The Price of Living: From 1964 To 2014

January 17, 2014 10:00 AM

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A gallon of milk only cost you $0.93 in 1964. Today? About $3.93, but milk is bad for you so don’t bother. Drink almond milk! (That’s $3.38 for a half gallon). A call from a payphone was just $0.10, but in 2014… wait, what’s a payphone? See what a difference 50 years makes.

Rent Money

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Don Draper, one of the main characters in Mad Men, lived in a 2 bedroom apartment at 104 Waverly Place (right next to Washington Square Park) in 1964. It’s estimated that his apartment was about $250 per month and the same apartment now easily goes for $4,500.

Damn the MTA

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Subway rides were a breeze back in the day. For a mere $0.15 you could travel up and down Manhattan but today the same trip is $2.50… for a one way trip anywhere in the subway system.

“Just for the taste of it…”

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Well, one thing hasn’t changed too much. Even shortly after Coca Cola’s debut two cans were $0.27 and today you can get one can for $1.00 or a two liter for $1.99.

Send my regards to Broadway

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In 1964, when shows like “Hello Dolly” and “Fiddler On The Roof” were popular on Broadway, tickets were just under $10 and in 1987 there was an article in the New York Times that hinted at the threatening increase of tickets to $50. Today, however, a popular show on a Friday or Saturday night will run you anywhere from $179 to $299.

The Boob Tube

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Back in 1964, 20 years after the introduction of the Black & White television, the 26″ color TV debuted at the World Fair for $379 (the current equivalent of $2849). Today a decent TV between 40 or 50 inches is about $259 at BestBuy.

Minimum Wage

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On thing that hasn’t increased enough is the minimum wage. IN 1964 it was $1.15 which seems fair but today it is $8.00. Considering that apartment costs have increased by more than 18 times it seems the minimum wage should have as well.

The Price of Music

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1964 was the first time that The Beatles crossed the ocean to come to the United States which was the first start to Beatlemania. Their album, A Hard Day’s Night was released in August of that year for $5.98 and the same album today runs from around $15 to $30.

Gas Money

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Thank God this is NYC and we don’t really need to drive anywhere but for those of us who do, a gallon of gas used to be just $.25 and today prices float around $4.05 but that is considered one of the highest in the country.

A Pack of Smokes

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After Marlboro’s smoking campaign began in 1964 the smoking population rose more than 10% to an all time high of 60% of the overall population. A pack of cigarettes then were about $1.60 and today, the smoking percentage is just under 20%, perhaps that’s because a pack in New York is roughly $12.

See you at the movies. Or not.

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Movie ticket prices are way too expensive now too. For $1.86 a guy could take a girl on a date to see a new movie but today that same date costs $29 and that doesn’t include dinner or any guarantees.

Good ‘ol American Muscle

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The Ford Mustang was also revealed in 1964 at the World’s Fair and the starting price was $2,320 where as today it costs, at the least, $22,510. Guess I won’t be getting one of those anytime soon.

- Cameron Steagall, CBS Local

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