A Guide to Budgeting For The Young Couple – A 1964 Pamphlet

by Katy on December 9, 2015 · 21 comments

Remember when I shared a few pages from a vintage 1964 Guide to Budgeting for The Young Couple? It’s such a great pamphlet, that I thought I should share the entirety here on the blog. Each page can be clicked on for a larger size, and can even be printed out for your own use. Because the advice given in 1964 is remarkably similar to budgeting advice in 2015!


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Back page
Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Bellen December 9, 2015 at 3:25 am

As I’ve mentioned before, I have a degree in Home Ec, major in Foods, graduated in 1968. This was during Johnson’s War on Poverty and so all classes in Home Ec were based on getting a nickel’s worth out of every penny.

So, this is one of the teaching aids we used in Personal Finance, Housing, Food, Clothing and even touched on in Child Care. Each course took it’s percentage of an income and based on that perused newspaper ads, store prices, etc to come up with a spending plan. In my case for housing and food I used my Dad’s income of $5200 gross in 1966 with 2 parents, 2 college age and 1 middle school daughters. It was an eye opening experience.

We also used a similar booklet for cleaning, the when, why and how, that I used for years and even kept to help teach my 3 boys.


E. Thayer December 9, 2015 at 11:52 am

I’d be interested in reading the instructions for cleaning from that era. Any chance you remember the title? Was it also from the USDA?


Bellen December 10, 2015 at 3:14 am

I’m sorry I don’t remember the name but it was from the USDA. Even had the same type of illustrations.


K D December 9, 2015 at 3:33 am

“Everything old is new again”. I am amazed how little has changed, despite how much has changed. Thank you for sharing this. I believe I will print it for my almost twenty year old.


J-Mom December 9, 2015 at 5:11 am

We are no longer ‘young’ married couple but I think there is a lot to be utilized. I’ll have to look at our spendings more closely instead of just writing them down.


Kim from Philadelphia December 9, 2015 at 6:44 am

Still perfectly applicable for today.

I think all high schools should mandate a basic money management class, because family instruction on the topic is so varied!


E. Thayer December 9, 2015 at 11:54 am

The school systems here are starting to catch on. Our students had instruction in 6th grade for budgeting.


Isabelle December 9, 2015 at 6:54 am

I wish I had a 89$ mortgage payment! Cool share.


Ann December 9, 2015 at 10:02 am

Katy, how is your effort with Every Dollar going?


JD December 9, 2015 at 10:04 am

Those tips are timeless, aren’t they? Emergency fund, prioritizing, planning, making more if you don’t have enough — sounds as modern as 2015! I love the old illustrations — I was born in the mid-fifties, and the drawing style brings back memories.
I notice that it doesn’t assume only the husband works outside the home. So many times people talk about the good old days when the wife always stayed home, and yes, many, like my mother, did, but I had five aunts (three of them married with children) and a grandmother who worked outside the home when I was growing up, and my mother babysat for two different married women who worked outside the home.
The only thing is I’m not able to click on the pictures to enlarge them. Probably operator error.


Anne December 9, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Yes, the “every wife/mother stayed home” myth is one that I personally battle. I was a kid in the ’50s. Both of my parents always worked and just about every mother of every friend I had worked outside the home. And, if anyone had asked us, we all would have called ourselves middle class.

I realize lots of mothers stayed home, too, but it was by no means universal.


Marilyn December 9, 2015 at 6:27 pm

You are correct about that myth. I also grew up in the ’50s and my mother worked as a social worker at a hospital. On our street lived mothers who worked as nurses, teachers, beauticians, sales clerks. It was not really all that unusual for women to be working at least in my neighborhood.


kathleen December 9, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Another 50s baby here. The longer I live, the more in awe I am of my working mother. My parents, both working, shared a car for a long time. Two grocery stores in town, neither open on Sunday. Mom cooked everything from scratch, baked bread, hand-cranked ice cream, sewed our clothes, knit our sweaters. I never remember her reading or watching tv…if she sat still, she fell asleep!


JD December 10, 2015 at 7:12 am

Agreed! When my grandmother finished sewing gloves at the glove factory, she came home and cooked from scratch, cleaned, did laundry and sewed beautiful party dresses with multiple layers of chiffon for her older granddaughters. I always was proud of her, but even more so when I grew up and realized how hard she had worked. She didn’t drive, either — she had to wait on my grandfather or dad to give her a ride to run her errands and get her to work. Unlike me, she never complained about her hard work.
Here’s to the women who raised us!

Ruby December 9, 2015 at 11:23 am

This is wisdom for the ages. I especially like how it points out that a need may simply be a desire (want) and can be put off. Knowing the difference between a need and a want is one of the major keys to frugality.


KT December 9, 2015 at 3:16 pm

Katy, my first glance at this article was followed by an appreciation for the time it took for you to scan and post all of that info. I was a child in the 40’s and 50’s, with 4 younger siblings and a “stay-at-home” Mom (and a railroader father). Thankfully Mom was a true role model for living a frugal, happy life. From the time I was 12, I started paying for my own expenses through babysitting and other odd jobs. Paid my own way through college, etc. Living a frugal life is very satisfying in many ways. Hubby and I are now retired, no debt, no wants, in a very comfortable financial position, and very happy and content!


Jill December 9, 2015 at 3:55 pm

Thank You for taking the time to upload this information and all you have shared this year. Merry Christmas to you and your family!


KT December 10, 2015 at 12:25 am

As a young adult, I left home to work in a another city 3 hours away. In the 1960’s and early 1970’s, I found it cheaper to drive home and eat with my family than to buy food where I lived and worked.

I don’t remember what year it was, but as a kid, I thought it was odd that gas was 33¢ a gallon and ground beef was 33¢ a pound!


KT December 10, 2015 at 12:30 am

* “….I found it cheaper to drive home and eat with my family…” – on weekends! Certainly not daily! LOL! Also, Mom always gave me food to take back with me. 😉


Vickie December 10, 2015 at 2:44 pm

I remember my parents budgeting for everything. I believe that’s close to what their mortgage payment was, they bought their home in 1962 with a VA loan. My Mom loved getting her penny’s worth at the grocers. She would come home with 10 sacks of food for less that $50 and feed us for two weeks.
When extra expenses came up – car repairs, school clothes, Christmas, etc. My Dad would work overtime. At one time he worked an extra evening job and many times, he worked for my granddad on the weekends. Grandpa had a concrete foundation business. It seems my parents always worked hard and found a way to keep the bills paid, clothes on our back and well fed.
These tips are timeless. Thanks for sharing, Katy!


Jennifer December 10, 2015 at 3:53 pm

It seems like everything is changing yet staying the same. I re-read tightwad gazette and almost everything is still applicable.


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