With gas at record high prices and due to go up more with the price per barrel at an all time high, how much more are you spending on gasoline now than you were at this time last year? How much more is your heating oil costing you if you use it? How has this affected your overall budget.
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Wow! You've hit on a real frustration at our house! We have the monthly fill service for our heating oil tank. Last winter we kept our thermostat around 68 and our monthly bill was about $400/month! This winter we've turned down the stat to about 64. We hesitate to turn it lower - we're seniors and we get chilly easily and are already getting the sniffles more often, even when we stay bundled up! When the first bill came this winter, with the furnace 5 degree lower than last year, the monthly oil bill was slightly MORE than last year! We're sure our real problem is our old furnace and installing a new one would save us money, so we're saving up every extra nickle to get one ASAP!
Oil is traded in the American dollar. The more worthless the dollar is the higher the cost of a barrel of oil. Our country has many issues that the government ignores. But we are a sell out country.
Now that EXXON has amassed RECORD profits, it's OUR loss, as the price of EVERYTHING keeps going up with the price of oil. Sadly, it's the truck drivers, farmers & others who deliver our goods that loose out. The money lost due to their high fuel prices can occasionally be passed on to us, the consumers, but most times, we loose the next generation of these hard workers. This is our loss, as Trains can only bring our goods, just so far... & we need farmers!
---> But, as usual, it's the poor & those on Social Security who live on what others spend at Starbucks in a month who suffer the most. As prices on gas & everything else continue to climb, their checks don't increase one penny due to "cost of living".... (Most people confuse "Inflation" with "Cost of Living") So, they have to decide whether to spend their meager amounts on Medicine, Food or Heat... & it's usually the heat that looses out. Don't fool yourselves, there's thousands out there with their heat turned off this winter because they can't afford to buy oil for their furnaces. I heard a gal that called in to a radio talk show, she said she just paid over $1000 to fill her oil tank, & will need at least another $600 in several months!
* What can we do?... Well, one thing is, THINK about who we want in office, (obviously not someone who's "in bed" with the oil companies! Then vote! ... The other thing we can do is BUY LOCALLY... If you Buy Locally you'll not only have the freshest food, but also, you'll be supporting your local economy, plus saving the money it would have cost to have had the food (or whatever) shipped long distances.
---> SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS MARKET
---> SUPPORT the SALVATION ARMY (they help pay power bills for the poor)
The high price of gas has made our family adjust to different things. Instead of going out to dinner and a movie on the weekends, we eat in, and invite friends over for game night, sharing meals. Bikes have taken place of the car ride to the store, park or friends house.
We keep our home at a constant 68 degrees, donning sweaters and socks to stay warm. I have a fireplace in the bedroom and also the family room, so heating those rooms are easy. At night a simple electric blanket keeps us all snuggly warm.
I know I am spending more on gas but it hasn't been detrimental to my finances at this point. I try to be careful and combine trips and not make unnecessary trips. I have noticed that the price of groceries has gone up a lot. I would say for me the allocation for groceries has increased more than the allocation for gas in my budget.
Hasn't affected me one bit, my boss pays me $75 a week for gas and I only live 5 minutes away from work.
I have been retired for nearly nine years and starting walking daily and found it cut my gasoline costs sharply and that was when gas was a "normal" price. As a widow also with no kids, I live alone in my own house and try to keep my heating bills low by keeping the heat lower (unless I have company and will increase it, not fair to my friends). Now that my younger brother passed in June 2007, I am driving over to my moms more and at over $3 a gallon, it is higher. But I conserve by walking to the places I can so that I don't feel it as much since I have to drive more than I care to. But, and this is my humble little opinion, that many people (and I see it daily by where I live) will drive unnecessarily and then complain about much gas they use. I am not talking about those who must drive to work but the ones who daily will drive to a local deli for their lunch and breakfast. Yes, the oil companies are making a huge profit but the public is helping them. I remember having to wait in line back in the 70's when there was a gas shortage. Maybe we should allocate just so many gallons and see if that would help. I don't know the answers, I just try to conserve in my own way.
This has affected me greatly. One of my three cats needs surgery. Something has to give soon! My paycheck hasn't gone up, as I work in the auto carpet manufacturing business, and we all know where that's headed! Hopefully I can pick up work at my friendly greenhouse this spring on week ends. Only thing is, it's 25 miles away, so I have to work a lot of hours to make it worthwhile.
I'm single now, and 60 yrs old. Was looking toward a brighter retirement, but am now not so sure, as I have to use credit card for more.
My friends complain that I don't visit as much, but I can't afford the gas. So now will gas going even higher, will have to curtail all entertainment activities and just try to stay home, keep warm and read a good book!
I stay home more! I still work part time. I run as many errands on my way back from work as I can. When home I've dug out all the half done craft projects I've put away. I have saved on gift costs! I lower the heat and start doing some heavy cleaning! Good exercise plus I stay warm. I've reduced the amount I eat. Less eaten less trips to the store, plus lower weight. Adopted a dog. He keeps me company plus we keep each other warm cuddling in front of the TV. Take showers every other day. Better for the skin and uses less H2o soap.
This is sure a hot-button issue, isn't it. For me, I have had to cut back on my driving. I combine almost all my errands into one day. I watch food prices very carefully. I don't do much discretionary spending any more, don't buy much at the dollar stores.
As a taxpayer, I'm very concerned about the cost of fueling all those school buses, city buses, snowplows and all those other municipal vehicles we see driving around every day. And I wonder how long it'll be until postage sramps go up again.
