Friday, March 03, 2006

Inflate This

Sometimes its fun, or even necessary, to figure out what inflation has done to the price of things over the years. For example, a few years ago when we looked into having someone mow our yard, I had no idea what was a good price to pay. It had been 30 years since I did regular lawn mowing as a kid. Back then, $5 was a decent wage for an average south-side Springfield yard. So, as always when in doubt, I hit the internet.

There are a number of “inflation calculators” to choose from. I use this one because it’s really, really simple. Putting in my $5 from 1974, I found that now translated to about $20. That seems like a lot for having someone mow my lawn but that’s because I used to do it for $5 and that number has stuck with me. But there’s inflation.

The other day I got to wondering from what point have prices double and triple and so on. So I used my inflation calculator to provide an answer. Here’s what I found:

Prices have doubled since 1982. That is, something that cost $10 in 1982 now costs $20. Prices have tripled since 1978, quadrupled since 1974 and are ten times what they were in 1947.

If you really want to get depressed, put your current salary in the inflation calculator and run it against the year you got out of high school or college or whenever you first became aware of relative salaries. It turns out you’re not making as much as you think you are.

No comments: