We often hear how frivolous millennials are with their money. But are they really? Taking into account the value of money over time and the inflation rate, do millennials really have that much more money to spend than their grandparents did? Let’s look at how much I spend vs how much my grandma spent and find out who, in the battle of millennials vs baby boomers, spent their money more frivolously.
Average income over time
How much our grandparents earnedAccording to Statistics Canada, the average personal income in Canada was $313 per year in 1935, $1,672 per year in 1960, $15,903 in 1985 and $37,700 in 2008.
Hourly wages over time
How much our grandparents earned at our ageIn 1977, when our grandparents were our age, their average hourly wages were $24.50, if you use an inflation formula/equation to adjust it to 2016 dollars.
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The value of money over time
Inflation rate in 1969In 1969, the inflation rate was 4.69%. However, monetary inflation over the past 50 years has been cumulative. A dollar value chart shows that you now need $663.68 to buy what your grandmother could buy for $100 in 1969.
Interesting to keep in mind as we talk about millennial spending habits.
How much money you need to retire
How much money our grandparents need to retireFor our grandparents to retire comfortably in Canada now, Savvy New Canadians says that the general rule of thumb is to have saved at least $1 million. Many of those who haven’t been able to save this much are looking at the best places for Canadians to retire globally and make their money go further.
The value of the Canadian dollar vs the US dollar
The exchange rate in the pastIn 1957, the Canadian dollar was worth slightly more than the US dollar. Its value dropped during the 1960s and in 1970 it was allowed to float to combat inflation. During the 1970s it became worth more than the greenback but, except for a short period in 2007, it has been worth less than the US dollar since the 1990s.
At least there are still things Canadians pay less for.
How much millennials spend on housing
How much our grandparents spent on housingIn 1976, according to Global News, housing prices worked out to an average of around $210,000, adjusted to 2016 dollars.
How much a university degree costs
How much our grandparents paid for tuitionIn the second half of the 1970s, university tuition costs in Canada averaged at a little over $2,000. It was really only from the mid-1990s that tuition costs skyrocketed as government funding for universities dropped. It’s good to know then that there are still high-paying jobs that don’t need a degree.
How much millennials spend on student debt
How much student debt our grandparents hadIn the late 1970s, the average amount that full-time students borrowed was around $1,000. This meant that after graduation, our grandparents could use more of their money supply on other things instead of finding ways to pay off student loans fast.
How much millennials spend on new cars
How much our grandparents paid for a new carAccording to In the 70s, a new car cost an average of US$5,012 in the United States in 1979. Car prices for Canadians at the time wouldn’t be much different.
How much millennials spend on gas
How much our grandparents spent on gasAccording to the blog Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, the average national price for gas in 1979 was 23.6 cents per litre.
How much millennials spend on meat
How much our grandparents spent on meatIn April 1995, 500 g of bacon cost an average of $2,68; 1 kg of ground beef cost $3.83 and 1 kg of chicken cost $3.71.
How much millennials spend on eggs
How much our grandparents spent on eggsOur grandparents could truly afford eating for clear skin. StatsCan says that in April 1995, a dozen eggs cost $1.59.
How much millennials spend on bread
How much our grandparents spent on breadIn April 1995, a 675 g loaf of bread cost an average of $1.26.
How much millennials spend on pasta
How much our grandparents spent on pastaThere’s a good reason Grandma used to make all those macaroni-based casseroles. In April 1995, a 500 g pack of macaroni cost an $0.98 on average.
How much millennials spend on coffee
How much our grandparents spent on coffeeOur grandparents tended to opt for instant coffee, which cost $5.35 for 200 g in April 1995. It’s a mystery why they would do this, since 300 g of roasted coffee was cheaper at $3.99.
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How much millennials spend on corn flakes
How much our grandparents spent on corn flakesIn April 1995, a 675 g box of corn flakes cost only $2.99. No wonder Grandma used breakfast cereal in everything from casseroles to cookies.
How much millennials spend on fruit
How much our grandparents spent on fruitOur grandparents definitely could afford to keep the doctor away with an apple a day. In April 1995, a 1 kg bag of apples cost $2.22 on average.
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