Once upon a time, life seemed to be a lot simpler.

Money were handled in a very different manner and certain financial situations didn’t cause huge problems with huge consequences.

Times change, and we always hope it’s all for the better, but 30 years ago people actually had less money problems and there was less ‘fuss’ when it came to handling personal finances.

So what changed?

Personal finance today vs. many moons ago

Personal finance today vs years ago

Retirement used to be a sure thing

Back in the day, retirement wasn’t a big reason for concern because state pension was guaranteed.

Many years ago, everyone working a steady job was covered for the golden years. The plan was simple: you worked, you reached a certain age, you retired and received enough retirement money to continue enjoying a decent lifestyle.

Now, young adults have to plan ahead and start saving for retirement decades in advance.

Problem is, it’s difficult to start saving if you’re in debt, if you’re having a hard time finding a good job or – most troublesome reason of all – if you have no financial education whatsoever.

The good news is, young adults with a steady income have the option to pick a retirement plan that best suits their needs and start saving the famous 15% on a monthly basis. Or they can start investing ASAP.

Thank goodness for options!


Credit cards weren’t an issue

Back in the old days, I remember everyone paying for everything with cash. Today, cash is overrated.

Nothing wrong with paying with plastic! In fact, having the option to keep your money safe in a bank, as opposed to under the mattress, is a huge positive change!

The problem though, is that people seem to rely more an more on credit cards nowadays. Instead of waiting to actually afford certain purchases, we just reach for our wallets and swipe that credit card like there’s no tomorrow.

Self financial discipline is difficult to ‘master’, but it’s never too late to make positive changes in your budget.

Consider switching to prepaid credit cards if you’re having a hard time cutting up your current ones. It’ll help you a lot if you’re looking to avoid credit card debt!


Bizarre levels of debt today seem ‘normal’

Speaking of credit cards, debt fits right in here among the other personal finance issues today vs. back in the day.

Credit card debt seems to be a big financial issue. Student loans are difficult to pay off. People rarely afford to buy cars with cash and don’t even get me started on payday loans!

Many years ago, it was much more difficult to even get into debt!

There were no credit cards to max out, college tuition was 73% more affordable, payday loans didn’t even exist.

However, debt is also a result of poor financial education. If you’re not careful, it can pile up in no time! So, by learning how to budget, you could easily tackle your debt problems and avoid accumulating new ones.


Money used to have more value

Well, let’s be blunt. Money used to have more value back in the day, compared to now.

I distinctly remember my daily allowance in middle school used to be enough to buy a decent amount of stuff. I’d say food, but I’d be lying. Sorry mom & dad!

That same amount of money a decade later clearly depreciated. Prices went up, inflation took its course.

The good news today is that you could invest your money into stocks, commodities, real estate and more! Instead of watching money depreciate in your checking account, you could multiply it by making some smart investments.


Back in the old days, life was simply less expensive.

However, today we have some important advantages that weren’t even an option back then.

So many investment possibilities are now available to the young generation.

Financial goals look a lot different now. Young adults have the opportunity to think big and achieve financial dreams that 30 years ago seemed impossible.

What’s your take on personal finance then vs. now?
Was life easier back in the old days or are we lucky to have more financial opportunities today?


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I'm Adriana, a passionate personal finance blogger &web content writer, helping people improve their website rankings and attract more visitors by creating high-quality, unique content.

2 thoughts on “Personal finance today vs. many moons ago

  1. It’s definitely interesting to think about. I’m reading “The Richest Man in Babylon” right now and the concepts are the same now as they were many millennia ago.

    The concepts are the same, but the game has changed. In the 70’s, you could invest in stocks and you’d grow your wealth over many decades. Now I’d argue starting an online business is a way to grow your wealth. Having just a day job might not cut it!

    Thanks for sharing, I like your use of horizontal lines to break up the text 🙂

    1. Hi Erik!

      Game has definitely changed and I do agree the online is the future. I was just talking about this with a friend yesterday 😀 A day job provides you with a fixed income, while everything else is variable (inflation &prices came to mind immediately!). Working online though gives you the opportunity to expand, which is a huge advantage.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      PS: I figured horizontal lines make the text easier to read. Thanks for noticing 🙂

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