Cost of Living, 1940s, ’50s, ’60s

I interrupt this program… I have decided to insert the following cost of living information into the stream of my posts. In my father’s files, I found a collection of VERY old files that I actually didn’t remember I had. This post is a recap of what I found:

1943 – Monthly health insurance premium for Daddy was $4.14; for Mother, the premium started out at $2.50 and went up to $7.50 in April 1943; Patsy (who was three years old), $5.04. Piano rental was $7.00/month. Daddy had a line item in his monthly budget for milk ranging from $8/month to $11+/month for the family.

1946 – Bought a new house on Mt. Pleasant in Oak Cliff, Dallas, for $12,000. This is the house we were living in when I was born. We lived there until 1962.

1947-48 – While working for U. S. Gypsum Company, Daddy grossed $300/month in 1947, which increase to $350.00/month in May 1948.

1950 – A receipt from Methodist Hospital for my birth shows a total charge of $71.85, including three days room and board, anesthesia, pharmaceuticals, and baby care.

1951 – In January Daddy grossed $350/month. In August 1951 he grossed $425/month.

1960s – Daddy worked for Robert  S. Watson construction in the 1960s, and payroll check stubs indicate that in January 1960 he made $165/week ($8,580/year), and in April 1961 he made $230/week ($11,960).

His check book stubs from 1945 are interesting:                                        


May 7, 1945        Southern Bell Telephone                                      $9.94

May 7, 1945        Rent                                                                          50.00

May 8, 1945        Beauty College  Permanent                                  12.25

May 12, 1945      Berkson’s(?)      Dress for mother                          7.09

May 21, 1945      Cole Bros.          Clothes                                         20.00

May 23, 1945      Cole Bros           Shoes                                            15.00

June  1, 1945       So. Bell Telephone                                                   1.64

June 1, 1945        Florida Power                                                            5.00

June 1, 1945        Doctor                                                                         4.00

In 1954 Daddy remodeled the house on Mt. Pleasant in Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas. Specifications for that project indicate the cost was or was estimated to be $2,225.00. I was too young to remember this project in progress, but it included enclosing the front porch and making it part of the kitchen, new linoleum flooring in the kitchen, converting the garage into a bedroom, and a new front door with new orientation. He bought 60 sq. yards of carpet and pad from Sears which cost $498, including installation. They bought a new Davis couch for $299.00. (I assume this was the scratchy couch my sisters and I remember so well.)