Here's a photo of my Aunt Leona, my mother, my Nanny and my Grammy. I was thinking about the incomes of these women who raised families on a single wage, but it's not so simple as that. Leona and Nanny married farmers, and as farmers' wives contributed to the household income as much as their husbands did. Grammy married a salary-man turned small business owner; she worked in the shop and raised money through her chickens and eggs. Mum was the only one of these four who was a SAHM not directly bringing in an income, and that was until we kids were in primary school when she went back to work as a librarian. We were poor - not eviction poor but money was tight enough that my parents relied on credit, help from their own parents and a big veggie garden to keep the household going. On one memorable occasion they scraped up spilled rice from the side of the road, and we were picking grit out of the fried rice for about two years. Something to look into, I think: how hard was it for our own parents to make ends meet?; what were their expectations?; and what did they do to make the daily juggling of money a little easier?
Regardless, these women knew how to get maximum colour and pattern for their dollar - a lot of bang for their buck: