How much did Bob Cratchit make in todays money? Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” portrays a Victorian London that is at once familiar and strange. On one hand, it is the same city we know today—with its foggy streets, busy shopping areas, and bustling markets. But on the other hand, the economy of Great Britain was so much different back then! In 1843 (when “A Christmas Carol” was written), there were no minimum wage laws or welfare systems in place to protect workers from exploitation by their employers.
Instead people had to rely entirely on themselves and their families if they wanted any kind of safety net at all. It’s true that Londoners lived as though they were part of an extended family because everyone knew one another well enough for most situations not to require outside help – but still!
In Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, Bob Cratchit is paid 15 shillings per week.
In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Bob Cratchit is paid 15 shillings per week.
15 shillings per week in 2022 is equivalent to $2,217.00 USD ($2,217 x 100/95).
15 shillings per week in 2020 is equivalent to $1,835.50 USD ($1,835 x 100/95).
15 shillings per week in 2021 is equivalent to $2,093.75 USD ($2,093 x 100/95).
These days, that would be the equivalent of about £150.00/$195.71 a week – not far off the current UK minimum wage and higher than the US minimum wage.
The story ends when Cratchit makes a discovery that changes his life forever. In the book, he finds an envelope containing £10 in the snow. This is equivalent to about 15 shillings today – about £150.00/$195.71 a week – not far off the current UK minimum wage and higher than the US minimum wage.
As a clerk in a counting house, Cratchit seems to have been earning significantly more than the typical working-class person at the time.
As a clerk in a counting house, Cratchit seems to have been earning significantly more than the typical working-class person at the time. At minimum, he would have been making enough money to provide for his family and ensure that they could make ends meet. As far as we know, he doesn’t work overtime or take on additional jobs to increase his income; instead, he seems content with his position and lifestyle.
Cratchit is a good example of the kind of people who would have been working in the counting houses at the time: those who were not exceptionally wealthy but had families to support and thus needed steady employment with reasonable pay
In fact, author Mark Forsyth has argued that Ebenezer Scrooge’s clerk earns more money than Scrooge himself does.
If you’re like me, you read A Christmas Carol this time of year and wonder how much money Scrooge’s clerk, Bob Cratchit, makes. After all, he’s a hard-working man who has two children to support and is forced to work long hours—often in the cold outdoors—in order to make ends meet. The answer is that Bob Cratchit actually earns considerably more than Ebenezer Scrooge himself does!
In fact, author Mark Forsyth has argued that Ebenezer Scrooge’s clerk earns more money than Scrooge himself does: “Scrooges’ clerk,” he writes in his book The Da Vinci Code: “Unlocking His Secrets for Your Success.” “He was called ‘Bob’ by everyone (as in Robert) because his real name was actually Robert Cripple.”
“Scrooge is a business man and he’s quite successful by the standards of the time, but he’s not staggeringly wealthy. He doesn’t have enough money to keep a carriage or servants. And yet, his clerk has enough to keep Tiny Tim alive on fifteen shillings a week.”
In this quote, Dickens is making it clear that Scrooge is a business man with enough money to keep a carriage and servants. Bob Cratchit doesn’t have enough money to keep a carriage or servants. His salary is low enough that he has to make sacrifices in order to keep his family fed and housed.
Even when adjusted for inflation, Bob Cratchit makes more money than today’s lowest earners – in fact, it comes out around $784 a week in American dollars – far more than the $743 per week earned by an average American worker!
The first step in calculating inflation is determining the average wage in the United States. When comparing Bob’s salary to today’s wage earners, we are using US dollars and not British pounds, so we need to convert his salary into modern currency and adjust for inflation. Inflation is an increase in prices over time: a good example of this is that it costs more money to buy groceries than it did 50 years ago; this is because there are more people buying them now (and because of people’s increased purchasing power).
To calculate Bob Cratchit’s weekly earnings in today’s money, we use his initial salary ($10 per week) and then apply the consumer price index (CPI) formula: CPI = Initial Salary/Current Year Salary*. This gives us $10/$784*, which equals .001292 or 1%. We’ll round down here because any decimal places beyond 2 may be considered negligible when making comparisons between different numbers. This represents approximately 1% inflation year-over-year for almost 150 years!
How much did bob cratchit make?
15 shillings per week in todays money. Bob Cratchit made about $1,300 annually. That’s not much at all! He had a wife and two children to support, and that would mean a significant portion of his income went to paying for their food and lodging. Plus, there were no safety nets like unemployment insurance or child benefits back then—if you didn’t have a job, you starved to death.
So it’s pretty clear there was no way he could have given Tiny Tim any material help with his medical bills or schooling expenses; all he could do was hope that some day his son would grow up strong enough to work at Yorick’s (the local shop where Bob worked) so that they might both benefit from the wages paid out by Master Scrooge himself!
Bob Cratchit made about $784 a week in today’s money, not far off the current UK minimum wage and higher than the US minimum wage. You have just finished viewing the article: “How much did Bob Cratchit make in todays money?” all comments and suggestions in the comment section below.