I just filled up my gas tank this morning for the daily trek into work, and spent what I normally would spend on a tank and a half of gas on one full tank of gas. And I consider myself one of the luckier ones, that does not (now) happen to live paycheck to paycheck, and be subjected to daily financial troubles just because I have to fill my gas tank and be a working, functioning citizen.I ask myself, "when, if ever, are the gas prices going to go down, and how is this affecting our economy?". Like anyone else, I'm concerned that now that we've hit almost $3.00 a gallon, the oil companies know they can get away with this, and we'll never again see gasoline at $2.00 a gallon .
I drive an SUV, albeit a small SUV - a Honda CRV to be exact. To fill my gas tank currently costs me roughly $37.00, with the prices currently being at $2.89 per gallon.
What does this translate into weekly? Well, take my 45 minute to an hour drive into work, times that by ten times a week, and consider that I fill my tank about 3 times a week for work and leisure travel. What do you get?.By my calculations, I've been spending roughly $81-$85 per week on gasoline alone! Now take that times 4, and you've got a cost of about $340 per month, just to get around. This is how much some people might pay for rent, or a car payment, and yet this is exactly the amount that a lot of middle class people are paying to fill up their cars with gas!.I saw the other day a snapshot of a gas pump in Beverly Hills. The price was $4.
04. Now granted, maybe people who happen to live in affluent areas like this are a little more able to afford these prices, but if this is a sign of things to come for the rest of us, what are we to do? The sad part is, everyone wants to do something about it, but no one is really quite sure "what" to do - including me.So, What is Currently Being Done About The Surging Gas Prices?.I heard on the radio this morning, ironically just as I was pulling into the nearest gas station to fill up my dry tank, that President Bush has just commissioned an inquiry of sorts into the rising costs of gasoline. He has placed the responsibility, or the burden of proof if you will, on the major oil companies to prove that these skyrocketing costs are, in fact justified by a genuine shortage, and are not purely market driven.What this means is that the government is now asking questions and attempting to hold the oil industry accountable for any market manipulation which may be happening - in other words, they're investigating whether consumers are being price-gouged.
While I'm an eternal optimist about most things, it's with regret that I say I don't hold much hope for inquiries such as this to change anything at this point. Market analysts are already saying to brace ourselves for gas prices of $3.00 a gallon all summer long. We can only hope that they are wrong..
Visit Spoozer: Men's Humor, Cars, and Internet a new men's magazine that's got it all. Danna Schneider is the founder of The Credit Blog.
By: Danna Schneider