Gas Prices and My Personal Finance Dream

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Gas Prices and My Personal Finance Dream

Gas. Gas is costing this family an arm, two legs, and half of our collective sanity. I bought a tank of gas today for my little Subaru, and it cost me almost $60. As I started up the pump, I noticed the gallon price was $4.12.

Hey, that’s pretty good, I thought to myself. Last time I filled up, it was $4.17.

Hold up there, Sparky. Have I lost my mind? Since when is $4.12 a “good” price for gas?

Back in 1972, when I got my driver’s license, my mom made me buy my own gas. That’s how I know it was 25 cents per gallon and filling up the tank in my very first car (a fire-trap Vega) cost me all of $4. And, as I lived in a tiny town not near anyplace much worth driving to, a tank lasted a good long while.

An aside: Perhaps, in light of the above story, it will not surprise you to know that I received my official American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Membership Card in the mail the other day.

And no, I did not request it. Advice to AARP from millions of Baby Boomers: change your name, or stop sending out membership cards to an entire generation still intent on considering themselves young, many of whom have no prospects of retiring at the age of 55.

But I digress. It must be rant day around here.

Let’s get back to gas.

I have been burning through about two tanks a week. Virgo Man goes through more than I do, because he has a 90 mile commute (round trip) 5 days a week. In the month of May, we have spent almost double what we spent in April, which is all the more shocking because we have not done anything except drive to work and run errands. Most months we have at least a couple of trips to the beach, and a couple of fishing trips requiring gas for the boat.

This month the weather hasn’t favored us. I don’t think we fished more than once.

So in other words, we drove less than normal, and spent nearly twice as much.

If you put that in an algebraic formula, you would see it doesn’t balance. Perhaps you don’t need the algebraic formula to realize it doesn’t balance.

While pondering this post (driving to the grocery store, where prices seem astronomical compared to even a couple of months ago, after buying the gasp-worthy tank of gas), I heard on the radio that this Memorial Day weekend, people are choosing to fly for their vacations instead of driving. First time that’s happened in recent years.

Gosh, I wonder why.

If a person is going to spend the kind of money you have to spend on gas, then maybe the person would rather just let someone fly them somewhere.

At least that way, they’re not spending one third of their vacation driving.

OK, I’m done.

Sure would love to hear if anyone out there is having some other budget bulge besides gas!

Jayne Speich
Changing my view of money.

Jayne Speich left 8 Women Dream after a year spent dreaming.  She went on to graduate from graduate school and land the job of her dreams … where she gets to fly for work every few months.

  • helen mossman

    I’m not sure I can work this. But I want to add my own gasoline story. Last Monday I pulled into my neighborhood gas station because the fuel light had been on for several miles. I was behind a rather large SUV – black, of course, with big fancy wheels – who was just leaving. As I prepared to pump my gas, I noticed the ticker showed the previous customer had purchased $84.00 worth of gas. I put in $10 worth, which was all the cash I had, and it gave me just over two gallons, enough to get me home, and through the next three days until my SS check was posted. I am proud to drive a 4-cylinder Civic.

  • Oh yeah. I want my scooter. I see it — baby pink. But I also see gas in the food prices. That’s where I notice more pain. How do you budget for that? Tell your kids to eat less? Go without foods yourself? I’m with you financial dreamer!


  • Oh yeah… gas is kicking our budget. I don’t drive as much as I used to but my husband’s commute to South San Rafael in a 16 mpg car kills. Working on a better gas mileage vehicle option… and telecommuting helps!

    You’re not alone – H

  • i work from home – and drive to see the family once or twice a month which is 200 miles round trip. Ive spent as much on gas this month as groceries, and I have a 16 year old rugby teenage boy in the house. Go figure. Gone are the days where you could fill up for 25 bucks. The gauging is here to stay! ox Rem

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