Oh, infaltion, thou art a wretched beast. A dollar fifty years ago is not the same as a dollar today—just look at the concept of a dime store to tell you that much. DimeTravel is the app to tell you exactly how your money has changed over time. Here's the developer's take on a typical usage scenario:
You're watching an old episode of Columbo on a lazy Sunday afternoon. An episode from 1976. He gets a haircut and it costs him $25. He is shocked with the cost. You open up DimeTravel and ask it how much $25 from 1976 would be today. (answer = almost $100 - NOW i can feel poor old Columbo's pain).
Pretty staggering, no? Of course, the app can calculate things the other way around, too. Here are a few samples for your amusement, with the numbers taken from this site:
- Coffee cost $1.11/lb in 1954...which is $14.47 today!
- A car (a Henry J, to be precise) for sale in New Jersey in 1950 was listed at $1,299...which is a whopping $27,771 today.
- $1 bought you two large bottles of Clorox Bleach in 1970...that would be $9.55 today.
- Someone needed an accountant and was willing to pay a $9,000 annual salary in 1970...or $85,942 in today's money!
Conversely, if you take modern numbers and change them:
- A $60 video game would sell for a paltry $4.92 half a century ago,
- and that $200 you spent on your iPhone 3GS would have been just $153 back in 2000.
Playing with numbers is always fun. Sadly, DimeTravel only goes back to 1948 for us Americans. I don't know why—Wolfram Alpha can handle prior centuries just fine—but even with the current data, it's still nifty to look at these numbers! And you can look at them, too, because DimeTravel displays the path of inflation as a nice graph. If you're a sucker for realizing how transient your money is, go ahead and give DimeTravel a look. And more importantly, invest your remaining money wisely, because if you leave it under your mattress, it's likely to vanish into grasp of good ol' inflation.