I have to admit that increasing gas have done very little to change my routine. Part of the reason is that living in Japan, gas prices have been over $4 a gallon for years (and now they are heading toward $8 a gallon), so I had incentive to cut back long ago. Since almost all highway roads in Japan are toll roads, we almost always opt for train travel when making longer trips within Japan. The fact that I really don’t enjoy driving (my wife is the one who loves to drive) and a great public transportation system means that there is really no reason for me to drive except on special occasions.
My wife, on the other hand, has not been happy with the increasing gas prices at all. She has opted for public transportation a lot more recently when meeting friends where she would have driven our car in the past, but I’m not aware of any changes she has made in her driving habits or to the car to increase fuel efficiency that she hadn’t already been doing.
The place that higher fuel prices has made a big difference is in our travel plans. We have opted on several occasions to stay in Japan rather than fly overseas on vacation due to the cost of air travel these days. While airline tickets have remained relatively the same price, they are allowed to add fuel surcharges to tickets which can increase them by several hundred dollars. It makes more financial sense for us to take a train to an area of Japan that we haven’t seen before that to fly overseas these days.
Please share your own experiences on this topic as a wide variety of views and thoughts are helpful to everyone. If there is one thing that I have learned about personal finances from all of you is that there are always exceptions to the rule and differing circumstances can mean completely different solutions. If you have a blog and you have written about this topic in the past, feel free to link to your writing (although a short summary would be helpful). If you have recently read a good article on this topic, please links and share in the comments.
Image courtesy of amanky