I'm thinking that 50 years ago in Sioux Falls people were saying the same thing they say today. 'Doggone, it sure does cost a lot to live these days!'.

So what did it cost to live in our great city back in the 'old days'? What did your parents or grandparents pay for this, that, and the other thing? Did they have to stretch things out to get from payday to payday? Probably.

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If you're thinking Sioux Falls has grown a bit in the past half-century, you'd be right. There was something over 73,000 Sioux Falls-ites in those days compared to over 200,000 of us now.

And looking back to what things cost in the U.S. and Sioux Falls 50 years ago (that's the early 1970's) you might think things were, well, cheap.

For example, if you hopped into the Plymouth or Pontiac or Mercury and stopped at the full-service neighborhood gas station, it would run you about 40 cents a gallon to fill 'er up. And while you were getting that tank full, you might be dreaming about getting that shiny new Dodge Charger...they were sweet! But it would set you back about $3,600.

If you wanted to drop off a letter to your cousin out on the coast you'd be licking an 8 cent postage stamp to make sure it got there.

Want to take your favorite girl to the latest movie hit? That would set you back a buck and a half.

If you're picking up birthday gifts for the kids, that Malibu Barbie is $1.94, which is cheaper than that expensive etch-a-sketch which will run you a hefty $2.83.

Oh, and you've been talking about moving. How about a house that's brand spanking new? You'll have to do some serious saving because it's going to take something north of $25,000. But with rent running $150.00 a month or so, it might be worth it.

It all sounds cheap compared to what we pay now. But there's one other item you need to think about if you're enjoying life in Sioux Falls 50 years ago.

The average income in the U.S. was a whopping $10,600 per year. That's right if you were grossing 10 grand you were doing pretty doggone good. So...

The Bottom line? It's all relative. Your folks or grandfolks hopefully got by just fine and hopefully you are, too. And it would be interesting to see how your grandchildren and great-grandchildren will be paying (and making) fifty years down the road.

The People History.com contributed to this article 


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