Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Family Budget of an Irish Laborer's Family in 1884

“We built our wheat stack today.  Got is done about five o’clock and drew in three loads for Mr Holmes.  Has been a beautiful day and we have our wheat all in except the rakings.”

IRISH LABORER

EARNINGS: Of father $343
CONDITION: Family numbers 5 - parents and three children, two girls, aged seven and five, and boy, eight. They occupy a rented house of 4 rooms, and pay a rental, monthly, of $7. Two of the children attend school. Father complains of the wages he receives, being but $1.10 per day, and says it is extremely difficult for him to support his family upon that amount. His work consists in cleaning yards, basements, outbuildings, etc., and is, in fact, a regular scavenger. He also complains of the work as being very unhealthy, but it seems he can procure no other work.

FOOD:
Breakfast—Black coffee, bread, and potatoes
Dinner—Corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes.
Supper—Bread, coffee, and potatoes.

COST OF LIVING:
Rent $84
Fuel $15
Meat and groceries $180
Clothing, boots and shoes, dry goods $40
Sundries $20
Total $339

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