How Have Gas Prices Changed Your Routine?

morning coffeeToday’s morning question is, How have gas prices changed your routine?

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

This entry was posted in Personal Finance, Saving Money and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to How Have Gas Prices Changed Your Routine?

  1. dan says:

    For the first time ever while shopping for a new car, I considered gas mileage as part of the equation. It had never been an issue in the past, be it is now.

  2. kathy says:

    We’ve had to make some major changes. We’ve cut down on driving by combining trips where possible. We are looking to trade down to a more fuel efficient car if we can. We didn’t travel on the 4th of July this year like we usually do.

    And it’s not just the gas. Food prices have gone up because of the gas prices making everything more expensive and we’ve had to make a lot of changes in other areas as well.

  3. eric says:

    I think the changes are good. people should not have been driving they way they were in the past. Gas is at a rate that is closer to reality and not being subsidized as much. We should all stop complaining and get used to it. It’s going to be this way for a long time.

  4. toopoor says:

    I’m tired of eco green freaks telling me how this is “good for me” when I don’t have money to put on the table. I’m sorry that I am ruining your freaking planet because I can’t make enough to live and feed myself, but if the solution is that I starve so you can enjoy the planet more, it isn’t going to happen. Make the rich pay more and subsidize those that really need help with the cost of gas.

  5. gregs says:

    I’ve started to look at hypermilers save gas. While I’m not that extreme, I have changed my driving habits a bit as I have incorporated some of their tips. Sometimes it’s fun to see if I can make a gas tank last as long as possible although this has lead to me running out of gas on one occasion which was a real pain. In general, I think it has made me look at pricing for everything a lot more closely than I used to in the past.

  6. Karen says:

    Hi, I know people will think I am totally insane but for myself I still don’t think that the price of gas is that far out of line. I think for the unfortunate people that must drive a long distance to work and those who rely on driving as their soul form of income it is beyond sad. I must be honest though and share that for some people the energy they put towards are the worry and fears might be better suited towards budgeting better. Yes this is easier said than done but when gas is so costly why are Some people continuing to eat out and spend a great deal of money on items they could live without during this time. Who needs fabric softener at $6.50 a bottle or a greeting card at $5. What about shampoo at $4 and a computer game at $30 Do kids or adults for that matter need cell phones???? Why not cut cable or high speed internet??? Why not buy a used car that gets good mileage??? My husband has a very nice truck(pd. for) but has driven a $400 Honda Civic(car taken most often in the US) for 3 years to save gas money. Why all the car payments in the US? Why do women spend $25 to get their hair cut or $30 on a bottle of perfume??? Tanning and fake nails??? Beautiful but can be done for under $5. All clothes can be new and under $5 Hair color under $10 I guess I could write a book on how some people could really have way more money for gas. Did you know the sale of alcohol has nearly doubled since the gas went up??? I just talked to an elderly man who packs groceries at a local store. He told me he went through the depression. I asked him if he sees the crisis today as being similar to the depression. He asked me if I was NUTS. He said”Lady we had VERY LITTLE DEBT when it started. Most people had none. We went through h__ but we knew how to save, cook, be smart, sew and NOT COMPLAIN. You people have so much money for all your stuff. He finished by saying that they(family of 9) came out of the depression with NO EXTRA DEBT. Watch what happens to this generation when the VISA bill comes after this(if it ever ends) challenge. Realize your power. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE MONEY IN YOUR POCKET. I know as I do not work outside the home and my husband is not making a salary large enough to support a couple according to research. Yet we live in a new home with 40m acres of land, travel, save, own nice things, eat well, play well and have minimal payments. It can be done and it is very rewarding. Karen

  7. Gail says:

    We work at home so that really cuts the need for gas. We average a fill-up every 4-6 weeks, but the cost of gas spiralling, we try to be even more careful of how many trips we make to town. Yesterday my MIL, who lives next door, and I carpooled to run multiple errands in town.

    I am trying to be more careful with buying groceries as the prices are going up so fast. I stock up when something we use often goes on sale.

    It is a real struggle and is going to be bad this winter as we heat with Propane, But I am trying to keep on an all cash basis as much as possible and paying down on cc bills as much as possible also.

  8. Alex says:

    Gas Price increases have made my budget even leaner — I actually find that I enjoy staying home, not spending, etc. Too Poor: I’ve seen your posts on a number of blogs, and surely there must be some way for you to pull out of your condition. You obviously have access to a computer so you can research skills training, there are ways for you to get an education or training — check out the services your city/county offers, and student loans — a technical college (2 years) might be your ticket out. Unless you’re severly mentally or physically challenged, there is a way for you to earn money. Wealthman, where are you when we need you?

  9. Cindy M says:

    I got rid of my car before the gas jumped up and I don’t mind it a bit, may never buy another one. My wish is that my community will be putting more bucks into public transportation and cleaning up parts of my city. Would be great if people went back to living/working locally, but I don’t really see that happening on a large scale.

  10. fern says:

    Fuel efficiency and reliability have always been my top 2 criteria when buying a car.

    I rarely make single purpose driving trips anymore. Instead, i combine all my weekend driving trips into 1 and try to run errands on the way home from work.

    I also drive-share to work now with a neighbor who works nearby.

    I make it even more of a point not to speed or accelerate or brake quickly.

    It’s paying off for me. The last 2 times i checked my mileage, i got 39 and 42 mpg on my 9 yr old Honda Civic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *