High Gas Prices Force Us All to Scrimp Elsewhere

Jenny Erikson

high gas pricesWith Memorial Day come and gone, the unofficial start of summer is finally here. Kids are getting out of school, pale arms and legs are revealed as sweaters and jeans are replaced with tank tops and shorts, and in any given neighborhood on any given evening, you can smell burgers on the grill.

Another summer staple – the road trip – is getting cut for a lot of families this year due to the high cost of gas. In addition to not being able to afford the gas for the road, people simply don’t have the money for vacations, no matter how economical they are.

From the Associated Press last week:

[T]he nationwide average for a gallon of unleaded is $3.81. Though prices have drifted lower in recent days, analysts expect average price for 2011 to come in higher than the previous record, $3.25 in 2008. A year ago, gas cost $2.76.

With the high cost of gas eating a larger chunk out of our already tight budgets, we’re all making some changes to our spending habits. Out of curiosity, I took a not-scientific-at-all poll of my friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter to find out how some of them have been coping with the blow from the pump.

Ditching landlines and cable television topped the list of ways to save. Honorable mentions include purchasing a Smart car, moving to Texas, and giving up dry cleaning and manicures.

Others talked about giving up new clothes purchases; opting for thrift stores instead for needed items (people really don’t seem to like it when you’re naked in public). Many talked about the end of date night, the financial inability to renew season tickets to sports games or amusement parks, and skipping Starbucks. 

It seems all of us are giving up something to pay for the gas in our tanks.

What are you sacrificing?


Image via brownpau/Flickr

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