Friday, May 23, 2008

Up next: $5 a Gallon!

Ah, the new $5 bill. It's different and colorful. But I'm sure there will be some
"colorful" language used when people have to start shelling out one of these puppies for just one gallon of gas! I was just reading in the news that some analysts predict that in less than three months Americans will see $5 gas. Wow. It'll be interesting to see if that really happens.

I was speaking with my brother recently. He has a 1996 Ford Ranger pick-up truck - it's a year younger than the one I had. He says it costs him $75 to fill it up. When I had my truck just last November, it cost $40 to fill. That's just about double the price! :( People will be spending their economic stimulus check to help keep their tanks full... I spent part of mine on a new digital camera (my other one started to give me trouble). So, thanks Uncle Sam! :)

I also found out last week that Zipcar is running the car donation program again for the remainder of May! Not a whole lot of time for people to find out about it and consider that option. I've told friends and family about it - but some have looked at me and said "You are NOT gonna get me to give up my car!!" Wow. The car habit is definitely a hard one to give up, I know. But if you think about how much money it can save you and how relatively easy it is to live without one. If you have two cars in your household, it's not like you'd be without a car at all. You'd be saving lots of money if you just had ONE car to operate. But I think a lot of people are used to having the "freedom" (at a price!) of having their own car. How long will they hold onto that "freedom" and at what price??

I was at lunch with my bosses the other day. We were talking about the price of gas, and one of them mentioned that he heard that teenagers are having a hard time with the price of gas. Some have minimum wage jobs and don't have the money that it costs to go "cruising" or do a number of activities with their friends.

And here it is, the eve of Memorial Day weekend. The great getaway weekend. A lot of people are going to stay local or just nearby, since it costs too much to drive further. There will be those, however, who don't care how much it costs, they are going to go. And the traffic tie-ups will be bad, I'm sure. Why would you want to sit in traffic, idling your engine, burning costly gas? I guess it's sort of like the die-hard smoker...even if they have emphysema (as my mother did), she felt smoking was her LAST vice, and she wasn't going to give it up. Maybe Americans will be like that with their cars..... :(

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