How much was it like for $100 in the late 70's?

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kenny1999

Senior Cook
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
390
Location
Far East
I am recently watching an interesting old movie, now I am wondering how much it was like in the late 70's? Any comparison with today's expense? Any real experience?
 

Marlingardener

Senior Cook
Joined
Apr 24, 2022
Messages
191
Location
unincorporated area
Gee Kenny, thanks for making me feel like a fossil!
We were married in 1971, bought an old house to restore, and put in a large vegetable garden. I can tell you the price of beef was about 49 cents a pound, eggs 50 cents or so a dozen, and since we grew and canned vegetables, I cannot comment on those items.
The price of lumber, paint, and cleaning products has at least tripled since we were working on that house (which became a showplace over the space of three years). I doubt if we could afford to do it at today's prices.
Gasoline was in the 35 cent range, and the gas station's employee pumped the gas, cleaned your windshield, and asked if you wanted your oil checked. No long lines at the station, either!
It's strange, but the price of clothing hasn't changed much. Neither of us are "snappy dressers" so maybe the basics haven't risen as much as more high end clothing.
Now I'll climb back into my cave and see if there is any dinosaur meat left in the freezer!
 

cookiecrafter

Senior Cook
Joined
Aug 10, 2021
Messages
211
Location
Chicago
Inflation hit in the 70's. A gallon of milk cost $1 when you went to sleep. When you woke the next morning, it cost $4.
 

caseydog

Master Chef
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
5,756
Location
Dallas
From the late 70s, I mostly remember 42 cents a gallon for gasoline for my car that got 8 MPG.

CD
 

Aunt Bea

Master Chef
Joined
Mar 14, 2011
Messages
7,726
Location
near Mount Pilot
When I started my first real job in 1974 the annual salary was $7,500.00/year.

In 1976 I purchased a new Chevrolet Camaro for a little under $7,000.00.

IMO the numbers don’t matter as much as the purchasing power from one decade to the next.

It amazes me how much money young people earn today and how how much it costs to be young in America.

I feel that I was better off in real terms during the 70s. Things were cheaper and there were fewer, so called, necessities competing for my dollars.
 
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caseydog

Master Chef
Joined
Jan 19, 2017
Messages
5,756
Location
Dallas
When I started my first real job in 1974 the annual salary was $7,500.00/year.

In 1976 I purchased a new Chevrolet Camaro for a little under $7,000.00.

IMO the numbers don’t matter as much as the purchasing power from one decade to the next.

It amazes me how much money young people earn today and how how much it costs to be young in America today.

I feel that I was better off in real terms during the 70s. Things were cheaper and there were fewer, so called, necessities competing for my dollars.

On one hand, I see a lot of young people spending too much money on having the latest high-tech toy, eating out, and other things that aren't really "needs."

But, one area I feel bad for them is the cost of a college education. With the help of my parents, and an after classes job of 30 to 40 hours a week, I got through college at a State University without any student loans.

CD
 

HeyItsSara

Senior Cook
Joined
Feb 5, 2020
Messages
277
Location
NYC
In the 70s, people did't spend money on cell phones, cable TV, Starbucks; many of the luxuries you see today.
 

Chief Longwind Of The North

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Joined
Aug 26, 2004
Messages
12,454
Location
USA,Michigan
$1.25 per hour was my first pay. and I worked my tail of for it. It took a good 12 hours to cut and rake the huge lawn owned by my mother's layer boss, on the river of course, where it grew lush, and thick very quickly. Gas was .40 per gallon. I had a little Honda motorcycle that gave me 100 mph. For .80, I could drive it all over, and still have money for snacks. Soda pop sold for .12 per full sized bottles, or a nickel for the small bottles. Candy bars were a dime. Bubble gum was a penny candy. There were also Nickle candy bars, and a host of other penny candies. A pitcher of beer sold for .40. Pizza was cheap. My first vehicle, that I bought 2nd hand, looked like junk. The back center was crunched in. it was an Oldsmobile Delta 88, with a 454 rocket V8, and 4 barrel carburetor. That engine purred and could squeal ties from a dead stop, up to about 30 mph. I could afford to drive it on that $1.25 per hour.

My next vehicle was a Rambler American, with a straight 6 under the hood. I raced a guy near Memphis, Tn., one night. This Rambler was a real beater car. It had a simple three on the tree stick shift. When we dropped our speed to 15 mph, my passenger dropped his hand and the race was on. I took that Rambler to 60mph, in 2nd gear, power shifted into 3rd gear. With max rpm's on that fly wheel, the car shot forward like a rocket, leaving that local in my dust. I pulled over and he accused me of having a sleeper car, all set up for racing. I popped my hood and showed him the 6 banger. He couldn't understand how my little car could win. I smiled and said "Up North, where I'm from, they teach us how to drive."

We didn't need much money, a little for the 12 foot fishing boat, a little for gas money, and a bit to slash Ashman with friends on a Saturday night. Someone always hid in the trunk when we went to Drive-In movies. The Paul Bunyan half pound burger was .90, as was the 2/3rds lb. Big C, with a slab of American cheese melted on top. and the West Pier burgers were 2/3rds lb. for a single, again at .99.

Boone's Farm, and Annie Green Springs pop wines were .99 per bottle. Me, I drank root beer, or 7-Up, as I detest the favor of alcohol. I was always the designated driver, and best air-hockey player wherever I went.

This was all happening around 1972 to 1975. In 75, the price of sugar went through the roof. The price of pop followed. A car that you could get new for $2500 rose to $6000 by 1976. OPEC decreased their oil output to force increased petroleum prices. I suppose that helped delay our present global warming problems.

Still, I sure miss those days when I had endless energy, and could find entertainment so readily available, and cheap. It helped that I was a country boy, and loved camping, swimming, hunting, fishing, etc. That rope swing that sent us high over the river before we dropped off was a thrill. I've never had a lot of money, but no one could ever say I had a boring life.

Seeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
 

dcSaute

Sous Chef
Joined
Apr 24, 2011
Messages
918
we got married in 1970.
my pay was $210 every two weeks.
DW did counter duty at the local Dunkin Donut - cute pink uniform . . .
she would get her +/-$25 cash pay, we go grocery shopping, fill up the car with gas, and come home with $5.xx in change.
 

Carl520

Assistant Cook
Joined
Feb 9, 2022
Messages
8
Location
Victoria, BC
On one hand, I see a lot of young people spending too much money on having the latest high-tech toy, eating out, and other things that aren't really "needs."

But, one area I feel bad for them is the cost of a college education. With the help of my parents, and an after classes job of 30 to 40 hours a week, I got through college at a State University without any student loans.

CD

True, college tuition has gone to the moon and back these past years. Although, this might be an unpopular opinion, I feel college education is not that necessary as many would want to make you believe. Community colleges and trade schools offer really good options and at a very affordable price. And, provided you live in a decent place, education until high school is paid by the government (ofc with our taxes :LOL: but you get it) so basically your kids are covered. And besides that, there are tons of free educational resources out there, that's the beauty of this technology era. The other day for example, I was watching how my nephew was getting instant help from this college algebra tutor service app without paying anything. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying no one should go to college as the world needs college graduates (doctors, engineers etc.) but not 100% of all high school graduates need to go to college and get into big debt in the process.

I wonder if because college tuition got so bad the government felt bad for students that's why they launched the student loan forgiveness program
 
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