A place to find what things cost (where and when)

I am trying to find an accurate site that will let me know two things.

  1. What things cost back when. For example Ralph Kramden earns $42.00 a week. What would that be in today’s money.

  2. What the cost of living is in different cities. For example if I make $40,000 a year in Chicago, how much would I need to make in San Francisco to have the same standard of living.

I only found one site so far (for #2) and it can’t be accurate. It was saying that if I make $40,000 I would need to make $22,000 in San Diego and $43,000 in San Francisco. I know that can’t be write.


I ran a google search for Cost of Living comparisons, and got several sites for your second question. http://www.homefair.com/homefair/cmr/salcalc.html

The first one? Well, let me hunt a bit more and get back to you.

Found it! I knew I’d seen this somewhere-it may not be exactly what you are looking for but http://www.aier.org/colcalc.html has a calculator that tells you how much a given $$ amount was worth in a given year. The year range is 1913 to present.

Hope these help.

I use an inflation calculator that goes back to 1800. Mine syas $42 in 1955 would be worth about $260 today, and Lsura’s says about $270. Other sites are availible that calculate inflation in U.S. currency as far backa 1720, and British currency as far back as 1660. See Current Value of Old Money

There is no agreed-upon cost-of-living index for comparing cities. Every site seems to use its own index, based on whatever data they think is important.

Lsura’s link says $40K in Chicago corresponds to $30K in San Diego or $44K in San Francisco. Monstermoving says $40K in Chicago corresponds to $33K in San Diego and $52K in San Francisco. You can find a large number of sites that list their cost-of-living indexes by searching Google for “cost of living index” “New York” “San Francisco” Chicago