How Much Would Alice of The Brady Bunch Earn Today?

America's Favorite Housekeeper did it all

THE BRADY BUNCH
ABC

The beloved Ann B. Davis, the wacky, wonderful "Alice" of classic sitcom, The Brady Bunch, died over the weekend at 88. The family fantasy, which ran to mediocre ratings from 1969-1974, lives on in the fond memories and vivid dreams of viewers. For some, these dreams are tied to "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" or dark, brooding Greg. For others, typically the "Carol and Mike" of what we now call a "blended" family, the fantasizing is fixated on the multi-tasking marvel who was America's Favorite Housekeeper.

Quirky Alice did it all; cooking, cleaning, marriage counseling, laundry, nanny-ing, wisecracking, and living in full-time. Had the cult comedy been set in this century, she would have undoubtedly known how to re-boot the Roku, handle social media e-holes preying on Cindy, and teach Ruby on Rails to Sam the Butcher.

But could any family today, much less a family with six kids, afford the services of an Alice? Even in 1969, it was a stretch for the Bradys. Architect Mike likely earned an "inflation-adjusted $15,687" a year. Minimum wage was $1.30 an hour. How do you calculate $1.30 an hour multiplied by the 24/7 Alice devoted to her career?

Today an architect's annual pay averages $64,150, according to recent estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the nation's 104 million full-time workers had a mean wage of $46,440 last year. The estimated annual salary of a live in housekeeper ranges from $45,000-75,000 -- for an average family, not the Jolie-Pitts. Do the math; most housekeepers out-earn the families who need them.

Nor does the 2014 housekeeper job description include the massive To Do List so adeptly managed by Alice. Many of today's housekeepers are on duty only five days a week, don't do certain chores such as ironing, or personal errands for the parents. Special skills such as party planning or traveling with the family may cost more. In Silicon Valley, being fluent in Mandarin ups the price as does being a good vegan or gluten-free cook in Portland.

Even if you can afford your own Alice, she (or he) may not be easy to find. First there's the recruiting, the background checks (criminal and driving records), the interviewing, and negotiating the details, especially the confidentiality agreements, housing, and time-off.

None of which the Bradys ever had to worry about -- except when Alice showed up driving a truck in the 1995 Brady Bunch movie.

Have you been lucky enough to find your own Alice?

> Check out Housekeeping Jobs circa 2014

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Sarah Browne

Sarah Browne

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Sarah Browne is a consumer insights strategist, writer, and expert advisor on trends, innovation and emerging cultural change, especially in the workplace. A serial entrepreneur and specialist in angel investing, she loves to be in-the-trenches, taking seed stage products from concept to commercialization.

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Vinny

You are WRONG Mr. Republican. The MINIMUM wage in 1966 was $3.30 an hour. Gas cost $0.26 a gallon. One could fill their trunk with food for $25. People traded their cars every 2-3 years so your lies don't cut it Bubba. There is NO justification why American corporations that continually boost about how much cash they have get away with their slave labor pay scale. Obama the WIMP and COWARD is scared s***less to open his mouth except to make another wimpey, irrelevant, and completely meaningless ass-kissing speech about NOTHING. I voted for the jerk, but he is in reality a TOTAL and COMPLETE FAILURE. He flies around in his 'Tree House' at taxpayers expense because he can't face the DISASTER he created. Can't wait to see his ass leaving the Whitehouse forever.

June 04 2014 at 1:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Vinny's comment
richard

you are wrong, the minimum was when I was working at a grocery store in 1976 was $2.40. I don't know where you got that info.

June 04 2014 at 2:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dirockson

I was a child care provider and I was paid well, I would always help out if need be. I was paid well but I wasn't live in help. I would tidy up just because I d be board after the kids were asleep. it was fun and I made some money that helped pay for college but it was one of several jobs. As kids got older I often ended up dog sitting too. Or house sitting . it was fair wage , If you want someone who isn't going to steal or be bad to your kids or your dog you have to pay .

June 04 2014 at 1:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
martin

Not sure what my parents paid for our lived in house keeper. And honestly didnt think anything about it at the time. I know she was just their as far as I could remember. She cooked, took and picked up me and my sister to and from school. And played ball with us. Our only thing she required from us is when "I love Lucy" came on. We would say "Nina Lucy is on" and out of the kitchen she would come on watch it with us. She was with us till she retired. When I was about 16 my mother finally had told me that she had died of natural causes. I truly missed her

June 04 2014 at 12:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YourFtr

While Alice helped the family out on dinner and cleaning;
she also got support from the family to help her out......
You can't buy that; except for $75 an hour......!?

June 04 2014 at 12:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YourFtr

Marcia would make more money than anybody else; as a model.......
Marcia, Marcia !!

June 04 2014 at 12:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

If Alice Nelson had made only THAT much as the show ran, she would have made $2,704 BEFORE taxes. The 1st time I had heard about minimum wage, I had seen on a poster that it was $3.35/hr. (coming to $6.968 BEFORE taxes). When I was working for The Salvation Army, I first worked part-time, at $6.15/hr. for 29 hrs./wk. (and had made AS MUC AS $9,274.20 BEFORE taxes). Not long AFTER I had started, I was promoted to working FULL-TIME - the ONLY catch, my pay went DOWN to $5.15/hr. (making as much as $10,712 BEFORE taxes). As each year passed by, I had a raise in my salary (as minimum wage went UP). Before coming to Illinois, I had made AS MUCH AS $8/hr. (making as much as $16,640). The HIGHEST I was ever paid anywhere was when I had worked for a Wal-Mart back in Mesa, AZ: I had made at least $9/hr. (making as much as $18.720).

June 04 2014 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jubequinn

Thank heavens that nobody has brought politics into this post. Thanks a lot.

June 04 2014 at 12:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jayneblaine

We had a college girl living in our downstairs room (separate access & bathroom & closet but no kitchen except for microwave and small dorm fridge). She got to live there for free in exchange for watching my son for 3 hours a day. Good for her (free rent, etc) Good for me (3 hour break from non-stop mommying). 3 hrs/day @ $10/hr = $840/mo. Can't get rent around here for less than $1500/month for that space. Alice had it good. Seems she never paid rent and had full access to the kitchen, her own room and access to the family car and set her own hours.

June 03 2014 at 11:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
idr_mike

I'm not as old as some commenting here but a hell of a lot older than others. Lets put it this way....I watched the Brady Bunch religiously as a kid and they weren't re-runs.

For some reason I recall the minimum wage being $2.90 at some point of my part time bus boy job. It sucked but we made up for it in tips ; )

June 03 2014 at 11:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to idr_mike's comment
David

Good for you! My mother had made a small amount of money as a waitress at a restaurant when we lived in South Dakota (which she COMPENSATED for with the tips).

June 04 2014 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Victoria

When I started working in June, 1970, the minimum wage was $1.85 per hour.

June 03 2014 at 11:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Victoria's comment
jubequinn

I was making about $3.00 hour as a jaitor in American Standard.

June 04 2014 at 12:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
richard

I would agree with that.

June 04 2014 at 2:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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