The Finance Castle Rotating Header Image

Gas Prices and Your Bottom Line

It’s finally happened. Since gas prices began their seemingly unstoppable climb due to a combination of widespread speculation and rising global demand, I’ve always wondered when exactly we (we being US citizens) would finally take the hint, shape up, and change our consumption of gasoline. Sure everyone complains about how much it hurts to fill up at the pump, but how many people followed through with that complaint? Did you get a smaller car? Did you trade in your SUV? Did you start driving less and switch to public transportation? Until now, studies had shown it was not the case, and that most consumers were still chugging away as if gas was still 0.99 cents per gallon.

Not anymore.

A recent article over at CNN demonstrates a shift in thinking and habits. We’re finally starting to trade in the gas-guzzling cars and thinking long and hard about the cost of a potential road trip. I consider it a bit of tough love, or just the kick in the pants the country needed to finally start pursuing energy independence or at the very least change our complete disregard for the consumption of a finite resource. Here’s some highlights to take away:

  • March figures show steepest decline in driving since 1942
  • Compared with last year, drivers have logged 11 billion fewer miles, the DOT says
  • Americans planned to drive less over Memorial Day weekend, AAA reports
  • Public transportation ridership on rise, in part because of gas prices, group says

Unfortunately this has also resulted in some collateral damage, as US automakers were ill-prepared for the spike in gas, and suddenly giant status-SUVs and monster pickup trucks, the bread and butter of Ford and General Motors, are no longer in vogue. Instead they are scrambling to catch up with foreign automakers who already saw the writing on the wall and diversified out to other smaller, more efficient modes of transportation. If they can stay afloat, I think this will end up being a good lesson for them, as well.

What about you? How has the rising cost of transportation affected your plans and habits?

0 Comments on “Gas Prices and Your Bottom Line”

Leave a Comment