Living on Minimum Wage

by Andy Wade —

Could you live on $9 an hour?

I often hear that homeless folks just need to “get a job” and yet many of the folks living on the streets and in their cars are working, often more than one job!

There’s a great new website that goes to the heart of the question, challenging us to try it out – – if only by using their interactive online tool. I’m pretty frugal and made it a couple weeks shy of a month before I ran out of money!


Take the challenge – head over to SPENT and get a “job”, make decisions which are real-life, and see how far through the month you can go!

Many of the folks who stay at our warming shelter are the working poor who are un-housed or inadequately housed and need a warm place to sleep at night. This website provides a resource for developing empathy for the struggles of the working poor and can provide a wake-up call for us to understand why it’s so difficult, often impossible, to “climb the economic ladder of success.”

One person who took the challenge commented, “It’s interesting, but they seem to stack the deck against you just to make a point.” While I agree with the comment, the reality is that for the working poor the deck IS stacked against you and every day seems filled with choices between necessities most of us normally don’t even have to consider.

The link opens in a new tab/window. Please try it a couple of times then come back here and leave a comment. We’d appreciate hearing from you about your experience!