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In sifting thru some papers of a deceased relative I ran across a monthly budget prepared by the City of New York, Department of Welfare. It was prepared in March of 1943 (aside--the printed postmark on the envelope is stamped “Buy War Savings Bonds and Stamps). This budget was for a family of 4 (2 parents, 2 kids). I found it interesting to see some 'real' numbers from 60 years ago to illuminate some of the actual effects of inflation:

Food $39.10
Shelter (rent) 18.00
Cooking fuel 2.00
Heating fuel 7.80
Electricity 1.40
Clothing 7.80
Household .80
Personal 1.40

Total $78.30

Cross-posted to LBYM and Retire Early Boards…

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Interesting to see those numbers. Also interesting to see how the "weightings" have changed between the categories since then.. More than twice as much for food than rent? Almost half of rent for clothing? Or maybe the rent was just that low, relatively.

Although guess if you spent that much on food today (relative to rent/mortgage), you'd need to spend that much on clothes, too.. M -> L -> XL -> XXL... :)
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