Monday, March 30, 2009

Comparing the cost of then with now

Historic currency rate calculators can be a bit hard to find at times. A friend rang tonight, and asked me what £10, say Bishop Selwyn's subscription promise to the Avondale future parishioners in 1863, would be worth in today's money.

Thankfully, through a computer upgrade and a semi-crash, my bookmark for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's CPI Inflation Calculator is still there where I left it. Now, a "CPI Inflation Calculator" sounds a bit mumbo jumbo, but if you click on "Go to calculator", and chose your historic amount and the year, it will give you the approximate value of goods and services in comparison with late 2008 or earlier. Unfortunately, the calculator starts at 1862. Anything earlier would still be an educated guess. But, £10 in 1863 comes out as $988.02. A sizeable sum for Bishop Selwyn in those days. Merchants often promised a fifth of that.

If anyone out there has other historic calculator sites they'd like to share -- let me know.


  1. Oh, that's excellent!
    I've often tried to compare costs and values but this will make it a fair bit easier :)

  2. You mean 988.02 dollars, not pounds!

    Great calculator though.

  3. I really shouldn't do too many late night posts ... d'oh! Thanks, Gordon. I'll correct that now.