I keep pointing out how cheap things are these days and how much we have. Most people look at me like I’m crazy and then try to point out how expensive things are. Really, you can eat out for an hour’s worth of work at minimum wage. Groceries are even cheaper, if you buy the right stuff. You can buy a t-shirt at Old Navy for $5! You can buy an entire outfit in very good condition at my local thrift store for less than $10. Toys are cheap – we consider a lot of them "disposable." Looks like the author of Our high, high standard of living would agree with me.
as late as 1970 the median single-family home was still less than 1400 square feet (versus over 2200 now).
I have a personal recollection of the 1960s and 1970s (I graduated
from high school in 1977). My dad was a college professor and probably
made a pretty good income, but we never had a standard of living as
high as lots of "poor" folks seem to have now: We never had air
conditioning. We didn’t get a second car until I was in high school. We
didn’t get a color TV until I’d gone away to college. We never took
vacations overseas. Eating out was for special occasions.
The only problem I’ve encountered with living inexpensively these days is that it’s hard to find a new, small home these days. All the new homes in good locations are huge homes. So most homes are expensive, but it’s because they are huge, not because the cost of living has gone up drastically. It has gone up, but in general, we all live very well.