Way back Wednesday – money

Information is shared from past West Side Story articles every Wednesday.


Everything costs money: your new shoes, a date to the movies, gas, food. However, prices are always changing — we just don’t know it.

For example, to take the basic ACT test with no writing is $39.50. When you include writing, the price goes up to $56.50. However the price goes up depending on what study materials you purchase to help you prepare or how  many colleges you send your scores to. My ACT with writing, no study materials, and scores sent to six schools costs roughly $88.

In 1979, the ACT cost $7.50 with a $5.00 fee, the SAT at $8.25 and High Achievement testing was $13.50 (what I would do to pay that amount for a four hour test).

By January 2017, minimum wage is expected to be raised to $10.10. Iowa raised minimum wage to $7.25 by January 31st 2008. Going back to 1978, students were excited to have their minimum wage raised from $2.30 to $2.65. However, workers under age 17 made LESS than that because adults working for a living versus teens working for pocket money “deserved to make more”.

Pictured below is my mother, Angie Shelfo, at age 15 (1985) working at Hardee’s where she made $4.35 an hour.

In 1997, the pay rose to an outstanding $5.10 per hour — better appreciate your paychecks folks!

People who work on salary make minimum wage or more, depending on position promotions or offered benefits, that can average up to $25 an hour.

However, servers in the restaurant industry only make $5.49 an hour, but they have the possibility of making tips from their customers. (Remember that when you don’t tip your server that they only get $6 an hour and you get over minimum wage).

Tune in next week for more interesting facts from way back when!