My sisters and I used to laugh about Grandma and her ‘horrible price’.
No matter how cheap we thought something was, Grandma would say it was a ‘horrible price’.
Then we found out that the year she was married, 1917, she paid $1.89 for her solid oak table and .69 cents each for the chairs.
After we found that out, we could better understand why she would think eight dollars for a cotton nightgown was a ‘horrible price’. The two purchases would be 50 some years apart so our laughter could also be understood.
I have been thinking of the prices of things now and feeling very much the way Grandma must have felt. The difference between Grandma and me is that I only have to think back 18 years, not 50.
In the year 2000, we bought a used top-of-the-line Buick car for $6000 dollars. We finished paying off our $50,000 house, and we bought an older motorhome camper for $8000.
That fall we found out that my husband had cancer and when he had to leave his job he was earning a little over $15 per hour.
This was after working for that company for 12 years. With that wage, I was able to be a stay at home mom with few worries. To be honest, I do have to add that my husband did put in a lot of overtime hours.
Now you are lucky if $50,000 will get you a down payment on a house. Fifty thousand will get you a new truck if you don’t go for the top of the line.
What really boggles my mind is the high monthly payments people are willing to pay now. Soon someone working their first day at a fast food place will be earning $15 per hour, but even then these people will not be able to afford the payments on a house, even with both parents working.
The total amount of house and car payments now can equal the amount of a monthly wage from 18 years ago.
The higher wage is part of the problem. When it costs more to make a product or provide a service the price will go up. It is just part of the vicious money circle.
What really worries me is that circle seems to be spinning faster all the time. In Grandma’s time, the price gap seemed to move upwards so much slower than it does now.
It took Grandma 50 years to start saying everything was a ‘horrible price’, it has only taken me 18!
by Lois Perepelitz