On examining the budgets of families having incomes from $500 to $5000, it is found that the percentage spent for food increases as the income decreases, amounting sometimes to at least 50 per cent of the income. This means that there is a limit to the money spent per capita per day for food, below which we cannot go and maintain life with even sufficient efficiency for unskilled labor. Figure 77 shows that a $900 income gives about 45 per cent to food. An expenditure of thirty cents per capita per day for food in a family of five with an income of $1500, is 36.5 per cent; i.e. more than one third of the total income. Suggestions as to allowance for food in families of different incomes are contained in the tables of budgets given farther on in this chapter.
Fig. 77. - Typical division of a small income.
Thrift in buying and using is necessary with the small income, and highly important with the larger where we are prone to yield to a foolish impulse to please a whim of the palate.