Looked at my numbers more carefully from before. It is worse than I thought. Don’t think I grossly miscalculated anything. And remember these are single people living alone. But.
Looked with a closer eye at the 31 hour worker case. Cut food budget for 31 hour case to $120 a month, and for the 40 hour case cut to $150. Cut the entire $120 a month luxury budget. Looked a bit closer at federal taxes. The 40 hour person still pays $452 and does not qualify for earned income tax credit. The 31 hour person (much more common remember) pays $171. Neither qualifies for SNAP although both meet the initial gross and net income tests, after apply the reducing factor there is nothing left of the $200 maximum benefit. I cut some of the non-necessary, non-luxury, non-food items from the budget. Neither person is poor enough to qualify for medicaid. They are entirely ruled out of cash assistance and subsidised housing (because they are single, with no children, not sick, and not disabled). [The system is massively biased against single people it seems; they make it hard to even find the official info or figures on them. Everything is family, family, family]. State tax is $0 and $50 for them. And vehicle tax is 6%.
So starting out there is $13,962 for one and $11,255 for the other. Striking $660 off our 31h for reduced food $1440 off for no fun time $147.5 for sales tax and 89.6 for for other non food adding the $207 missed tax we end up with $147 in emergency cash. Same deal with the 40h earner $3,182 (since I remembered to do his federal tax the first time). Add it back in and we get around (negative)–$2,387 in debt and $290 in emergency fund.
We already cut it back to ~4 and ~5 a day for food. We were only spending $4 a day on luxuries before.
NOT COUNTED: MEDICAL EXPENSES, VEHICLE INSURANCE, RENTERS INSURANCE, VEHICLE REGISTRATION, MAINTENANCE, ANY OTHER GOVERNMENT FEES, FACEWASH, TAMPONS, BIRTH CONTROL, HAIRCUTS, CONDOMS, MAKEUP, ANY SERVICE TAXES, TAPE, GLUE SCISSORS, REPLACEMENT DISHES, REPLACEMENT TOWELS, BOOKS, MAGAZINES, TELEVISION, EDUCATION, FURNITURE, SHEETS, PILLOWS, WEB SUBSCRIPTIONS, NEWSPAPERS, MUSIC, SELF ENRICHMENT, TRAVEL, ANY JEWELRY NO MATTER HOW CHESP, OTHER CLEANING SUPPLIES, CHARITY OR CHURCH STUFF, POLITICS, AND ANYTHING IM LEAVING OUT, WALL ART,
So you see how difficult a $7.25 wage is even without dependents or illness. The rest begins to look a little absurd.