How Much Could $1 Buy You the Year You Were Born?

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This amount of goods or services will not be possible to buy for $1 in 2022. But you may be surprised at what $1 used to buy in the past. Did you know that $1 could have bought six Hershey’s chocolate bars in the past? This is what you would have done if you were alive back in 1973. What is the current cost of 3 gallons gasoline in your community? Ten dollars? More? More?

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These examples are not only fun to see, but they also show the destructive power of inflation. As inflation increases, the purchasing power of an asset decreases. dollarAs shown by these items, it is. You might be amazed, ten or twenty years later, at how “cheap” things were in 2022. This is because inflation will likely drive prices higher in the future.

GOBankingRates analyzed prices from 1940-2021 to see how much $1 would have bought in the year you were born. You’ll find an example of a good or service that cost $1 for each year. This is a fascinating and educational list that shows in stark black and white how $1 loses its purchasing power over time. Check out your birth year and you may get a chuckle out of what $1 could buy in that year.

Maryviolet / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Maryviolet / Getty Images/iStockphoto

1940-1944
1940: School bag, $0.98
1941: 2-gallon aquarium, $0.98
1942: Women’s dress, $1.00
1943: Handbag, $1.00
1944: Set of three toys (doll and Klik-Klak), $1.05
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ScottMThompson / Getty Images/iStockphoto

ScottMThompson / Getty Images/iStockphoto

1945-1949
1945: B-29 Boeing Super Fortress Bomber model kit, $0.95
1946: 2 RCA Victor records, $0.89
1947: Apple tree, $0.98
1948: Men’s belt, $0.94
1949: Cotton shirt for boys, $0.97

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

1950-1954
1950: Throw pillow, $0.80
1951: Baseball cap, $0.95
1952: 1 cake pan & 6 custard cups, $1.05
1953: 1 quart of paint $0.98
1954: Set of 4 screwdrivers, $0.98

Andrey Armyagov / Shutterstock.com

Andrey Armyagov / Shutterstock.com

1955-1959
1955: 2 McDonald’s meals (a burger, fries, and soda), $0.70
1956: Hair spray, $1.05
1957: Baby gowns, $0.87
1958: Bath towel, $0.91
1959: Pitcher, $0.91

Tyler Olson / Shutterstock.com

Tyler Olson / Shutterstock.com

1960-1964
1960: Tights/nylons, $0.94
1961: 2 Sunday New York Times $1.00
1962: 1 yard of fabric, $0.94
1963: Movie ticket, $0.86
1964: 2,000 cigarette papers, $0.97

CasarsaGuru / Getty Images

CasarsaGuru / Getty Images

1965-1969
1965: Rifle carrying case, $0.88
1966: 3 gallons gas, $0.96
1967: 2 Big Macs, $0.90
1968: Baby blanket $1.00
1969: Set of 2 greeting cards, $0.99

dean bertoncelj / Shutterstock.com

dean bertoncelj / Shutterstock.com

1970-1974
1970: 2 pillowcases, $0.88
1971: Rake, $1.09
1972: Wrench, $0.98
1973: 6 Hershey’s bars, $0.90
1974: Barbie outfit, $0.77

Creativeye99 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Creativeye99 / Getty Photos/iStockphoto

1975-1979
1975: 50 vitamins, $1.00
1976: Knee socks, $0.99
1977: $0.97 Skein of yarn
1978: 6 First-Class Postage Stamps, $0.90
1979: 8 guitar picks, $0.98

dusanpetkovic / Getty Images/iStockphoto

dusanpetkovic / Getty Images/iStockphoto

1980-1984
1980: 1/2 gallon milk, $1.02
1981: 1 dozen eggs, $0.97
1982: Pack of cigarettes $0.82
1983: 2 D batteries, $0.99
1984: 1 lb grapes for $0.99

Natnan Srisuwan / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Natnan Srisuwan / Getty Images/iStockphoto

1985-1989
1985: California Lottery ticket: $1
1986: 3 shots Bourbon, $0.97
1987: 2 bags gift wrapping bows, $1
1988: 4 packs of gum $1
1989: 1 gallon gas = $1

chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com

chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com

1990-1994
1990: 1 share of Microsoft, $0.94
1991: 1 share of Disney, $1
1992: 1/2 pound bacon, $0.93
1993: 4 vending machine toys/gumballs, $1
1994: 1/2 bag potato chips $1

Faiz Zaki / Shutterstock.com

Faiz Zaki / Shutterstock.com

1995-1999
1995: Ballpoint pen ink refill, $1
1996: Half pound chicken breast, $0.96
1997: Die-cast Nascar model, $1.33
1998: 2 liters cola, $0.98
1999: 11 green Lego bricks, $0.98

plavevski / Shutterstock.com

plavevski / Shutterstock.com

2000-2004
2000: Loafs of bread, $0.99
2001: Three letters per postage, $1.02
2002: Taco Bell bean burrito, $0.69
2003: $1 Ticket for Blink-182’s DollaBill Tour
2004: 1 share Apple, $0.94

serdjophoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

serdjophoto / Getty Images/iStockphoto

2005-2009
2005: 10 KWHs electricity, $1
2006: 2 pounds bananas, $0.96
2007: iTunes track, $0.99
2008: Slice of New York pizza $1
2009: 1/2 weekday New York Times, 1

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

2010-2014
2010: 1/3 Gallon of Gas, $0.93
2011: Ground beef 1/3 lb, $1
2012: Fitness app, $0.99
2013: 1 lb navel oranges, $1
2014: $1 for 1 car air freshener

TARA CHAIYATHO / Shutterstock.com

TARA CHAIYATHO / Shutterstock.com

2015-2019
2015: 50GB storage (iCloud), $0.99
2016: Shot of whiskey at $0.99
2017: Set of 2 makeup brushes, $0.89
2018: A dozen Krispy Kreme donuts, $1
2019: 4 dry erase markers, $1

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

2020-2022
2020: Wendy’s Frosty (small), $0.99
2021: Amazon Kindle eBook, $.99
2022: Can of soda $0.75
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This article first appeared on GOBankingRates.com: What $1 Could Buy the Year You Were Born

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