Payday loans

September 27, 2011

Could You Make it for a Month at $9 an Hour?

Filed under: General HR Buzz — Tags: 12:04 pm

Two years ago, my husband and I had two daughters, two jobs, and one very small (less than 800 square feet) home.  We were expecting our third daughter within a couple of months, so we decided to begin looking for a larger home.  Right before we were set to close on the home, my husband was temporarily laid off from his job.

We were able to close on our home as the layoff was expected to be short-term.  Our third daughter was born and we managed on one income (plus unemployment) for that time until he went back to work.  I know how lucky we were.

So many are not nearly as fortunate and many college-educated, formerly middle-class men and women find themselves on the other side of the charities they once supported.  So, what if it were you?  You just lost your job and your home; you’re a single parent; and you have $1,000 to your name.  Can you make it through the month working in a low-paying job?  That’s the question behind the online game Spent, created by Jenny Nicholson for Urban Ministries of Durham, North Carolina.

First, you decide between three jobs, none of which pay more than $9 per hour: a server, a warehouse worker, or a temporary administrative clerk.  Do you want to opt-in to employer-provided health insurance, or risk having no coverage?  Will you choose to live further from work to pay lower rent (but higher transportation costs)?  Do you have $15 to send your child on a school field trip?

As of Friday, the game had been played over a million times.  Nicholson is challenging every member of Congress to play the game as well.  She has a petition going that you can find here to challenge your representatives.

I have played the game several times myself, and although I did make it through the month once or twice, there were a few times the challenge was too great.  for yourself, and let me know how you did.


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