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Friday, April 21, 2006

How to Gas Prices Affect You: The Response

Gasoline prices are rising and may reach levels higher than we saw last year. In order to combat the growing increase, I have made certain personal decisions like consolidating trips, making sure my tire pressure is correct, and keeping in mind where the locations are of the cheapest gas. Then comes the question, How Do Gas Prices Affect You?

This week we only had two responses:

At 10:01 AM, Melissa O. Markham said...
Bob, this is a great question and something affecting the lives of all of us right now considering we are paying almost twice for gas what we were paying year or so ago.We live 1/2 hour from everywhere. 1/2 hour from Lynchburg, 1/2 hour from Bedford, 1/2 hour from we already were big consolidators on our trips, not just because of gas, but because of time...who wants to spend all their time driving?

We have now just cut out trips entirely. I didn't attend a church board meeting last week. My son has played soccer this year at all, my daughter hasn't done gymnastics (not just because of the gaoline needed to get there, but the fact that the gasoline needed to get to other places has taken up the money we had for the lessons).

I have designed this week so that we only are going out one day and if it wasn't for library books that had to be returned and some groceries we needed we wouldn't be going then.We also pack our lunches on trips, bring our own snacks and I have less money available to buy things for our household which means we hit the Goodwill and yard sales for clothes (which I enjoy the treasure hunt), we go to book sales for books, we buy our bread at the bread store, and we are making very good use of the library. None of these things are bad, but if my discretionary funds hadn't been eaten into so by gasoline prices, we would be making different choices.

It has affected my income as well. I sell old books and collectibles on Ebay. Ebay sales are down except for necessities (like clothes). As people's fun money gets transferred to their gas budget and rising necessity prices (which rise along with gas prices), they aren't able to buy the extras. When they don't buy the extras, I don't get income and I have to curtail my spending more. A friend of mine owns a beauty shop and she said she may have to get a second job. Apparently, hair cuts are not necessities and people start cutting their own hair at home when money is tight. We are all so interconnected and the rising gas prices affect way more than just how much we pay at the pump.

At 11:54 AM, Mappo said...
I have an idea....let's attack Iran (you know the ones who are pursuing nuclear energy as guaranteed them by the Non Proliferation Treaty (you know, the one that Israel has NOT signed)). That will do wonders for gas prices.

Thanks for the sincere answer Melissa. I think gas prices are affecting all of us and are changing the way we drive. This morning I posted Gas Prices at a Glance. A pretty neat interface where you can plan your gas stops on trips. But the sad fact is that the gas crisis is not going away. It is time to explore new alternatives. One is ethanol, another is hydrogen, and yet a third is something the Chinesse are developing.

These will not be immediate fixes, and we are going to go through some trying times. But we are ingenious and a transition will happen.

Mappo who made a very non-constructive comment can be characterized by the moniker he choose to the use. In the Buddhist religion Mappo refers to the age of corruption of truth. Mappo has his own problems and we can only wish for his recovery, but some are lost causes. He may never gain the realization of truth.


At 6:31 PM, Blogger Rebecca said...

Bob, I actually missed this question as it's our Holy Week and I wasn't paying as much attention. Sorry!

I think Melissa is not alone in her assessment. Then you factor in people that bought homes when the rates were low and didn't or couldn't get a fixed rate-their mortgages go up. Add in gas prices, the resulting increase in foods and other goods, and you can't do anything. Schrader-Bridgeport in Altavista has had the government contract for hydrogen cells for a while, but it's slow going. Most of our refineries are aged and cannot work with ethanol, those that can are still aged and overwhelmed. We are too intelligent to be held under the thumb of middle east's oil.
We could bike to work, but only if we are anywhere close to our jobs, and only if the weather complies.
I was already cutting the hair in my household, we don't have cable, and I cook from scratch more often than not. There aren't many ways to cut. We already weren't going anywhere. Pretty soon we wont' be able to afford to drive to work!

At 5:19 AM, Blogger B O B said...

Thanks for the comment Rebecca, fuel prices are making many of us to rethink our options, and sometimes the lack of options.

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