Minimum Wage Workers Find Budget Tight For Families


Tomorrow marks the 5th anniversary since the federal minimum wage was raised to $7.25 and many workers say their families are barely making it.

"It's very tough, very, very tough," said Verna Matheny.  "You can't do anything.  You don't have enough money to do anything by the time you get your paycheck it's gone."

Matheny makes $7.95 an hour which supports her - and her 9 year old son Kenneth.

"I might want a new pair of shoes but if he needs a uniform then that money has to go to him," said Matheny.  "Then you have gas and electric."

Matheny and her son were waiting in line to receive free fruit and vegetables from a local food pantry.  She says to help suppliment her budget she's also working side jobs like babysitting and hair cutting .

"You don't know whether to buy groceries or pay rent," said Matheny.  "It's one or the other and you have to have a roof over your head."

To better understand Verna and other minimum wage workers, former governor Ted Strickland is living on minimum wage this week.

He's allocated $77 dollars for seven days after subtracting money for rent and taxes.

"I have found myself looking for newspapers that others have discarded to read so I won't have to use part of my $77 dollars to buy a newspaper," said Strickland.

Strickland says he's also cut way back on meals.

"Last night I had a slice of bread, some fried bologna and cheese," said Strickland.

Matheny hopes for any increase in the near future.

"I mean just to raise it a little bit, I'm quite sure it would help somewhere," said Matheny.

Republicans and the business community have long argued that raising the minimum wage would lead to layoffs of workers and negatively affect the economy.