shut the fuck up
me ow (3 days ago)
God help. 🙏🏻 Please, try to get a better job, Target gives $12. Also please don’t have kids
Asia Cannon (3 days ago)
She needs to spend the time she's not working either in college or learning a trade to get a better paying job.
Rob Meister9.3x74 (3 days ago)
Yeah, it's sad, but the economy would break if we just gave a shitload of money to people with no real profession. Put your feelings aside and use your brain, learn how the economy works.
Perris K. Fortson (3 days ago)
I hope y'all at least gave her a good amount for agreeing to film this
Sal Paradise (21 hours ago)
They didnt and were not obligated to, dumb ass
QuadrantBottomHalf (3 days ago)
I just started working at mcdonalds 3 weeks ago on cook and table as a second job. I get 22.5 hours a week and get paid bi weekly. Strange thing l seen at my store is we have around 7 managers. Too many. Even though my store is 24 hours we only need 1 per shift thus paying employees higher wages.
Peter Auger (3 days ago)
therealsam 426 (3 days ago)
If any person reads this : Please pray for her and be thankful for what you have . Amen 😘🙏
andie andie (4 days ago)
You should try to educate yourself get a gov loan and study th get s certication
Ledwys Delgado (4 days ago)
If you don't have anything to offer yourself, you shouldn't have kids, and then hope they don't have to struggle when they grow up.
Adam Seddon (4 days ago)
she got a shitty job because her personality is dry af
Docprepper (4 days ago)
Why tf you gonna have a family of you don’t make enough money to independently support yourself???
Lovely Solorio (4 days ago)
I try finding high paying job and trust me it’s hard she can try going to a hiring agency that’s what I did I got a job 15 dollar an hour it is hard
randy hanna (4 days ago)
Truly ,very sad case. In Life,their are people who make good choices and others poor. A person may be weak or strong. Roots go deeper than just social problems. Try not to be judge mental, after all no human being is perfect.lReal life begins with positive attributes,out pouring of support and love, not being critical and cruel. Negativity can destroy the inner soul of a person. Stay Positive!Trish.
Samantha Celis (4 days ago)
But you have an iphone
Emo Shrek (4 days ago)
You think she has it bad? Check out third world countries
seryozha123 Tankionline (4 days ago)
I live in Russia and most Russians dream of a salary above $ 2-3 per hour. In Russia 7.5 $ per hour it is salary rich people. We have an average salary of $ 300-500 per month. How much money do US citizens have after taxes?
Alex861697 (4 days ago)
Then there’s the question of the quality of relationship
Alex861697 (4 days ago)
There are cases when the dad sods off and the mum is left to tend to the kid
Dawa Tsering (4 days ago)
living alone with a child is hard at any rate per hour
Phillip Moore (4 days ago)
What if: She chose to try harder in high school, chose not to get pregnant underaged, chose to go to college, chose to work hard for a better career.
pankeaux (4 days ago)
its average payment here
andy k (4 days ago)
She should apply for a government job and she will get 3x what she is making. The US gov now exists to employ "minorities" which is why it's so inefficiently run.
Gilmore Underwood (4 days ago)
This something no one wants for anyone in LIFE, they RANT and RAIL about the RIGHT to LIFE, but they NEVER mention the QUALITY of LIFE. They go HAND in HAND in MIND.For if the RIGHT to LIFE is there so is the RIGHT to a QUALITY of LIFE. A DENCENT WAGE , ADEQUATE HOUSING ,HEALTH CARE ,and the other AMENITIES of LIFE which it WORTH LIVING..$7.50 HR and what kind of BENEFITS, this CITYBI LIVE for GODS SAKES YOU better try LIVING here with it YOU are better OFF on WELFARE or SOCIAL SERVICES , YOU DAMN shore not going LIVE here OFF IT.
Rel Rel (4 days ago)
Bet if she was white some of these comments would be different
mike12811 (4 days ago)
It’s called MINIMUM WAGE for a reason, it’s not meant to support a family it’s for teenagers in school and fresh out of school
westskincare (4 days ago)
Americans are so fucking selfish when it’s not happening to them. People have to eat! They should have shelter!! All those complaining about her receiving help won’t complain about the TRILLIONS of dollars the pentagon lost and have no accounting for or the BILLIONS of dollars McDonald’s and Walmart make in profits by not paying a fair wage thereby forcing folks to apply for government assistance The government is supposed to provide adequate safety nets y’all just use to evilass capitalism that creates more problems than it solves
The real Mac Ter (4 days ago)
Because there isn’t 100’s of homeless shelters in the US
Monica Robinson (4 days ago)
Girl they not gonna raise the wage for you or anyone just because y'all struggling. It's hard but you gotta just get a better job. I've seen homeless people come from not kill themselves to get a decent job and get on there feet. There are people who were poor, went to school and now are fine. There are many ways to get yourself out don't give up and rely on a McDonald's job that don't care.
Mofo Jones (5 days ago)
This is life when you didnt prepare yourself for a career and could not wait to have a child! Welfare rat!
Dave Tilden (5 days ago)
Why is she not trying to do better. Wait a minute, she gets food stamps, rent assistance, and help with daycare. Whats the problem? She is living with life decisions she made. However she wants more? Earn it!!!
J M (5 days ago)
These comments... like half of yall wasnt accidents ya damn self. And the problem isn't that she has a kid... it's that she cant find gainful employment. You should be able to provide for more than just yourself on minimum wage. That's the point here. Racism and stupidity do not mix well.
Benjamin Turner (5 days ago)
I know it's not really comparable but here in Slovakia that's pretty normal money! I saw some jobs in restaurants paying the equivalent of less than $4 per hour.
Ducking Around (5 days ago)
This video could be summed up as: you make shitty choices you’re gonna have a shitty life.
ellaphx (5 days ago)
Why are we taxpayers subsidizing McDonalds' bottom line by essentially paying their workers for them? Raise the minimum wage already.
Courtney Hill (5 days ago)
Some of you assholes are heartless man smh.
Ross Cobb (5 days ago)
I do feel for this girl, but understand that she is in a position that I can't help with in any way except for prayer. She is in a spot that can be hard, but not impossible to overcome. She is part of America today. Unwed mother or unsupported mother by a father that she says is incarcerated. All of her problems stem from her poor decisions. So how is that anyone's fault but hers?? McDonalds is doing what they told her they would do. And the U.S. Government and state government will pay for all housing cost, groceries, daycare, healthcare, and higher education for her. What would she like to see happen or anyone else?? Might want to look for a job with a few more hours than 16 a week. That's about 2.5 hours a day???????????? What's up with that picture?? Not against her at all but is she really trying? Doesn't look like it! Driving up min wage only hurts people like her , and will tell you why. Min wage mandate rise means a cutting of unskilled workers cuts cuts cuts!!! So who ever is low on the totem pole gets cut and I can tell you she is very low on the pole! No job now! So now what, come on all you people that have that thinking. What or who would you like to mandate now??? That doesn't help her, business will go around those types of policies!!
Scott Schroeder (5 days ago)
Perhaps she should of focused on school and goals rather than getting pregnant .