Making ends meet on minimum wage, currently at $6.55 per hour is tough. As the numbers for a basic wage, tax and net pay breakdown show, there is not a whole lot left over after the “Tax Man” gets his cut. Just the tax on the wages earned come to just over 22% of gross wages and that’s not including the medical deduction if you’re lucky enough to have an employer who offers it. I distinctly remember working for minimum wage when my wife and I were starting out.
Since, it’s so close to Christmas I’d thought I would jot down a few memories of my gifts from Christmas past, long past. This idea came from a post by Trent Hamm at The Simple Dollar (www.thesimpledollar.com) “Christmas Inspiration from a Stick and a Cardboard Box” that he wrote. In the article, Trent included a link to the National Toy Hall of Fame. I found some of my old favorites such as an Atari 2600 Game System (No longer for sale), a bicycle ($99.00), a Cardboard box (Free) (actually two cardboard boxes was my favorite. Find a grassy hill and use one to slide down on the other.), a kite ($4.99), Lionel trains ($69.95), a Monopoly game ($13.99), Tonka Trucks ($24.99). I added prices for items that I could still find for sale. All but two of these toys gave me hours of fun and lasted for years. The cardboard box did need to be traded out for one that wasn’t ripped to shreds and sometimes a kite would get away.
The two cardboard boxes that my neighborhood friends and I played with one Christmas Day was a blast. We slid on those boxes all day long. Remarkably for us, there weren’t any fights over whose turn it was or who had slid the most, the furtherest, etc. I’m sure our parents were a little miffed at the price of the toys that came in those boxes and the fact that we were neglecting them.
The first bicycle that I remember getting for Christmas was when I was 7 years old. My father put it together, but didn’t have a way to inflate the tires in the middle of the night. After he rolled it outside for me, he turned to go back into the house thinking I was following him. I climbed up on it and started to ride around. He shouted at me to get down, "You're going to pop the tires!" Fortunately, I didn’t put a hole in the tubes in the tires and he later inflated them just fine. It didn’t occur to him to ask me where I learned to ride until much later. I think he was a little surprised when I told him I’d never ridden a bike before.
My friends and I spent countless hours playing Monopoly. Sometimes, the games would last all day. Lordy, lordy the number of hours I’ve spent (wasted?) playing that game. I guess taking turns being the banker improved our counting skills.
For a boy of 10, a Lionel train is magic. I’ve loaded up my family and friends on my train and taken them on trips around the world. With stops to eat, sight see and explore, I spent hours traveling to places I couldn’t even spell. Lol
As the month of November draws to a close, it’s time to see how much interest I’ve earned toward my goal of ‘A Dollar A Day”. As the downloaded information below shows, I’ve earned 88 cents this month toward my goal of a dollar a day in interest. Yeah! Only $362.89 left to go.
ONLINE SAVINGS: ######### (Acct number hidden)
Bank Balance: $370.11 Available Balance: $370.11
Last Statement: 11/26/2008 Interest Earned Year To Date: $2.11
Information as of: 11/30/08
Date Transaction Description Debit(-) Credit(+)
11/26/2008 INTEREST PAID FROM 10/28/08 THROUGH 11/27/08 $0.88
INCLUSIVE AVERAGE DAILY AVAILABLE BALANCE
11/24/2008 DEPOSIT FROM HSBC ONLINE-TRANSFER $14.00
11/10/2008 DEPOSIT FROM HSBC ONLINE-TRANSFER $14.00
10/27/2008 DEPOSIT FROM HSBC ONLINE-TRANSFER $14.00