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How Much Did It Cost in the 1960s?

Hippie Bus

Last month I wrote a post about what things cost back in 1950.

I mainly wanted to compare prices back then to current prices today.

I grew up in the 1960s listening to The Beatles, eating TV dinners in front of the “black and white” television set, watching I Love Lucy, and enjoying life without internet access and cell phone technology.

Life was simpler back then, so…

We’ve come a long way, right?

Median Household Income

1965 – $6,100.00
2009 – $48,855.00

Minimum Wage

1965 – $1.25
2009 – $7.25

1st Class Postage Stamp

1965 – $0.05
2009 – $0.44

A Gallon of Regular Gasoline

1965 – $0.31
2009 – $2.47

A Gallon of Milk

1965 – $0.95
2009 – $2.99

A Ticket to the Movies

1965 – $1.00
2009 – $11.00

Average Price of a Home

1965 – $21,500.00
2009 – $258,000.00

1 Dozen Eggs

1965 – $0.53
2009 – $1.79

Want more stats?

Check out: 1950the 1970sthe 1980sthe 1990s

The Cost of Inflation

In economics, inflation is a rise in the general level of prices of goods and services in an economy over a period of time. When the price level rises, each unit of currency buys fewer goods and services; consequently, inflation is also an erosion in the purchasing power of money – a loss of real value in the internal medium of exchange and unit of account in the economy.

The Cost of Living vs Minimum Wage

It’s important to note on the above definition, that inflation erodes the purchasing power of money and affects the “real value” of goods and services.

What is also notable is the price of a movie ticket versus minimum wage.

Back in 1965 a movie ticket cost around $1.00. Minimum wage was about $1.25.

beatles_medToday a movie ticket can cost about $10 to $11.00. Minimum wage today is $7.25 per hour.

It doesn’t seem like there was an equivalent rise in earning power versus spending power at the movies, something that is probably more of an issue with younger workers who love to go to the movies.

I’m sure this can be applied to a lot of other things if one were to do more research and compare the prices.

Gasoline for instance, probably hasn’t changed much since 1965. It’s possible it has been refined and improved on, but basically it’s the same gallon of gasoline.

Eggs and milk basically haven’t changed either, except for the price. Though, a postage stamp probably has a bit more value today because postal systems have improved since then.

About the author:
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Randomguru is a musician and blogger living in San Diego.


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