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Take the Minimum Wage Challenge

What is the Minimum Wage Challenge?

The minimum wage challenge is a campaign launched September 28 to call on elected officials and community members to live on Florida’s minimum wage of $8.05 an hour for 5 days and document the experience on social media. The challenge is designed to highlight the need to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour and push elected officials to do everything they can to make a $15 minimum wage a reality for Florida workers. Take the challenge beginning any Monday that works for you. Ask your friends and family to join you. 

Read the 15 Reasons to Support $15 or download the PDF.

What are the rules of the challenge?

1. You have budget of $85 per week or $17 per day for all of your expenses excluding housing, car payments, credit card bills & childcare expenses.

2. You must stick to this budget for all other expenses during the 5 days of the challenge.

3. Participate in one task per day during the week, as outlined below under “Let’s get started.” You don’t need to do the tasks in that order or on those particular days if that’s not possible with the exception of Monday and Friday tasks.

4. Post a minimum of one social media post per day that includes either a picture or video describing your experience and any challenges that you faced each day. Every social media post should include the hashtags #FLfor15 and #FightFor15

5.  At the end of the challenge, post a video to Facebook or Twitter challenging 5 people to take the challenge. Remember to tag the people that you are challenging.

Let’s Get Started – Recommended Schedule of Tasks for the Week

Day 1 Monday: Announce that you’re taking the challenge
Announce that you’re taking the minimum wage challenge with a press statement (elected officials only) and social media post. Explain why you’ve decided to take the challenge and what you hope to learn from living on minimum wage for 5 days.

Day 2 Tuesday: Grocery Shopping Trip
Take a grocery shopping trip and post a video and/or photos of this shopping trip to Facebook/Twitter. Talk about what difficult decisions you had to make due to your budget limitations.

Day 3 Wednesday: Transportation
Ride with a low wage worker (if possible) to work or take public transportation on your own to work. Document how long the trip is, how much it costs, etc.  How much time do you lose with public transportation vs. taking your car? Post a video and/or pictures to social media of this trip.

Day 4 Thursday:  Social Activities
Post on social media posts around social activities.  What would you normally be doing that you can’t do this week?  Dinner with friends, a movie, etc.  Are there affordable options within your budget?

Day 5 - Friday: Summary of Challenge
Today’s social media posts should summarize what you’ve learned this week by living on minimum wage. How will this help you be a better advocate to raise the minimum wage?

Minimum Wage Challenge Budget#FLfor15

We allocated $85 total for the 5 days based on a person making Florida's current $8.05 minimum wage working 40 hours per week after taxes.   

Here's the breakdown:

  • Weekly Income. The challenge gives you a weekly budget of $322 per week based on 40 hours of work at $8.05 per hour. 
  • Taxes. From your $322 salary, take out $37 for taxes, so that comes to $285 per week.
  • Housing Expenses.  Deduct $200.00 per week for housing and utilities. This is the average amount a minimum-wage worker in Florida pays for housing. 
  • Final Budget. Deducting the taxes and housing costs from a $285 weekly salary leaves $85.00 per week or $12.14 per day. Since we're asking folks to do the challenge for 5 days we divided $85.00 by 5 which leaves $17 per day. However a minimum wage worker would really have $12.14 per day. So those taking the challenge are catching "a little break."
  • This amount has to cover all non-housing expenses, including food, healthcare, transportation and entertainment.

Legislators, candidates & community leaders taking the Minimum Wage Challenge

State Legislators  | Local Legislators | Candidates | Community Leaders

State Senators

  1. Dwight Bullard, D-Miami
  2. Jeffrey Clemens, D-Lake Worth
  3. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando
  4. Anitere Flores, R-Kendall

State House Representatives

  1. Victor Torres, D-Orlando
  2. José Javier Rodríguez, D-Miami
  3. Amanda Murphy, D-New Port Richey
  4. John Cortes, D-Kissimmee
  5. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg
  6. Barbara Watson, D-Miami Gardens
  7. Sharon Pritchett, D-Miramar
  8. Darryl Rousson, D-St. Petersburg 
  9. Cynthia A. Stafford, D-Opa Locka
  10. David Kerner, D-Palm Springs
  11. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee

Local Legislators

  1. Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, Miami-Dade County
  2. Mayor Phil Stoddard, South Miami
  3. Councilman Steve Kornell, St. Petersburg
  4. Guido Maniscolco, Tampa City Councilman
  5. Scott Randolph, Orange County Tax Collector
  6. Cindy Lerner, Mayor of Pinecrest
  7. Lisa Montelione, Tampa City Councilwoman


  1. Joe Garcia, Candidate for U.S. Congress District 26
  2. Patrick Murphy, Candidate for U.S. Senate,  Congressman FL House CD 18
  3. Alan Grayson, Candidate for U.S. Senate, Congressman FL House CD 9
  4. Annette Taddeo, Candidate for FL House 26
  5. Grace Solares, Candidate for City of Miami Commission District 2
  6. Lisa Wheeler-Brown, Candidate for St Petersburg Council
  7. Susanna Randolph, Candidate for U.S. Congress District  8
  8. Pat Kemp, Candidate for Hillsborough County At Large
  9. Mike Reedy, Candidate for FL House 63
  10. Eric Lynn, Candidate for FL House 13
  11. Naze Sahebzamani, Candidate for State House 59
  12. Carlos Guillermo Smith, Candidate for State House 49
  13. Aretha Olivarez, Candidate for Orlando City Commission Dist 4
  14. Lawanna Gelzer, Candidate for Orlando City Commission Dist 6

Progressive Community Leaders

  1. Monica Russo, SEIU Florida President
  2. Allison Tant, FDP  Chair Leon and Florida
  3. Judy Mount, FDP Chair  Jackson
  4. Mary Greene, FDP Chair Brevard
  5. Wendy Williams, FDP Chair Citrus
  6. Nikki Barnes, FDP Chair Wakulla
  7. Mike Lowery, FDP Chair Escambia
  8. Mary Johnson, FDP Chair Santa Rosa
  9. Neil Henrichson, FDP Chair Duval
  10. Susan McGrath, FDP Chair Pinellas
  11. Terri Rizzo, FDP Chair Palm Beach
  12. Juan Lopez, FDP Chair Orange
  13. Stephanie Porta, Executive Director of Organize Now
  14. Judithanne McLaughlan, USF professor

The Minimum Wage Challenge is a partnership of SEIU Florida and Fight for 15 Florida