No matter where you are today, odds are you’ve seen at least one Millennial throw their arms in the air and tout that they were born in the wrong era. From binging old school red carpet looks to following vintage Etsy shops, there are tons of ways to bring the classics to your current wardrobe. But what about all the rest of the glamour of decades past?
The folks over at Moose Roots have discovered one way to relive days past. Thanks to their tedious research — including meticulously scanning Zagat’s 2016 estimate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the Motion Picture Association of America’s records — we now know just how much moola you needed to take your sweetie to dinner and a movie in every year from the 1940s to today. Scroll on to find out just how much your parents had to spend for a roaring night on the town back in the day, and be sure to check out their full results.
What you would pay then: $3.98
Cost with inflation: $67.75
With a W in full swing, we think it’s pretty safe to say dating during the forties wasn’t exactly as convenient as today. But if you did get out there and manage to catch a flick with your sweetie, it would have only cost you around 75 percent of what it would today. Score! (Photo via Carl Court/Getty)
What you would pay then: $5.74
Cost with inflation: $77.24
The dating game changed forever after the war because, to put it bluntly, there was a shortage of men. For instance, Good Housekeeping even captioned what should have been an awe-inducing wedding pic with, “She got a man, but 6-8 million women won’t. We’re short one million bachelors!” Even if you were lucky enough to score a date in the mid-forties, it would definitely cost you a pretty penny — dinner and a movie cost 12 percent more than half a decade prior.
What you would pay then: $8.42
Cost with inflation: $83.72
Yes, poodle skirts and leather jackets were in fashion, but dating in the fifties involved much more than sporting an awesome outfit. From meeting the parents to the pages and pages of chivalry code dudes had to memorize, dating during the fifties was a serious — and costly — business.
What you would pay then: $9.08
Cost with inflation: $80.05
If you can look past the raging patriarchy of the time — not only would women be considered a floozy if she asked a guy out in the mid-fifties, but it was commonplace for the dude to order for his date at a restaurant — dating during the mid-fifties doesn’t seem too bad at all. Cough, cough. (Photo via Howell Evans/Getty)
What you would pay then: $9.96
Cost with inflation: $80.90
Along with awesome bell bottoms and Twiggy, you just can’t talk about the sixties without mentioning the sexual revolution. Although men and women were most likely to find their sweethearts during high school or college, the cost of dating was definitely not fit for a shoestring budget. Not to worry, though, if you skipped dinner and just took your bae to a screening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s; it would only cost you $1.20.
What you would pay then: $11.42
Cost with inflation: $87.16
By the mid-sixties, the US was at war again, which meant that, once again, dating was more difficult than ever before. But that doesn’t mean teenagers didn’t get out — in fact, it was this period of time that many historians cite as the beginning of hookup culture, thanks, of course, to the creation of the birth control pill.
What you would pay then: $14.54
Cost with inflation: $93.82
Platform shoes and flares were all the rage, but it was the freedom and choice women experienced in the seventies that really changed the dating culture. Although the cost of going on a traditional dinner-and-movie date climbed to a price comparable to today, #girlbosses across America still managed to change the dating scene for the better. (Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty)
What you would pay then: $21.56
Cost with inflation: $103.51
According to The Gloss, a typical meal out in the seventies “would inevitably include a wedge of iceberg with a creamy green goddess dressing, a casserole dish and a sickly sweet sponge cake.” With the cost of a date rising to record heights, let’s just say it must have been one damn good casserole.
What you would pay then: $30.72
Cost with inflation: $100.20
Ah, the eighties: A time of million-mile hair, neon everything and teenage romances. Sure, you probably had to wait by the phone for your crush to call your landline (and hope that your mom didn’t eavesdrop on the other line), but hey, it was totally rad, dude.
What you would pay then: $37.92
Cost with inflation: $86.41
Although your teenage boyfriend or girlfriend had to compete with big-screen classics like Say Anything and Dirty Dancing, there was at least one benefit to going steady in the eighties: The cost of dinner and a movie fell 14 percent from half a decade prior. (Photo via Getty)
What you would pay then: $47.10
Cost with inflation: $89.94
Picking up your date in the nineties meant cruising in your dope Ford Fiesta, popping in a Green Day or Dr. Dre CD and checking that your spiky gelled hair was still pristine in your driver’s side mirror. Oh, and shelling out a good portion of your hard earned cash too.
What you would pay then: $52.02
Cost with inflation: $83.08
If you took your date to the movies in the mid-nineties you might have caught the first ever wholly computer generated film, Toy Story. Not to worry if you missed it, though; this is also the year that the DVD storage format was announced. DVD and chill, anyone?
What you would pay then: $59.76
Cost with inflation: $84.94
When you weren’t burning an awesome CD for your boo, you were probably posting uninterpretable love letters to your crush on MySpace in the early 2000’s. This was the time we had Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake’s relationship to gawk over too. (Photo via Vince Bucci/Getty)
What you would pay then: $68.50
Cost with inflation: $85.85
Although it was still a little taboo, online dating really started to build in popularity during the mid-2000’s. Spaces like personals.aol.com and match.com got tons of hits, even without emoji or Facetime — but thankfully, dinner and a movie was still a sure-fire option for your first date, online or otherwise.
What you would pay then: $79.90
Cost with inflation: $88.16
When you weren’t texting back and forth with your boo on your iPhone 3GS — most texting plans were still not unlimited BTW — you were probably chatting with them on MSN or Facebook messenger. Believe it or not, it was also the year that Valentine’s Day and Letters to Juliet came out in theaters.
What you would pay today: $90.00
If you want to take your date out to a dinner and a movie today, it’ll cost you. With a reasonable dinner for two coming in around $72 and a pair of movie tickets setting you back roughly $17 — and that’s not even in 3D — it’s no wonder people are getting to know each other online first. (Photo via Getty)
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