How much did a pint of beer cost when The Empire Strikes Back was released?

What a year 1980 was.

The Police’s tale of classroom lust, “Don’t stand so close to me”, was Top of the Pops, Only Fools & Horses was born, and The Empire Strikes Back hit the big screen, becoming the highest-grossing film of the year.

If you were one of the many who saw the film’s original release, you would have paid around £1.42 for a ticket. A pint in the local to discuss that kiss between Han Solo and Princess Leia – not to mention trying to use the Force to change the jukebox – was likely to be just 35 pence.

These days, it’s a different story. Tickets to see Star Wars: Rogue One in 2016 were closer to £10 and a pint of beer after the film would have knocked you back around £4, if you were lucky.

That is a big jump in costs, and a lot of it is down to inflation – the word we usually hear when someone is telling us that things are going to cost more.

It’s generally not a popular topic, and understandably so: inflation reduces the spending power of our money, effectively pushing prices up. Over time, we need to earn more just to have the same spending power as we used to have.

In fact, you would need more than £38 today to spend the equivalent of £10 in 1980.

So just how much have prices gone up since 1980? To answer that, we’ve put a little quiz together to show how much things have already changed, and where prices could be headed in the future.

Take our quick quiz: how good are you at predictions?

We’ve looked at five things that people regularly buy and have included their average costs in 1980 and today. How much do you think each one will cost in 10 years? Answers straight after the quiz!

Pension prediction

How accurate are you at pricing the future?

How did you fare?





Litre of petrol


£1.17 £1.50
1kg of apples 53p £1.81 £2.32
Loaf of bread 33p £1.35 £1.73
Pint of milk 17p 46p


Cinema tickets £1.42 £9.84 £12.63


Of course, these 2027 prices are not guaranteed – any forecast for 10 years’ time is only a prediction. They are certainly reasonable, though, as we reached them with the widely-used inflation rate of 2.5%.

Things could always turn out differently, and if inflation matches its 1980 level of 18% then by 2027 you could be paying £7.07 for a litre of petrol and £2.78 for a pint of milk.

Reach victory over inflation

One of the most effective ways to beat inflation is to save a portion of your earnings into a pension. (The key is to have one that is working as hard as it possibly can for you.)

If a pension is performing well and has low charges then you should always stay ahead of inflation, at the very least. On the other hand, if your pension is lazy, or just plain expensive, you could be losing money.

With inflation tipped to increase this year, now is a great time to make sure your pension is on track to delivering the best possible future for you.

We have already helped more than 14,000 people to get the most out of their pension and we’re here to help you too.

To get started, just click on the box below and claim your free guide.

Claim your free personal pension guide

Pension GuideWhat’s covered:

  • A deliciously quick overview of what types of pension you might have
  • The reasons why a transfer could be right for you
  • Industry phrases and what they mean
  • How our approach is different to most, if not all, financial advisers


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