‘The Good Ole Days: How today’s cost of living affects over-60s’

Jun 16, 2021
Remember when you could buy a loaf of bread for 18d? Hasn't the cost of living changed! Source: Getty Images

Recently I was listening to two old friends of mine chatting, when I heard one moaning. He was complaining that a can of beer at the local football cost him $6. So we all reminisced about the good ole days!

That was in times now gone, when family men took two dozen cans or bottles of beer to the football, either local or big league. Their kids went along for the ride, bouncing around in the back of a family station wagon or ute, with no seatbelts.

Ah, the good ole days! In 1960, when I was young, a loaf of bread from the baker’s cart would my mother cost 18 pence, or about 15 cents in our modern decimal currency. While I was married, say in 1980, a loaf of bread cost me 55 cents. Now I can buy bread for $2 at my neighbourhood bakery, or for $3.40 at my supermarket. We do tend to shop for specials, to reduce our expenses.

Similarly, in 1960, my mum could buy the whole family enough steak for the equivalent of $2.70, or less. These days, one steak can cost over $21.50.

We Boomer babes and boys did eat well in the good ole days. Now, when my friends and I gather, we sometimes all share our tales of living in the 21st century, as older Australians on fixed incomes. One lady I know can browse the supermarket catalogue, to see if she can afford the specials. Nothing there is for free, only the catalogue.

Then there are the bills. Yes, it is a sure and certain fact of life, the bills will always find you. We the Boomers budget carefully, as our parents always taught us, and aim to make sure we manage. To make matters worse, my phone was running hot. Oh no, another telemarketer! They demand donations or credit card details for their scams. One day I was so fed up, I asked them for money for us struggling oldies: “Send funds to us!”

I kept that up, job done. Now moths fly from my purse, and the nuisance callers have stopped phoning. Quite offensive, but not abusive, asking for donations for us.
It is not the ‘good ole days’, before beer cost $6 per can. I guess old folk have always struggled, to keep on keeping on. At least we do not need the undertaker yet (they are too expensive anyway)!

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