The 1980s saw back-to-back recessions in 1980 and again 1981-1982 with the recession ending in November of 1982. As the economy began a bounce back, 175,000 private-sector jobs were being created each month and people started to spend their money again.

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By the time 1985 rolled around, it was the second full year of economic expansion following the double recessions. However, interest rates were astronomical with mortgage rates jumping to as high as 18.45 percent, and then there was the matter of inflation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, $100 in 1985 is the equivalent of about $254 today, an increase of $154 over 36 years. However, today's prices are 2.55 times higher than average prices in 1985. In other words, a dollar today can only buy 39.23 percent of what it could buy in 1985.

However, when you adjust for inflation, these four items cost about the same in 2021 as they did in the 1980s.


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In the 1980s, a Macintosh PC cost $2,500. You might be thinking that's roughly what you'd pay for a high-end computer today, but in the 1980s, $2,500 was the equivalent of just over $6,000 today.

Movie Tickets

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In 1985, the average price of a movie ticket was $3.55. Before you cry because you spent WAY more than that on a movie ticket at the theater last weekend, consider that $3.55 in 1985 is the equivalent of $8.00 today. Today, the average price of a movie ticket is $9.00, so the cost to go to the movies is pretty comparable.


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In the mid-1980s, stamps were 22 cents each for a standard letter. Today, the cost of a single stamp is $0.58. Surprisingly, with inflation, the cost of a single stamp is about the same because 22 cents in the mid-1980s would be 52 cents today.


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The average price for one dozen eggs in September of 2021 was $1.84. In 1985, the price of a dozen eggs was just a buck. Factor in inflation and the price of a dozen eggs is actually much cheaper today.

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