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Question of the Day: What Will You Do If Or When Gas Prices Are $5.00 a Gallon

By Erik Folgate

Some sources are predicting gas prices to rise to $5.00 a gallon by the end of July. We’re all cringing at the fact that gas is $4.00 a gallon right now, and $70 a tank is no fun, but it’s still not enough to cause most people to cut back on their driving. But, I think that $100 a tank will cause people to change their behavior.

My Answer:
My wife and I have already cut back a little bit. We try to map out the most efficient route when we go places, and I’ve noticed that we do less joy-riding around town on the weekends. I think that if gas goes to $5.00 a gallon, we will definitely sell our Nissan Xterra and get a car with 25 to 30 miles per gallon. Our Hyundai Sonata gets 28 on the highway and 23 to 24 in town. I know that we’ll definitely be taking less trips to Orlando and Gainesville to see friends and family.

What will you do if gas goes to $5.00 a gallon besides curse at the pump?

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • Jeff

    We will pay only $55 to fill a tank that lasts nearly two weeks (drive a Honda Fit Sport only a dozen miles or less per day)… So no pain felt here yet. We both live and work within 3 miles of home, so the old adage of ‘location, location, location’ is more important than ever. The notion of ‘suburbia’ died with the SUV a few weeks ago. Then again, even at $5/gallon we are still spoiled brats as many other industrialized nations would then be paying closer to $10/gallon… So people… Stop crying and take responsibility for the gluttony we’ve had the pleasure of as a society for so long (cheap gas, food, etc). Times need changing and now is a good time!

    • Judyzap

      Gluttony??? What about the small business owners, you know the ones that comes to your home to “fix” things??? What about the ones that have to have a pickup??? Someday you will need some business to deliver an item that requires a pickup, when you get that bill….keep your mouth shut, small business people are moving out of Calif, or going out of business so when you need something fixed and can’t find a repairman that requires the use of a pickup….don’t you cry either, because it is going to happen.

      • http://twitter.com/Devin_Jones18 Devin Jones

        A car is

      • Devin

        Judy, is the only thing you do b*tch and complain? It seems to me that people like you, who only complain and don’t ever offer a solution (let alone be willing to compromise), are the reason why American is in the gas-dependent situation she is in. Your argument of a pickup truck is getting old. Your snobby comment about wrapping children in plastic bags to protect them from the rain is asinine. If Laura, the poster four above this comment at the time of this writing, wants to ride a bicycle on the weekends to the grocery store, does she really have to bring all three kids with her? If she needs to pick up milk, bread, and cereal, does she really need to drive a gas-guzzling SUV (or even a subcompact car) to the store when a bicycle with a basket will suffice? No. The answer is no. Using a bike as transportation on the weekends is an excellent idea if it is possible. It allows the rider to get some exercise, some sun, and, lo and behold, saves gas. It takes a societal change to end our dependence on foreign oil and people like you, Judy, are the reason why nothing gets done.
        *End Rant*

  • http://greenpandatreehouse.com Laura

    We’re already looking at biking as an option. We just moved, so we’re trying to look on Craigslist for some bicycles. Biking to work wouldn’t be practical, but it could be doable on weekends.

    • Judyzap

      Yes, you parents strap your kids to your bikes…what you have 3 kids? OH well, you can tie a wagon to the back, if it is raining you can wrap your kids in plastic bags….I can see it now folks…

  • author

    Jeff, I agree that we’ve had much cheaper gas than most other countries in the past. Hopefully, it will cause us to speed up the process of researching alternative fuel sources. I just wish there could be some relief in the interim.

  • Lynn Folgate

    My biggest fear is a gas shortage and long gas lines. My generation remembers it well and hope it doesn’t come to that. What I am going to TRY and do is to stop complaining ! What helps me most is to fill up at half empty, so I don’t have to see how much an entire tank costs !

  • http://www.masteryourcard.com/blog Rachel @ Master Your Card

    We have not noticed so much of a difference as we have a hybrid car which saves us a lot of money anyway. However, I am thinking of ways that we can make our car journeys more efficient – doing several tasks at once etc. Also trying to avoid unnecessary journeys.

  • ekrabs

    I will essentially do nothing different besides grudgingly budget more of my money towards gas.

    I already drive a fuel-efficient vehicle. I already drive only when I have to. I already budget as efficiently as I can so I can push my surplus towards saving and investing. And that’s before the gas crunch….

    Yes, I admit I’m gloating a bit, but it’s also the honest truth. So, what else am I suppose to do?

    Some day, I’d like to move somewhere where I can rely on a bicycle for most of my needs. But that day isn’t here yet.

  • Jacquelyn Hart-McCoy

    We can help how much we drive for work, but unfortunately we have had to cut down on driving to see friends and recently had to stop going to our small group which met in Jupiter…traveling there from Wellington was getting insane, but we were really sad about it. I feel blessed to only live a few miles from our parents and siblings.

  • george

    alternative fuels – lmao

  • Judyzap

    Oh goody goody two shoes for those of you that has cut back and owns little cars….if you think you are going to cut back…think about this…if and when you need to hire someone that requires a pickup….this is going to hit you in the pocketbook, lets say you need a hot water tank delivered to your home, or a washer/dryer, I think you get the picture…guess who is going to have to pay for the use of OUR PICKUPS?

    • Ludwig

      Go rent one for the day it is still cheaper than driving a big huge Cadillac Escalade

  • Alandonna1

    I think that if you could spread the word for everyone in America to fill up on the same day this would drive prices down. This would get gas stations worried about their profits. No money coming in for 6 days, I think they would lower the price of gas. DO NOT by gas from EXON or MOBIL. They are big providers of gas if they loose money they will lower the gas price causeing all of the gas stations to follow suit. We have to get some backbone.

  • Kyasarin

    What my husband plans on doing is buying a mini-refinery and three big tanks to stick in the ground. He will then go to Alaska, buy barrels of crude oil, bring it back to wherever we are living and refine it himself. One underground tank will hold gasoline, one will hold diesel, and the last will hold propane. As long as we can buy our own crude oil, we will save tons of money. Also, in regards to cars, why is it that before the 90′s we had super fuel-efficient Toyotas, Nissans and Geo Metros? Sure those cars are ugly but they can get 40 mpg! Remind me why our current generation of vehicles only averages 30 mpg and we think that’s something to praise…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B33AQIUTW5QUSQ264MTORFNCFE Francis Ferrell

    I just don’t understand how New Yorkers were paying $4.00-$4.50 per gallon in 2008 when crude was about $150.00/barrell and we are now spending that same amount when crude is not even $90/barrel???

  • sjorde

    His Hyundai gets 28 MPG? My RANS Fusion ST gets about 600 MPG. Human-powered transportation is the way to go. ESPECIALLY in warmer areas of the country!

  • jack

    spend money

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