I drive about 275 miles a week and there is no getting around that. I used to take a trip on the weekends to the closest town, about 60 miles RT, but I’ve cut that out because it’s too expensive. My car gets about 36mpg but I wish it were more. I’m mad at the auto industry for making people think they have to drive those huge gas guzzlers. When I was in Germany with my son last year I saw lots of those Smart cars (like in the Davinci Code). They get about 50-60mpg. I’d buy one if they were available. Europeans seem to get by just fine and they have families and kids and do all the things Americans do.
Last week I needed to get a new glass panel installed in a storm window and I realized it would cost me not only for the repair, but that the gas to drive to the business would be about $4.50 RT.
My biggest expense is heating oil. It went from $1.329 a gallon last year to $2.299 this year. I used to buy 1200 gallons in August but this year I bought only 1,000. I always burn wood (which has gone up due to higher demand). I’m definitely going to have to turn the heat down. I usually keep it at 68 degrees, but it’s 65 or 66 this year. I can’t go too low because the pipes will freeze.
I thought about using a kerosene heater but was amazed to see that the price of kero makes it as expensive as using wood.
My worst fear is that fuel oil and gas will have to be rationed, like during WWII. but that was only temporary. This would be permanent until new energy sources are developed.
I’m at a loss about what else to do. I’ve already covered the windows in insulating plastic and the house has blown insulation (it’s about 150 years old). Some people are recommending installing propane heaters in the wall, but frankly that doesn’t look much cheaper after amortizing the cost of the installation and heaters. We don’t get enough sun for solar panels.
Last year I used to spend about $35.00 per trip at the grocery store. Now it’s approaching $43.00-$45.00. I buy essentially the same things.
I love where I live, on an island close to the Canadian border in Maine. It’s beautiful and peaceful, crime-free. I would hate to leave.
I guess the day of reckoning has come. I was hoping it would hold off another 25 year until I was dead and buried. Ha. I guess I’m just screwed, basically. :eek:
Fortunately for me high gas prices aren’t really affecting my life much at all. I do drive quite a lot despite having a short commute, but I drive a Honda Civic. A year ago it felt like it cost about $23 to fill up a tank, now it feels like about $29. Anoyying, but not really a big deal.
Well I drive a Nissan Maxima all of 4.5 miles a day to work. I have a free parking spot in Chicago’s Loop so I avoid parking fees. I live 3 blocks from the Belmont L stop so it’s an utter disgrace that I drive in the first place.
Anyhoo, the gas prices aren’t affecting me that much because I only need to fill up the tank every couple of weeks. What has happened though is that I noticed that I spent more than $50 to fill up my tank (manual suggests premium gas which is over $3 p/g here). That made me consider other areas when I was spending money. I came up with this:
Cable Bill $80-125 per month (I need my ppv soccer matches).
Internet: $50 per month.
WOW $14.95 per month.
3 non-essential costs that I just noticed due to the gas prices.
Silly story to be sure and nowhere near as tough as the situation the OP is in.
Almost no impact here. My wife works from home and it is only a 7.5 mile drive for me to work (including stop at daycare). We drive my Saab as much as possible and the Avalanche as little as possible, but we do that anyway (the Saab’s a convertible).
Overall a plus, I’d have to say. I don’t drive too much, and a substantial portion of my driving I get paid mileage, so gas prices don’t affect me a whole lot. And on the other hand, the higher the price of oil, the more solvent the provincial government is, which will result in better govt service delivery and/or lower taxes. It’s just fine with me if oil prices stay high.
As I walk to work, walk to the store, bike ride anywhere else I need to go, and own no car, I’d have to say that gas prices don’t affect me much. And during a typical Tennessee winter I can weather an average day without bothering to turn on the heater, so heating bills shouldn’t be a killer.
Fortunately not badly. Both TheLadyLion and I drive full size pickup trucks but have short or nonexistant commutes. Hers is less than 2-1/2 miles one way and mine is to the airport once a week and if I wanted I could get reimbursef for mileage.
I barely notice, I work from home, there’s a supermarket accross the street, none of my boys schools are over three blocks away. I filled up my car last week after finishing school shopping, it cost me $30. The last time I filled up it was $20, but I can’t remember exactly when that was, and it’s likely the car wasn’t near empty.
What Stratocaster said. I lived through the first oil crisis so in the tradition of my depression era parents I planned ahead. I bought a car that gets 30-36 mpg and budgeted $3.00 a gallon for this year.
If prices seem high I would like to point out how China has reduced the cost of things:
My first VCR was - $800. Now they’re $50.
My first 13" color TV was $300. Now they’re $55.
My first Scanner (400 dpi B&W hand held) was $300. 1200 dpi Color flatbeds are now $40.
My first 600 dpi B&W laser printer was $1200. Faster 1200 dpi printers are now $400.
My first memory upgrade of 16 mb was $700. 1 gigabyte of memory for my laptop was less than $200 and probably less than $100 now.
I could go on but you get the idea. If I adjusted for inflation the difference in prices would be even higher.
I sympathize with contradancer but I also know there are many ways to save money. I’m currently working for a company that will shut down next year and I’ve already started to streamline my bills. I started down the line looking at my monthly bills and was able to shave money off all of them. Phone, cell phone, groceries, fuel, electricity, security system, medicine and hobbies. I also have a list of stuff I don’t need to survive such as cell phones and cable. I dumped cable years ago because TV sucks and library books are free (free I tells ya). I cut my electric bill way down with fluorescent lights and ceiling fans.
I think the standard of living is way higher than 20 years ago if measured by material wealth.
Well, we just got back from a driving trip to Cape Breton and had to scale back on food because of the cost of gas, but fortunately the place we were staying had a full kitchen and we had some nice meals in. You don’t go to Nova Scotia for the cuisine anyway <d&r> My sister-in-law works fifty miles from home and traded in her older car for a smaller, newer, more efficient one, which is good in general but now they have car payments just when they have a new baby.
I don’t own a car either, but I do own an apartment in a sort of condo common in NY called a co-op. Increased fuel costs to feed the 45-year-old boiler in the basement (a very good boiler, and well-maintained) have added a $35 surcharge to my maintenance fees for six months, and I have one of the smallest apartments in the building. For other people, many of them elderly who have lived here for thirty or more years, the surcharge can add nearly $170 to their monthly bill, a hefty chunk of your Social Security check.
Now that the costs are increasing again, they may have to increase the base maintenance forever.
What percentage of the costs of food is the energy? 5%? I’d seriously doubt it’s more than 10%. So if gas goes up to $10/gallon, my grocery budget goes up 20%? I might not eat steak as much as I’d like, but I ain’t gonna go hungry.
I’m glad to hear that most of the posters haven’t been that affected. Not that I could or could not say you are representative of the general public, but I was wondering why there hadn’t been a bigger outcry. You hardly see anything in the newspapers or even at various online news sources. It looks like a lot of you have throught ahead about the distance of your commute and are living close to work, so good for you.
I live a fairly frugal life. I do have satellite TV, but no cell phone (no reception here). My electric bill averages $40.00 a month and would be less if I got rid of that big old gold refrigerator from the 1970s. I did break down and get a new (2002) Mazda protege last year. I had a Mazda 323 that finally died at 210,000 miles. I loved that car. It got 43 MPG.
It’s easier for me to keep tabs on price rises because we have one retail store (Wal-Mart) and one large grocery store, so I shop the same places all the time. I was interested to see that printer paper went up from $2.50 (for the last three years) to $2.84 at Wal-mart last week. That’s almost a 14% increase. And the CPI is up 3.2 from last October. I have this feeling we are in for a ride, but how bad it will be I have no idea.