According to GasBuddy, the average gallon of unleaded gasoline in the United States is $1.86. This is a far cry from $4.00 we were seeing just last summer. The price per gallon of gas was $2.76 even just a year ago today. The price of gas definitely put a strain on our budgets and it was difficult to allocate such a high percentage of our income to gas. With our given situation, there weren’t too many alternatives for us to save any money.
So are you paying too much for gas? Are you looking to the future of almost certain higher gasoline prices? It’s going to happen, but will you be ready this time around? I have an idea…tax yourself! The idea is actually pretty simple: assume that every gallon of gas is $3.00 at the pumps (while prices remain below the $3.00 a gallon threshold).
Similar to the energy budget plan, you will be able to contribute the excess dollars to a gasoline fund. For example, if you fill up your car with 14 gallons at $2.00, you would then add the difference of (3.00 – $2.00) * 14 = $14.00 into your gas fund. By keeping the extra money in a high interest savings account (and maintaining the will power to leave it alone for other expenses), you will have a nice stimulus waiting for you when higher gas prices continue to rise into the summer driving months.
The idea is very flexible and should work with any budget. You have the ability to determine how much you want to tax yourself based on driving habits. You may not be able to absorb enough now to last through the summer, but I believe the relief will be beneficial. If you hedged your bets well and have money left over in your gas fund, either let it ride or put it towards your debt.
If we can pay more for gas in the summer, why can’t we all start now?
Feel free to take the poll over at Generation X Finance regarding your driving habits.