Easily clip, save and share what you find with family and friends. Easily download and save what you find. Victorian Money – How bob rice alternative investments did things cost?
As today, prices varied according to quality of goods and intended consumer. The prices below are meant to provide a basic guide but should not be relied upon as ‘the’ price for any particular goods or service. Prices apply only to my area of expertise – London! Prices given as weekly rate for easy comparison, though rent of a whole house was generally annual or possibly for the summer ‘Season’ if in the West End. Also note dates of source vary. 20 per year, if employed full-time, 5 days a week – which is very unlikely! I have silk to find, and that costs me 6d.
I think I burn half a pound of candles extra when I am at work. West End Tailoresses” – ‘quickest machine hands’ 20 to 22s. A model set of figures for a couple whose “house is situated close to Kensington Gardens, in a cheerful terrace upon sandy soil, in a thoroughly respectable, if not fashionable, neighbourhood. It has a small garden in the rear, and stands back about ten yards from the roadway. 204, however, there is still another point to be considered, and that is the summer holiday. In these modern days a yearly visit to the seaside or to the country is regarded as one of the necessities of life. Men and women draw upon their strength until it is almost exhausted, and then trust to a periodical enjoyment of fresh air, rest, and change to reinvigorate them and furnish them with health and energy for another year’s work.
But how is it to be paid for? 204 as much as would pay for travelling expenses and lodgings. 20 might well be deemed sufficient. There is a small surplus, but this may be left for security, as it is not well to draw the line too closely. This might be true with families where there are no children to educate, and where there was no attempt made to save money.
Hundreds of families with this income live in better houses and let prudence go. But in this we think are wrong. Well-managed building societies are a great boon to economical people. They have been the means of inducing numbers of people to save who never would have done so without them. It may not be uninteresting, at this point, to supplement the figures already given by a statement showing how the wages so precariously earned are spent.
Sundry household requisites, soap, soda, etc. The absence of any item of expenditure for beer or other alcoholic drinks is noteworthy. Now it will be interesting to compare this statement, which refers to what in this man’s case was a fairly good week, with other similar statements, having reference to the same family, for certain weeks in the slack season. These statements will be of special value as showing the nature and extent of the economies that are forced upon the people in times of slackness.
For the week ending January 5th, 1895, the wages of the family amounted to 15s. For the week ending January 26th, 1895, the wages of the family were absolutely nil. This, although exceptional in the case of a good worker, is by no means uncommon among workers of a lower class. In this week, therefore, the expenses, of necessity, had to be cut down to the barest minimum. In the first place, nothing could be paid for rent, hire of machine, Sick Benefit Society, or Insurance. The landlord stormed, and forcibly reminded the man and his wife that he was neither a Relieving Officer, nor a relative, and had nothing to do with their troubles, but, nevertheless, the rent could not be found.