In case you haven’t already heard on the news, the website GasBuddy.com is predicting a $.05-$.20 cent rise in gasoline costs by this weekend across the US. They cite a refinery fire in Washington state and the trouble with Iraq as causes for the projected increase.
I admit it–I’m not a particularly political animal (I leave that up to Yankee Bill) but I do have my opinions on how we’ve gotten where we are and what could have been done differently. I’m not going to go into that here because the fact is we ARE here-and we can’t go back in time and change how we got here.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pay attention to politics or vote your conscience in the elections–rather I’m saying that Frugal Upstate isn’t about those issues-it’s about taking action NOW. In your own life.
We as families, people, home managers, individuals–regardless of how we got here–have to DEAL with the situation the best we can. Since we can’t force them to lower the price of gas we really have only two choices that I can see:
1. We can save money elsewhere to have more money to spend on gas-which is pretty much the entire topic of Frugal Upstate!
2. We can change our habits to use less gas.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about 6 ways to save money by using less gas. A lot of those techniques like carpooling and using alternate transportation are a a pain.
You have to plan more.
You have to coordinate with other folks.
You have to take more time to get where you are going and back.
You probably will be inconvenienced.
We are a society that has been used to total independence-we just hop into our cars and go wherever we need to, on our own schedule, without having to consider others much at all. Because of that we can cram a lot of things into a single day-because the only schedule we have to consider is our own. That’s not something we are going to give up as a nation easily-but as the price goes up more and more that inconvenience will seem less and less.
I think each individual has a tipping point-a number at which the money saved is worth more than the inconvenience. I know that mine is different depending on the weather. I admit to still driving the block to go pick the kids up from after school care when it’s pouring rain or freezing out just because I don’t want to walk in the weather.
But my tipping point is coming soon-there will be a point where that little jaunt around the block won’t happen any more.
What about you? Have you reached a tipping point? What are you willing or able to do to change your lifestyle as the prices increase?