The cost of living: 1966 compared to today

A litre of milk: 19 cents. A dozen eggs: 60 cents. The family home: wait for it… $4500.

Living costs mean different things depending on what you’re buying. Here’s some major items compared.

So how much has the cost of living gone up?

Average weekly earnings

1966: $60
Now: $1160
Wages are about 20 TIMES HIGHER now than they were 50 years ago.

The good news
Household spending … then and now

Item $ in 1966 Equivalent now  What you pay now
Milk (1 litre) 19 cents   $3.80 $1
Eggs (1 dozen)  60 cents $12  $7
Petrol (1 litre)  7 cents   $1.40   $1.30
Butter (500g) 55 cents $11    $5
FJ Holden   $2,200    $44,000    $36,000 (Commodore Evoke)


cost of living then and now

The bad news


Average house in Sydney now: $1.1M
Average house in 1966 – $4500
Equivalent amount today … $90,000 (That’s not enough for a deposit!)

No wonder more and more young people are giving up on the idea of home ownership altogether.

But things seem more expensive! 

  • Other things are more expensive: Electricity is up 100% from just 5 years ago.
  • There’s more to buy: Phones, computers, travel, streaming TV subscriptions…
  • Things don’t last: We throw more out so need to replace things more often.

 And, when you used to be able to get lamb chops for 48 cents a pound, $22 a kilo is never going to seem like a good deal.

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