The Tale of the TT2

Krystina was going to the beach with her Dad and Grandma when she decided she really needed an iceblock. The sun was beating down on the car and Muffin the dog was big and hot, leaning on Krystina's legs.

"It's really hot Dad," complained Krystina. "Could we stop at a dairy and buy some iceblocks?"

"Sure", replied her Dad, "as long as you get one each for your Grandma and me too!" He rummaged around for some parking meter money and handed Krystina $1.50.

"That's not enough - popsicles are 65 cents each. For three, I'll need ... umm, how much?"

Q1 How much is 3 times 65 cents?

"$1.95", Grandma said. "Here's another 50 cents." Dad pulled up and Krystina jumped out of the car.

Q2 How much change will Krystina give back to her grandma?

A moment or two later she was back with the three iceblocks. "Do you know, Krys," said Grandma, "that when I was your age, I could buy an icecream for a halfpenny - that's half a cent!"

Krystina was amazed. "Wow!" she said, "You can't buy anything for half a cent these days, not even sour gummy bears. How much were iceblocks when you were a kid Dad?"

"Ooh, let's see. TT2s were 4 cents, I think. That's what popsicles were called. Then, when I was a bit older, they changed the name to Moggymen!"

"TT2s! Moggymen! Way cool!" Krystina thought that was really funny. "How did you get change from a 5 cent coin if TT2s were only 4 cents?"

Her Dad explained that back then there were 1 and 2 cent coins, as well as 5 cent coins.

"So, how come iceblocks still don't cost 4 cents?" asked Krystina. "If iceblocks were still 4 cents, and I get $5 a week for weeding Grandma's garden, then I could buy hundreds of iceblocks each week!"

Q3 How many iceblocks could Krystina buy with $5, if iceblocks still cost 4 cents each?

"Well, the prices of all sorts of things have gone up over the years. The price of a ticket to the movies now might cost more than last year and so might a loaf of bread or a pair of shoes. You know, I can remember when bread was 11 cents a loaf and a bottle of milk was 4 cents! If the price of lots of things go up, that's called inflation. And of course I only got 50 cents pocket money a week when I was your age, so I could only buy a few iceblocks."

Krystina thought about this. "So an iceblock was 4 cents when Dad was a kid and iceblocks are 65 cents now."

Q4 How many times does 4 cents go into 65 cents? Is there any remainder?

"That's a difference of 61 cents! Did inflation make that happen, Dad?"

"You've got it", replied her Dad. "If there's a lot of inflation, you can't buy as much with your pocket money. For example, an iceblock might cost 70 cents next year. Inflation means each year money is worth less and less."

"That's alright Dad - you can always give me more pocket money!" Krystina said.

"What if I'm a real meany and don't give you any more pocket money next year? My boss might decide not to pay me any more money!"

"But that's not fair!" cried Krystina. "How can I save up to buy those rollerblades if they go up in price and I'm not getting any more pocket money? I'll never be able to buy them!"

"Well, we'll see how things go", said her Dad. "We might be able to do a deal if you promise to give Muffin a bath more often!"

Krystina screwed up her nose, but thought that it sounded a pretty good deal.

Her thoughts were interrupted by her Dad's voice: "Hey, watch out Krys - Muffin's about to put his slobbery tongue on your popsicle!"

Activity: Ask your family/whanau (Mum, Dad, grandparents, aunties, uncles) about changing prices. You could ask them how much things like milk or lollies cost when they were your age. How much pocket money did they get (if any)?

Shopping list

1967

1995

Now?

Newspaper

4c

58c


Rice

(white,

500g)

13c

$1.34


Can of salmon (210g)

40c

$2.14


Tomato sauce (1 can)

22c

$2.22


Packet of frozen peas

22c

$1.91


Honey

27c

$2.28


Toilet paper (4 rolls)

36c

$2.82


Tennis balls (4)

$1.38

$18.78


Source : Statistics New Zealand, New Zealand Official Yearbooks, 1968 and 1996

Krystina wrote to ask Tip Top, the company that used to make TT2s, a few questions. This is what Tip Top replied.

Whatever happened to the TT2?

"This product was strictly a water ice and eventually ran its course with the last product run in 1968."

Why did TT2s become Moggymen?

"It was decided to upgrade the product and add milk and extra sugar and a new shape (little martian from outer space). That's how the Moggyman came into being."

Why was the iceblock called the TT2?

"The name was meant to reflect the lower level product because it was water based as opposed to Tip Top ice cream which included cream."

What flavours did the TT2 come in?

"Orange, pineapple, raspberry, coca cola, lime and lemonade".

What is inflation?

Inflation means money is worth less and less from year to year.

Dollars and cents took over from pounds and pence on July 10th 1967. This was called Decimal Currency Day. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is in charge of issuing all the notes and coins in New Zealand - you'll see the Bank's name on every bank note.

Because of inflation, one dollar today buys less than a tenth of what one dollar could buy in 1967.

Inflation is a real headache for people and governments. Since 1989 it has been the Reserve Bank's job to keep inflation low. If the Reserve Bank can keep inflation low, that means next year you will be able to buy as many things with your pocket money as you can now. That means you'll be able to save for things.