How much did you pay for gas today?
Finally, summer is here. The weather is getting nicer, the temperature is rising, and the urge to jump into your pool, sit next to the ocean, or even "chill" in your air conditioned room is increasing quite nicely. This is also the time when you hop into your car, go to work or head for your vacation destination... or not. Gas prices are soaring the past few months, and many people are getting a bit nervous about our nation's economy. Will gas prices reach $5.00 per gallon at the end of summer 2008? Will it continue increasing? What should I do? What will happen to me financially? These and many other questions have been floating around my mind the past few weeks.
Most of you know that I'm a commuter student who drives from Malden, MA to Lowell, MA everyday. If you think about it, I drive 60 miles per day, which means that each single way trip is approximately 30 miles.
At the beginning of my junior year, the gas prices were around $2.20 or something like that. I drive a 2005 Mazda 3 car that can hold about 11 gallons. If regular gas is $2.20 and I need to fill it up from empty, it would cost $24.20. That isn't that bad especially for my car. According to Mazda, my car has a MPG (miles per gallon) of 30 on the highway, and about 24 for city driving. So if you think about it, one trip from Malden to Lowell is about 1 gallon (30 miles). So all together (if I have my math right, hehe), 2 gallons would keep me running through my round trip.
Recently, I've noticed (and most likely all of you) that the prices are creeping very very close to $4.00 per gallon. I was driving around today and I've seen prices as "cheap" as $3.87, and as extreme as $4.20 (I almost threw up). Curiously, I drove into a few gas stations and checked the digital readers for amount spent on a full tank. The most I've seen so far was close to $70. So let's do the math again. Let's say, I'm taking the same trip to Lowell and back with $4.00 a gallon. For my 11 gallon car, I have to spend $44 to fill it up. That is $19.80 more than the beginning of junior year (yikes!). And if this trend continues, let's say that gas reaches $5.00 at the start of senior year. I will have to spend $55 for a full tank.
I'm lucky to say that my car is very gas friendly. From my math and experience, I don't spend a lot on gas before. Nowadays, the price for a full tank is getting too high for comfort. I used to drive a Ford Explorer and that vehicle was a gas eater!!! My plan for this summer to work as much as possible, save up, and get ready for a bigger increase in gas prices. I might have to work 2 (and I think 3) jobs all because of gas prices (and other college stuff).
Throughout the summer, I will be writing more about the increasing gas prices, my experiences as a college commuter student looking for gas, and tips on how to be more fuel efficient. I also will be posting website URLs that relates to gas prices.