This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Why Your $100 May Be Worth Much Less Than $100

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — The real-world value of $100 has receded over the years, thanks to the steady drip of inflation eating away at the value of a dollar, and that costs consumers at the checkout line, when paying bills and in paying for big-ticket items such as homes and college.

The value of $100 in 1969 dollars would be worth $645 now, while the value of $100 from 2014 would only $15.50 in 1969. That tells you how much inflation eats away at your money over time.

To further illustrate the point, check out the price of goods from 1969, according to data from

- Cost of a new home


- Median household income: 


 - Cost of a first-class stamp: 


 - Cost of a gallon of regular gas: 


 - Cost of a dozen eggs: 


 - Cost of a gallon of Milk: 


Try getting a good home for $28,000 or a gallon of milk for barely over a dollar today and you begin to appreciate how inflation can affect the value of the dollar (or a hundred-dollar bill).

Read More: Parents Favor Boys Over Girls on Money Matters

But the value of a $100 bill isn't all about the rate of inflation - it's also affected by where you live.

That's the premise of a report from the Tax Foundation looking at the best- and worst-value states for spending a $100 bill today.

For example, in Tennessee, $100 is really worth $110.25, while in Hawaii it's worth only $85, according to The Tax Foundation. As the report authors attest, that means citizens of the Volunteer State are 10% wealthier than their annual incomes say, while residents of the Aloha State are actually about 15% poorer than their nominal incomes.

Here's the Tax Foundation's list of states where $100 is valued the least, relative to the rest of the country:

  • District of Columbia ($84.60)
  • Hawaii ($85.32)
  • New York ($86.66)
  • New Jersey ($87.64)
  • California ($88.57)

Here are the states where $100 stretches the furthest:

  • Mississippi ($115.74)
  • Arkansas ($114.16)
  • Missouri ($113.51)
  • Alabama (113.51)
  • South Dakota ($113.38).

Read More: Here's What Our Minimum Wage Nation Looks Like

"A person who makes $40,000 a year after tax in Kentucky would need to have after-tax earnings of $53,000 in Washington, D.C., just in order to have an equal standard of living, let alone feel richer," The Tax Foundation says.

By and large, the authors say, states that cost a lot to live in have citizens with higher annual incomes than low-cost states. That's not true everywhere - North Dakota is a value consumer's dream, with both low costs and high average income, for example. In addition, high-cost states usually have high higher tax burdens than low-cost states, which eats into income values.

But the Tax Foundation data show largely that in terms of buying power, it's probably better to live in Kansas than New York (if you ignore the difference in lifestyle.)

That's worth noting, but maybe not enough to load up the moving van.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
AAPL $123.25 -0.80%
FB $83.30 0.35%
GOOG $548.34 -1.23%
TSLA $185.00 -2.84%
YHOO $45.10 1.42%


DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs