How much did you spend on gas last month?
Does this number look familiar?
$368.09 The average amount American households spent on gas in April, at $3.99 average price per gallon. That’s about twice what we paid two years ago.
Will it get worse? Here’s the wisdom of crowds from a recent Rasumssen poll.
38% The percentage of adults surveyed who think it’s “very likely” gas will cost $5.00 by July 1st.
62% The percentage of investors who think the same.
At $5.00 a gallon, here’s another number that may become familiar to us.
$5,535.19 A year’s cost of gas to the average household. If something good doesn’t happen.
Something good like what?
The price of gas could drop. It’s more and more difficult to increase oil production, and political uncertainty in the Middle East is growing. So a fall in oil prices are not rated very likely. It would be a mixed blessing anyway, since the most likely cause would be a tough economy. Consider the last few cheap-gas years since the financial crisis.
We could get a high-mileage car. That’s probably a good idea anyway. If we’re the type who keeps our car longer than a few years, and if we can resist the take-back effect, gas savings can more than pay for the added cost of a hybrid – or soon, a Leaf or Volt.
We could drive less. This is the best solution. And the most difficult. It probably means moving – to a walkable neighborhood or one with good public transportation, or doing our errands on good bike paths.
But think what a huge difference it will make to our budget if we see the next number.