Last night as I filled my tank with gas, it finally sunk into my head that gasoline is almost THREE DOLLARS AND FIFTY CENTS PER GALLON in my state. I don’t know why it hasn’t struck me before now. But as I looked at the receipt – which I had to go into the store and retrieve – it just hit me. I don’t have a lot of choice in the matter in my current circumstances. I can’t imagine quitting my job before the end of the year, if then. I would make much less money if I could find a job in the nearest city, which is still 15 miles away. But if the price of gas keeps increasing, it may equal itself out to make half as much money and drive 2/3 fewer miles.
I drive 100 miles round trip to work four days a week, and we drive an additional (at minimum) 120 miles a week. My vehicle gets 19 miles to the gallon. We calculate every single time we fill the tank, and make sure the mileage stays steady. If the mileage drops, Mr. A immediately seeks out the reason. It could be a dirty air filter, air loss in the tires, or maybe it’s time for a tuneup. We drive a minimum of 620 miles each week. That calculates out to 32.5 gallons of gas each week. 32.5 multiplied by $3.50 comes to $113.75.
OUCH. OUCH. OUCH.
Unfortunately with the way people drive on the highway I travel each day, I do not feel safe driving a tiny vehicle.
If you’ve looked at our budget, you’ll see we have $700 budgeted for gasoline. It is high because originally we factored in gasoline used by Mr. A’s truck, for his part-time business. Now that his business has become his sole means of income, and he is driving his truck nearly 100% of the time for his business, he is debiting all gasoline from his business account. That should mean that our personal gas usage should stay under $700 per month.
But what would happen if the price of gas doubled? Would I demand that my current job allow me to work from home? That is a definite possibility, as I work mostly on my computer and we have VPN set up at work. But our CEO does not readily allow people to work from home. The ones who have, he allows it very reluctantly. The interesting thing is, it’s not like he’s monitoring anyone’s work habits. He just wants us in the building. Maybe I should insist on being able to work from home at least one day a week? Would I finally quit my job and find one closer to home? Would I look into carpooling options, for at least a couple of days a week?
Perhaps this weekend I’ll do a cost analysis and figure out just how much money Mr. A would need to bring in, if I wasn’t working at all. The thing is, I am capable of working right alongside Mr. A. When I “tag” along, he gets the job done almost twice as fast. We really need to think seriously about this.
In the meantime, have you ever heard about hypermiling? Apparently it’s possible to get better gas mileage by making some small changes in your driving habits. One tip that stood out to me was to try parking in spots where you can pull out, rather than backing up.
Here are some sites to explore fuel economy and hypermiling:
When will you cry Uncle?