I am glad that I am telecommuting and working at home on the computer as much as possible. As a freelancer, I can make as much in a few days a month as at a lower-paying fulltime job. We carpool when we can, avoid long distance trips by car (And compare costs vs. other public transportation) - We try to bunch our errands, so we can do as much as possible on one efficient trip...But then, I have always done those things, so it's no shock!
We don't drive anywhere unless we have to
We have lowered our thermostat to 64 or lower and no heat in the bedroom. That has been the only way to keep costs of heating and gasoline to about the same level as last year.
fill gas tank in the early morning.
press pump slowly so u do not get just vapors.
do not fill up tank when u see a Gas truck at the station.
gas is most dense in the early morning.
in Toronto the premium gas is Sunoco.
I always bought at Shell....but not now.
my mechanic states that u get better gas mileage with Sunoco.
It has had a major crunch on us, my husband works in Atlantic City NJ, and it is around 30 miles away between the cost of gas and the cost of tolls, which is expected to go up .50 a year for the next 5 years is killing us. We estimate next year it costing us 125 a week just for him to go to work. Thank God, I work 2 miles away from our home. But we also have a cleaning business, cost of gas is going up but we cant raise our prices because there are 30 cleaning businesses that would clean for a cheaper price.
Lets face it businesses are looking for ways to cut costs as well. One good thing we bought a 2001 Saturn stick shift for my husband to use for work, and we use it for cleaning too. We paid 2,000 for it and it has paid for itself many times over. Our other car is a Yukon $65.00 to fill it.
It has been several months since the last feedback to this question, but I will offer my $.02.
I agree with Guest Dave who referred to the decline in the value of the dollar. The Federal Reserve merely prints more worthless scrip to try to keep the economy afloat and the resulting inflation (too many dollars chasing too few goods) has gutted the value of the dollar. That is why gasoline for the car seems to cost so much; that is why prices for food and groceries seem to have spiked. Also, if it's in the grocery store, chances are a truck brought it there and the fuel price increase gets added to the price charged for what is on the grocer's shelves.
Although we carpool (my husband and I work for the same company, at different facilities less than a mile apart) our house is 28 miles from the job and our commuting expense has blimped in the past year's time. Our reaction to this has been to cut expenses on thins we can control.
We canceled our satellite TV service, keeping only the satellite broadband service for Internet use. Result: the networks provide 4-5 stations with nothing fit to watch, for free, as opposed to us paying nearly $45 a month for hundreds of channels with nothing fit to watch. If we need to get a converter to continue receive network TV after they all switch to digital format we will do so; it will be cheaper than buying another TV and our current set, although it is 16 years old, works perfectly.
We air condition less and use fans to compensate in the room we are using at the time. We turn down the thermostat in cold weather and use "zone heating," increasing the temperature only in the room we are using, with a space heater or oil-filled radiator.
We no longer shop in the high-priced grocery or department stores, but instead I buy our groceries and supplies at Aldi, or the discount store which is Walmart in my neighborhood.
We shop on line to get the best deal we can on things, including our recent purchase of a used light pickup truck, buying with cash or money orders if we can to avoid using the credit card.
We recently changed to using debit cards instead of credit cards, which makes us more aware of what we are spending and puts us more on a "cash" basis with respect to our monthly spending.
I recently lost a significant amount of weight, and instead of going for a new wardrobe of the cheapest things in the greatest volume, I got fewer, more expensive things that are extremely well made and cheap to care for (completely machine care vs. dry-clean only). I now have a strong incentive to keep the weight off because I really like my new work clothes and I do not want to have to replace them for at least 5 years.
We have instituted portion control at home. I use Saturday as my "cooking day" and cook for the freezer every Saturday, while allowing time to do other household chores, until the freezer is full of ready-made casseroles, mini-meatloaves, meatballs, chili mix, etc., to last for about a month. We eat at home exclusively except for one meal per month and I carry my lunch to work.
Our menus are written on small slips of paper and they correspond with what's in the pantry and freezer for the month. The slips are kept in an empty cocoa tin with a picture of Milton Hershey on it (think Hershey's chocolate and cocoa). Every evening before retiring for the night we shake up the can and let Uncle Milton tell us what we're having for supper the following evening. Then if I need to remove something from the freezer and put it in the fridge to soften up I can do so that night. Nobody has to decide what to have for supper that way --it's a "surprise."
Each casserole is divided into four portions and made to serve the two of us for two meals. The helpings are generous, but there are no seconds and we fill up any empty space on the plate with vegetables when necessary.
I started baking homemade quick breads and nut breads at home on Saturdays and taking a slice of that in my lunch container with my homemade lunch every day, and left-over hot coffee from home in a little thermos, to save the expense of buying coffee and a muffin at the cafeteria.
We bought a set of Wahl clippers on line and now I give my husband his haircuts every two weeks. I've gotten pretty good at this, and those clippers literally paid for themselves in six weeks. I no longer cut my hair, except for my bangs, and gather it in a simple, modest style which I cover with a lace veiling I made at home.
We stay out of the store. Grocery shopping trips take place once every two weeks. When purchasing something that has a long shelf life, like toilet paper or soap, I get the largest container or package we can store.
When visiting the large chain drug store where we get our prescription medications (we both have to take medication every day) we use the drive-through whenever possible to avoid going into the store. This saves us money because we do not see the inside of the store or any displays of unnecessary products and think of other things we "need."
Instead of spending our "incentive" tax rebate check that the government sent this year we placed it in our savings account where it can earn a little interest.
We believe that the government merely took on more debt to a foreign country, probably China, to be able to send out those checks and since most goods in the department stores are made in China we thought that spending the money would more likely result in stimulating the Chinese economy, not ours. We believe it is saving that provides true economic stimulus. Blessings, CitizenKate
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