When Will You Cry Uncle? Gas Price Woes

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.


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:

Get 50mpg – in your own car
Clean MPG.com – An authoritative source on fuel economy and hypermiling
GasSavers.org – Helping You Save at the Pump

When will you cry Uncle?

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4 thoughts on “When Will You Cry Uncle? Gas Price Woes

  1. Buy a 250CC motorcycle. they get 50-60MPG, and cost ~$1-4K. Insurance will run you ~$300 a year(and you can take it off half the year when you can’t ride). Gear will run you ~$300 for a nice helmet, jacket, gloves, boots and chaps.
    License + endorsement + training course, etc. will be ~$100.

    So if you go used you’re looking at $1700+ and brand spanking new you’re looking at ~$4700.

    The two I would recommend are the Kawasaki Ninja 250 (It’s a “Crotch Rocket” more aggressive styling) or the Honda Rebel 250 (Cruiser, more relaxed styling).

    Both are good highway bikes, and are very light and easy to handle.

    They may be an excellent way to avert your gas price woes 🙂

    And you get 3 times the gas mileage, so


  2. Weather-wise I suppose a motorcyclist could ride every day of the year where I live, if they could withstand 120°F temps in the summer. I know the blacktop gets a lot hotter than that. I saw a guy the other day on the *freeway*, wearing shorts, a tank top and *flip-flops*. Talk about your “safe” motorcyclist. 😉 Unfortunately I don’t see Mr. A loading six boxes of tools, a ladder, table saw, etc., on the back of a motorcycle and I could never risk my life on one. Now if you were talking to one of my two sisters who are motorcycle freaks… Thank you for your recommendations, I’m sure one of my readers will find the information valuable!


  3. When you estimate how much you’d need to earn if you tagged along, think about how big your emergency fund will need to be to make up for the months when you earn less than you need to.

    If your current employer isn’t willing to let you telecommute, maybe you can find a different company that is willing to give you that flexability. Or maybe you could get permission to telecommute once or twice a week. That would make a serious dent in your fuel costs.


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