I’m not normally a covetous person, but I have to admit that in 7th grade, which would have been 1973-74, I did indeed covet. I didn’t covet my neighbor’s house, wife, servants, or animals. Instead, I coveted a classmate’s calculator. Santa Claus had brought him a $79.95 electronic calculator, and I was jealous. After all of these years, I still remember the kid’s name, but no, I’m not going to post it here.
It turns out I shouldn’t have worried, since the price of these little gadgets were just about to start plummeting. Santa probably brought a lot more calculators the next year, since the December 1974 issue of Popular Mechanics shows this example, the Novus 650
Mathbox with a retail price of only $16.95, “with rumors flying of $10 calculators to come.” Those rumors proved to be true, since this same calculator was advertised on sale for $8.88 in time for Christmas 1975.
My parents wound up getting a TI-3500 desk calculator, which managed to serve my needs during junior high. In high school, I got my own calculator, the venerable TI-30, which set me back only $29.95. (According to Wikipedia, the price at introduction was $24.95. I probably paid $5 extra for the rechargeable battery option.)