Rising Gas Costs: What to do?

The cost of gasoline is taking a big chunk out of the household budgets of most people. With automobiles a principal means of transportation for many individuals in the United States, rising fuel prices mean having less money to dedicate to other important things, like food, medicine and saving for retirement – not to mention some leisure time activities.

What to do?

Automotive technology is advancing. Cars powered by a mix of electricity and gasoline will no doubt provide some of the solution. However, buying a new, fuel efficient vehicle may well be beyond the monetary constraints of many people, especially during a time of economic challenge. The solution, for many of us, is probably something simpler.

Every time gasoline prices spike, we hear about things like carpooling, planning where we have to get to more carefully, public transportation etc. I wonder, however, how many of us really focus on those things as much as we should.

Out of all the ways to save money on gas for our cars, it seems carpooling might be a reasonable way to cut down on some of our expenses. Why travel in an empty vehicle when we could bring three people with us? Isn’t the saving worth the planning and perceived inconvenience?

Maybe, the thing that has held us back as consumers, from finding ways to cut our transportation costs, is that when we start getting serious about lowering our gas expenditures, it seems the price of a barrel of oil drops, the price of gasoline goes down and so, we head back to our old habits.

Perhaps, now is the time to realize that we no longer have the luxury of going back to our old habits. After all, even if the price of oil drops and even if the cost of a gallon of gas costs less than $4.00, any money we save can and should be saved and applied to other things eating at the family budget like the rising cost of food and the seemingly always rising cost of medical care.

Sure, carpooling is a bit inconvenient and public transportation is not glamorous, but if we want to build a better tomorrow for ourselves and our families we must start economizing when and where we can. And you know what? Eventually, we’ll forget we are being inconvenienced at all. Instead we will have more money for what’s important.

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