For someone that writes a personal finance blog and loves driving, you would think I would be more attuned to gasoline prices than I am. My wife can always tell you what the current gas prices are, but I seldom even notice how much I’ve paid to fill the tank.
If you also haven’t been paying attention, gas prices are up almost a full dollar over last year and show no signs of going down this summer, according to USA Today. Before I went to California with my son earlier this month, someone asked me if we would still go “with gasoline prices so high right now?”
I kind of laughed off the suggestion. “How much extra can that be, anyway?“ I thought. Now that I keep seeing gas prices in the news, I decided I would calculate how much gas prices are costing me at this year’s prices versus last year …
Over the course of the year, the higher gas prices (premium grade) are adding almost $1,700 a year to our spending versus last year. That’s not going to break our savings or retirement plan, but I am surprised by how much it adds up to. It’s nearly a ,40% increase from last year!
We drive slightly more than the average two-member household and three of our vehicles have lower than average fuel economy (US Average = 24.9). I’m actually surprised that over its first 1,000 miles, our new Jeep delivers the best fuel economy of our ‘fleet’. It has an electric-assist, 4-cylinder, turbo engine which is super-efficient despite the Wrangler’s giant off-road tires and blocky aerodynamics.
Still, even $32/week of added fuel cost ($1.7K/52) isn’t likely to get me to change much in the short-term. I’ll just add this cost onto my already nagging concerns about consumer price inflation getting out of control. While I think it’s true that some price increases we are seeing in the economy may be “transitory” right now, but I think these fuel prices will “stick” over the longer term due to changes in energy policy.
Are you making any adjustments to your driving or fleet because of the jump in fuel prices? Time for an electric vehicle? Are they any cheaper in terms of total cost to own/operate?
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