Why Your Money Doesn’t Go Far in Fairfield County (2013 prices)

Regardless of the study that shows Fairfield County, CT has the most wealthy residents, prices have skyrocketed here in the past two decades. So, if you live here and wonder why you don’t feel so darn wealthy, there’s a reason. And as I mentioned in a past postit’s not always your fault! 

It’s not your fault because prices for heating oil, electricity, property taxes, gasoline, groceries and cable — the basics — have doubled and tripled in two decades and salaries have not kept pace.

My husband and I were having one of those “good ol’ days” talks about money — when we seemed to have more discretionary income, but made less money. As a matter of fact, we easily bought our current house 20 years ago when we made a combined income of $72,000! We make more now, but we are stretched to the limit.

Unofficial Fairfield County, Connecticut seal
Fairfield county where the wealthy live and the cost of basic services has doubled and tripled in the past twenty years. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So don’t feel so alone if you are going crazy wondering where your money is going. Luckily, I know where it’s going cause I keep a budget so I know it’s not disappearing into thin air.

Here’s a little of what I mean. In 1993, we paid out monthly about $976 for basics like heating oil, electricity, property taxes, gasoline, groceries and cable. In 2013, we are paying out $1,891 a month for the same basics–or 50% more. The only reason we don’t pay MORE per month on these basics is because I judiciously use coupons and shop sales and we dropped our cable down to nearly bare minimum. And of course now, we have two teenagers and I work at home making what is considered a full-time salary, but much less than the full-time salary I made pre-kids and 10 to 20 years ago.

Here’s our personal approximate breakdown

(click on table below to enlarge):


In 2013, we pay 50% more in basics every month than we did in 1993. 

This above list does not include other basics, insurances, tuitions, etc. that have gone up in 20 years.

We do love it in Fairfield for many reasons which I’ve written about before, but as far as where to “retire,” if there is such a thing for us baby boomers, Fairfield County may not be that place.

If I’m off on my numbers or estimations let me know!! Always appreciate your comments and input.

~Marilyn, TFF


2 thoughts on “Why Your Money Doesn’t Go Far in Fairfield County (2013 prices)

  1. I was just in the Danbury Mall today to go to the Apple Store to get my computer fixed. Where I live in upstate NY, Danbury is closer than Albany as far as the Apple store is concerned. What I noticed in the CT mall was that most everyone looked rich or well off when compared to our NY Mall, where most everyone looks poor, disheveled and it doesn’t take a genius to see many are broke. BUT, while everyone in the CT Mall looked well-off, NO ONE WAS BUYING ANYTHING……the food court was packed but not too many people were INSIDE the stores shopping. Most were just walking and looking around. The rows of jewelry stores had no one at all!
    At least in upstate NY people are buying stuff. Granted we don’t have Michael Kors, Williams Sonoma or Pottery Barn (we do in Albany) more like Khols, Macy & JC Penney, but people are buying something.
    My real estate taxes went from $700 in 2001 to $4800 in 2013. How’s that for a kicker? I’ve already downsized and have moved to where I am now strictly because is WAS cheaper. I can’t keep moving thinking I’m following lower prices. Eventually it all catches up to you regardless of where you are. As in that Danbury Mall. I looked at the prices of some cookware in Williams Sonoma and literally shrieked out loud. $360 for a Le Cruset Dutch oven pot?!!!!! I bought mine in NY at a discount store for only $25 a few years ago. How do they think people can pay those prices today?????

    I couldn’t wait to get back to NY and be with my people. Thankfully the computer repair was free.

    Good luck!

    1. Imagine the Stamford Mall! I haven’t been there in ages…
      I like my little old Trumbull Mall with its JC Penney and Target lol!
      And wow, your property taxes, yikes! But I agree, it gets crazy trying to follow lower prices by moving. That’s where frugal living comes in….my saying: if you can make it frugal here you can make it frugal anywhere!
      ~Marilyn, TFF

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