Let's Talk about Monthly Bills: Then Vs. Now

by Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach

Today, I have no internet and no cable tv and we are waiting for Comcast repair to get here. I am writing this offline and will cut and paste to the site later…

So my husband used an antenna to get a few tv stations. Today, I have an odd station on, it says MeTV in the bottom right corner.

This morning I've watched: I Love Lucy, Beverly Hillbillies, and now Leave It To Beaver! What a blast from the past!

They are showing previews for other oldies like: The Flintstones, Andy Griffin, Heat of the Night, The Waltons, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, etc.

So I'm watching Beaver and he and three friends called Don Drysdale, a famous baseball player, in LA. Drysdale kept saying that the call was going to cost you, and the boys said they'd reimburse Beaver's father. So after the call, they all chipped in a quarter each (75-cents total) to give to Beaver's father.

Then, one of the boys said his father called the operator after he calls long-distance to ask what the call would cost. Beaver did that and found out that one call to LA would cost $9.35 plus tax.

So I giggled to myself, then thought — WOW! We paid long-distance charges years ago but can call anywhere now on cell phones! We can even text someone across the country or world! What a wonderful world we live in!

So now I am thinking, just as Perry Mason, comes on TV…

What else has changed in the way of monthly bills?

What did my grandparents pay for back in the 50s-60s (with only Social Security and very limited savings)?

OK, my grandparents would have paid:

Doctor Bills

They owned their small home. They didn't have a car as my Aunt drove them to doctor appointments and grocery shopping.

Today, We pay different monthly bills:

Cable TV
Cell Phones
Car Payments
Car Insurance
Health Care Insurance
Doctor Co-Pays

Our mortgages are higher than many years ago. Heck, my first mortgage in 1982, was what many pay for car loans today! AND that was 1982, not the 50s-60s.

Everything costs more, that's inflation! What did bills cost way back when?

Plus, our electricity is used more due to all the different appliances and technology we now use.

I could go on and on, but I'd love to see what you have to say about this.

What do you remember about what things cost?

Name something and an approximate date too.

Just plain curious…


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Price of Gas Going Up
by: Canadian Retiree

Speaking of the good old days, I remember when it cost me $3.00 to fill up my Toyota back in 1973.

Here in Canada we are paying $1.28 a litre. Usually it goes as high as $1.50 per litre. We also pay the highest auto insurance in Canada.

Our cell phones are also the highest monthly rate than most countries. It’s a struggle for most of us seniors on fixed pensions.

Increased prices
by: Joyce F in Kansas

Bread used to be 5 loaves for $1. Now even the cheapest seems to be over $2 a loaf.

Price check
by: Jim from New York

I can remember when cigarettes were $0.35 a pack in the early 70s ? When it went up to $.50 cents I was shocked at the time. It (as well as other things) helped inspire me to stop smoking.

Of course I do know it has gone up because of inflation and taxes.

What things used to cost.
by: Dean/Nashville

Our first house,1200 sq. ft. ranch on over an acre of land and a 2 car garage in Orchard Park NY: $19,000 1972.

Gas when I started driving in 1970, 23.9 cents a gallon. Each week when I cashed my paycheck we kept $20 out for entertainment AND gas!

Our first new car 1970 Pinto $1919. Our second new car 1971 Ford Mustang $2700. Our third new car 1975 Dodge Aspen Stationwagon $5000 and we couldn't believe we just paid so much. A year ago we bought a new SUV, $28,000.

Even though we live frugally and have a nice nest egg I expect if we live long enough we will become poor.

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