A Personal Finance Time Capsule

Have you ever come across a time capsule?

I recently found what amounted to one when I was going through a box at my parents’ house, which was also my childhood home. They’re selling it after 34 years, which brings about a range of emotions in them and me as well. It’s for the best at this point in time, but it doesn’t make it fun.  Wow, I wish they could keep it forever, but as we know, nothing lasts forever, including us.  Sometimes we need to embrace new beginnings.

If there’s a good side benefit of this, it’s uncovering things that were sitting around for years that you forgot about, but are nice to see again. I found so many of those things, it’s really surprising. Almost all things that really me or someone in my family could personally value, but those are often the best kind, right?

Well, I might share a few of these in future posts, as there were many. But one type of item I found was a group of ticket stubs to baseball games in the late 1980’s.  Yes, I’m not super young.  I was a teen back then who just got my license, and would occasionally drive from the suburbs into Chicago to see major league ball games with friends.  I even have some opening day memories, when we missed school to see a game once (Mom and Dad if you’re reading this – Surprise!).

Anyway, finding those ticket stubs in mint condition, while I never knew were still there, brought a smile to my face. I don’t know why they weren’t thrown away originally, it was probably an accident that they were kept way back when. But once I saw them, I recalled how a few times we took off on a few school nights to go into the city. I can still remember, back before cell phones, we would tell each other at school that we would meet up at someone’s house at 6:00pm, after we all ate dinner, and then drive into the city to catch a 7:30 game. If we hustled, we got there early to catch batting practice and maybe a ball.

It brought back memories of how carefree we were back then, and even how the worries that we had were really miniscule in the big picture. And also, conversely, how little we worried about what we should have.  The area around grand old Comiskey Park (1910-1990) was commonly perceived as high-crime and dangerous at night during that era, but we threw caution to the wind and just drove up from the vastly different suburbs without caring. What a great time of life!

It also brought a smile to my face when I saw the cost of the ticket. You know I would do that, right? Well, the one of the tickets I saw was for $2. Can you imagine going to a game today for $2?

I’m sure it was for some kind of discounted day, like a half price night or something like that. But still, if you take $2 and apply an inflation rate of 3.5% to it and let it compound for 24 years, it still comes out to just $4.57 in today’s purchasing power.  How easy is it to get admission to a major league game today for $4.57? Go check on the prices of tickets anywhere these days, and you might be surprised by how expensive it can be.

I think you tell I thought it was a fun find J

My Questions For You

Have you ever come across something from your youth that was fun to find? It doesn’t have to be money related, just something that was cool or surprising to find, and reminds you of good times.

Do you recall times in the past where you went out with friends and had lots of fun for little money?


  1. says

    I once found an old gas receipt from like 1998 or 1999 (I was in college) and gas? Was $.98 per gallon!

    My parents still have a bunch of my stuff from when I was a kid saved and when they got sick of it, the brought it to my house. My daughter found one of my old Care Bears dolls; the thing must be 25 or 30 years old. I loved finding it and she has a new, free toy!

    • Squirrelers says

      Jana – I remember those days of gas for less than $1 a gallon! I have this memory from like 1994 or 1995, where I was walking across the street from a gas station which had gas for $0.89 per gallon. As for the doll, cool that you daughter has a new toy!

  2. says

    I’m really not a keeper of stuff, at all, but I used to have tons of fun with my friends just kicking a soccer ball around or walking down to Dairy Queen to get poutine (god, I’m Canadian)!

  3. says

    That is very cool about the tickets! I usually keep stuff like that (ticket stubs, etc) because it’s not that difficult and I got into the habit of tossing them all in a pile when I was done with the event. It is always fun to go back and look through them.

  4. says

    Life’s a cake walk when you have someone else taking care of all your expenses and not the other way around. Life was indeed simpler then. I went to a lot of concerts in my teens and most concert tickets, even for big name bands were under $20.

    • Squirrelers says

      First Gen – you’re right, life is much easier with that kind of setup! Those days are long gone.

  5. says

    My mom recently handed over a box of old stuff. In included a pennant collection I’d forgotten I had. We’d go anywhere (baseball game, theme park, etc.) and I’d buy a pennant. Those brought back lots of memories of past trips.

    • Squirrelers says

      Average Joe – that’s cool. I can relate to that in some way, as I liked those as a kid. Baseball pennants in particular. Those relfect another era, I think!

  6. says

    I saved my ‘special’ stuffed animals over the years. I have one of the first dolls I received as a gift when I came to America (from Jamaica in 1988). The person who gave it to me was an older teen that I loved, so I am glad I have memories of her and that gift around.

  7. says

    When I was in my early 20s, I dated a girl that was much older than me. She had a box of keepsakes and she showed me a ticket stub to a Beatles concert she went to when she was 16 years old. I looked at the date on the ticket and it was the year I was born. That was an eye-opener for me. I though it was cool that she kept that kind of stuff from her past. I usually throw them away.

    • Squirrelers says

      Bret – yeah, that would be an eye opener! Life experience is a great thing and keeps life interesting. I agree that it’s cool to keep things like that. Being on the sentimental side when it comes to some things, I get why she’d do that.

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