Surviving The Great Depression of the 1930s
(Answering the request about how people handled their finances in the 1930s)
In the 1930s most people didn't have enough money to have a "financial situation".
Even many who had previously been relatively "well off" had very little money to spend.
Most people didn't have any money to save.
I was not alive then, but Mom did tell me some things.
She said that almost half of the people they knew had no job -- no work of any kind. That meant half of the men they knew. It was a time when few women had worked outside the home. Mom remembers seeing dirty men on the streets searching through garbage cans for moldy bread.
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My dad was one of the lucky ones. He had a job in a factory that made cardboard boxes. He rode a streetcar to Los Angeles, one hour each way, and worked in an dark, unheated warehouse-type building for six or seven days a week.
He wore a heavy overcoat pinned together at the neck with a horse blanket safety-pin to keep himself warm as he fed large cardboard sheets into a cutting and folding press.
He wore the coat when he went to the boss of the factory to ask for another five cents per week, because his wife was expecting a baby.
He made ten dollars a week (though the streetcar cost ten cents a day) but he felt lucky to have a job. If the box factory was busy, he had to work six or seven days a week . To refuse the extra hours, would put his job in jeopardy, and there were plenty of other men waiting to find any kind of work. There was no overtime pay, no benefits and no insurance.
They lived in a small apartment with her parents. They grew some vegetables in the back yard. They repaired their old clothes. They got by.
No one ate at restaurants. A steak dinner for one person could cost as much as three bucks. A few people went to the movies, but a ticket cost fifteen cents, and that would buy a quart of milk and a loaf of bread.
Somehow, most people survived the depression. They depended on family and friends, worked hard and bought only necessities.
Read how this couple continued to be smart with their money and managed their own personal health care account with money they later used to travel the world, by CLICKING HERE.
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