Travel Back…to 1968

Posted by Steph Perine on Apr 06, 2018

60's

Have you ever wanted to travel back in time? If you had a time machine, would you go back to see the dinosaurs or maybe visit the renaissance period?

If you look into the more recent past, you’ll find plenty of interesting things as well. Fifty years ago, 1968, was quite possibly one of the most momentous years in history–not always in the best way. This was the year that Apollo 8 orbited the moon for the first time, but it was also when Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated. Bonanza, Laugh In and The Beverly Hillbillies were television favorites, while The Beatles and the Rolling Stones dominated the airwaves. You may have been able to rattle off these important aspects of life 50 years ago, but what was banking and managing your money like in 1968?

Banking Was Largely Manual.  Computers were just becoming a reality, so most banks were manual at their core. Checks were processed by hand and books were tallied each day to make sure the financial institution was perfectly balanced. For consumers, you visited a local store with cash in hand or perhaps a check.

Credit Cards Were Becoming Common. While not as common as today, the late 1960’s saw many families begin getting credit cards. At the time, using one wasn’t quite as seamless as today, but it allowed many consumers access to an open line of credit for the first time. Learning to manage the easy access to credit was a challenge for many living in the late 1960’s.

Don’t Bounce. Because check processing was manual, it was sometimes possible to “float” a check when waiting for payday, for instance. You may have been able to get away with this on occasion, but the lack of consistency in how checks were processed caused more than a few people to accidentally bounce a check. Luckily, many banks were locally owned and operated, so fees were often much less of a burden than they are today.

Balancing Was Key (and Not Easy). Since you couldn’t get online to check your balance anytime, keeping track of how much was in your account at any time was a must. Perfect records were necessary, and many households did this without a calculator at all or with a clunky desktop machine.

Things have changed dramatically in the last 50 years, especially when it comes to managing your finances. TheMyCentury client portal, an example of how technology has made managing finances easier, is a convenient resource available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The MyCentury portal provides you the ability to monitor your debt program and communicate with Century, from uploading important documents to approving settlements, at your convenience. Click here to access your MyCentury portal.