For those of us who don’t live in a city with public transportation, owning a car and paying for gas is usually a necessity. Thankfully, gas prices have remained relatively stable over the past year and we haven’t seen the crazy prices of just a few summers ago. Even so, gas isn’t cheap and it can take up a pretty large chunk of the monthly budget. Since buying gas often becomes a weekly routine it’s easy to forget about how much it’s actually costing. So, I wanted to see what other people are typically paying and compare it to what we are paying each month.
So, I went to my favorite financial spending site Bundle and pulled up the latest information on gas spending. To give me a more accurate picture to compare my personal spending data to I set the filters to show data for those who are married and have kids and were in my age group. After loading my location and the entire U.S. here’s what I found (click the image to go directly to the data):
The national average for gas spending is about $220 a month and married couples my age with kids tend to spend about $250. That’s interesting, but how does my personal gas spending stack up? Unfortunately, we’re above average, even for our particular location. We typically spend right around $275-$290 each month on gas. It makes sense that people in our area spend more than the national average because it’s one of the most rural counties in the state. Most people are driving 10-30 miles each way just to get to and from work and most residents will have to drive upwards of a half hour to forty-five minutes away just to find the nearest major shopping center. Combine the long distances with a large population of farming families and the tremendous snow in the winter and you have a lot of four-wheel drive vehicles on the road using up even more gas.
So, that brings me to today’s poll question. How much do you spend on gas each month? The numbers can be interesting, but they are even more useful when you compare them directly to similar households in your specific location. So, I encourage you to head over to Bundle and enter in your location and similar demographics to see how well you compare. But for the sake of the poll below I think it would be interesting just to see the range of gas spending among readers. If you plugged in your own data and found something interesting please share below in the comments!
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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+.