That wouldn’t surprise me, given where we are now: $3.75 a gallon on March 12.
According to a recent Gallup poll, at a $5.30 a gallon gas price, most Americans would be forced to make “significant” changes to the way they live their lives and spend money.
$5.30 was just the median (i.e. the tipping point). At $4, over 30% of those who responded would start making significant changes.
This got me to thinking about what significant changes I’d be willing to make and what others might do. Not simple measures to cut fuel costs, but big things you can do to reduce your dependence on gas.
Make Your World Small
The first thing that comes to mind is changing jobs or moving. If you have a long commute to work each day, consider the impact of getting a job closer to your home, or moving to a home closer to your work. Everything else being equal, this could really save money.
For example, if you currently use 40 gallons of gas a week on your commute and you reduce that to 10 gallons a week, you could save as much as $500 a month (with gas prices at $4).
Of course, “everything else being equal” is not a reality for most people. Changing jobs and moving are two of the most stressful, life-changing things you can do. Most of us live and work where we do because we’ve previously made that choice.
All I’m saying here is give this idea some thought and see if it’s possible for you. I like the idea of keeping my world small primarily because it makes me happier. Traffic and rush hour driving make me a crazy-person. I have taken pay cuts in the past to work closer to home.
Make Your Vehicle Small
If you can’t make your commute shorter, it’s time to consider a different vehicle. By “vehicle” I mean several things: you could car pool with others, take public transportation, get a motorcycle, or get a “new to you” car that’s more fuel-efficient.
Again, make sure that you’re not spending a lot of money to save a little here, especially with the idea of a new fuel-efficient car.
What kind of “significant” changes do you see yourself making if gas prices hit $5.30 a gallon?
According to the same poll, most people want Government action to help lower the price of gas in the U.S. Do you think that will happen?
Image by OctopusHat