Gas prices are certainly one of the hottest topics right now, and for good reason. Many places are now seeing $4.00 a gallon or higher. This is certainly expensive, and it is also a psychological barrier. We had these same discussions when gas was expected to break $2 a gallon, and $3, so this time is no different. Each time we hit a new dollar mark, it really starts to sink in just how costly gas has become.
With all the discussion surrounding higher prices, a lot of people have suggested they will be doing less traveling this summer. In fact, numbers from the Department of Transportation earlier this week suggested that this was in fact true, and people drove much less over this holiday weekend. So, have you made changes in your driving habits to curtail the higher prices?
I fall somewhere in the middle. While we’re not flat out canceling any plans, we also try to make the best use of our driving time. Streamline trips, consolidate errands, and avoid going out of our way for something if possible. But other than that, even though gas prices are high, the actual cost is not enough to derail any major plans. For example, gas prices today are about 75 cents more per gallon than one year ago. With our car, a 300 mile trip takes about one 11 gallon tank of gas. That is only $8.25 more than this time last year. So when push comes to shove, if the driving is to take some time off, relax, or visit friends and family, the 8-10 bucks extra it will likely cost won’t be enough to forgo those type of trips for us.
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.