($ ÷ Gallon) x (Miles ÷ Gallon) = LA Gasoline Anxiety

Here's the gas prices at the station closest to my home. Aaaahhhh!!!

With the astronomical price of gas these days, I start to have an anxiety attack each moment my odometer clicks another tenth of a digit. I quickly do the math in my head: if my 15-year old minivan gets 16 miles per gallon of gas and I pay $4.50 for each gallon, I am coughing up over 28 cents for every tenth of a mile. It now costs twice as much in gas to deliver my daughter’s forgotten brown bag lunch than to just make her buy lunch at the school cafeteria. What a dilemma!

When I got my driver’s license in 1978, I remember paying just 64 cents for a gallon of gas. I say this and I feel like the old geezers who complain how when they were kids they used to walk to school uphill both ways. Suddenly I’m older than dirt.

Today, as I near a hundred bucks a pop, each time I fill up my tank I feel like I just lost the kids’ college fund – that is if I was wealthy enough to actually have a decent kids’ college fund. My head pounds, I feel emotionally sick, and I am suddenly terrified of the future of both my family and America as a whole.

With such an adverse reaction, you would think that my work commute must be an enormous trek and I am suddenly spending a fortune in gas.

Wrong.

Actually, my commute distance is exactly 13-1/2 inches and takes about a nanosecond, so it costs exactly no dollars and zero cents in gas to drive to work.

Jealous? I don’t blame you.

My editing system sits on a desk near the foot of my bed and I am able to upload and download my session via the Internet. I work a 48.6 hour week (blame my union for this obscure number) and I can do it all in my pajamas.

I can’t image how I’d afford gas if I still commuted from the home in Chino I sold in 1992. It’s a 90 mile round trip to Burbank, so at 16 miles per gallon I’d be spending over $550 in gas each month. Plus I’d be wasting about 15-20 hours each week staring at lame bumper stickers and the rear ends of all those SUVs that have stick figure drawings with family member names underneath, all the while sucking up thousands of Verizon minutes yacking with people who’d certainly be tired of talking to me after the first ten minutes.

Thank you God for telecommuting.

I do have to drive a mile and a half each way every week (84¢) to drop off and pick up my external hard drive from my assistant/right hand man Eddie. I also travel four miles ($2.25 round trip) to the Disney lot and swing by the dub stage, mostly to keep my chops primed in having three-minute conversations with actual adults who work in post-production sound. In real life, the majority of my conversations consist of telling my 5-year old to stop squirming and keep his finger out of his nose, so the last thing I want to do is instinctively bark these orders at the dedicated mixers of Once Upon a Time.

So if I’m not paying up the wazoo in my work commute, where does all the gas money go?

Jake’s school is three blocks away, and since he’s a pokey walker, we drive. I figure the trip there and back costs a little less than 20 cents a day. In a week I spend less than the price the ice cream man charges for a SpongeBob on a stick. Such a bargain!

I’m the afternoon carpool mom for Mary’s school which is three miles away, and I drive about six miles on the way home dropping off the other middle school kids. That gas bill adds up to about $2.53 each day. In a week, I spend more in gas than I would in buying a half dozen Red Bulls – which I recently cut out of my budget because they’re now a luxury I can’t afford. Please don’t tell my insurance agent this if I happen to fall asleep at the wheel.

Emily attends Cleveland Humanities Magnet which is a 28-mile round trip and would cost nearly $40 a week in gas. I have all you Los Angeles property owners to thank for generously donating your tax dollars. So far LAUSD has not completely cut funding for Magnet School buses, so for me, Emily is a freebie.

I don’t have the luxury of time on my hands, yet I will still drive six miles and wait for 20 minutes in line to fill up at the Costco gas station to save a few cents.  Actually, it’s more than a few cents. Yesterday Costco gas was $4.21 a gallon, but the closest gas station to my home was $4.75. They have the audacity to charge $4.99 for premium, and at that price “premium” should mean “with complimentary foot rub.” Don’t even get me started on the three-millimeter sized “9/10” at the end of every gas price. Is there any other product that charges an extra nine-tenths of a cent?

Even with my Costco membership, it now costs more time and money to buy a gallon of gasoline than it does to get a Starbucks Venti Frappuccino. It’s too bad my minivan doesn’t run on iced coffee. Especially since I make my own cup a Joe. After all the money we spend on gas these days, who can afford to buy anything from Starbucks?

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184 Comments

Filed under Anxiety, Career, Debt, Financial Insecurity, Humor, Parenting, Public Education, Public Schools, Teenagers

184 responses to “($ ÷ Gallon) x (Miles ÷ Gallon) = LA Gasoline Anxiety

  1. Jeremy

    Well, it’s petrol hell fer sure. The bright side is that your math was one decimal point off, so it’s ONLY 2.8 cents per tenth of a mile. Think of the savings!

    Jeremy

    • I noticed this as well. On the bright side, depending on the price of your bicycle, I calculated that with my $100 bicycle, with $3 gas, I recovered about $0.10 per mile.

      The days of commuting and playing around with this spread out life shall soon be over. It is going to be necessary to have most of our lives take place in a small geographical area. I am traveling around the world now before the costs become prohibitive of such travels.

      It is great you are cognizant of what is happening around you and you bother to calculate. Most people just pop another pill or get another credit card. -”tarotworldtour”

  2. After reading this article I found myself dizzy. Cathy has been organizing, adding, and alphabetizing everything in her life since she was about three years old. She was probably making notes about how many diapers I changed on her younger sister and her younger brother per day (I had four kids in three years so usually had two in diapers – thank the Catholic Church) Me, I’d have to rest for at least two hours after adding up all the gas prices and miles driven. I think I just figured out why every one of Cathy’s articles are highly entertaining; her words have wings (must be all those numbers she has to so frantically add in her head).

  3. I just bought a train ticket a few minutes ago from Santa Barbara to San Francisco for $48.00. What a bargain. We need more trains in California!

  4. We’re going to Arizona this week. How much do you think that will cost?

  5. i saw something on facebook that said something like: “thank goodness for fb, or we’d never see each other!” referencing the gas prices. it’s nuts!

  6. We made the decision not to move our daughter to a different (albeit better) school because we saw the writing on the wall regarding gas prices. We’d be in the poorhouse trying to make the commute twice a day. I feel your pain!

  7. Here in parts of Eastern Canada we’re paying the equivalent of about $6.0 a gallon. Ouch or what???
    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!! :)

  8. mplsgossipgirl

    Move to Minnesota! The weather might not always be the greatest, but it would sure beat LA prices.

    Plus, we have a great transit program. I ride the bust everyday. It saves me tons of money.

    Check out my blog- http://www.mplsgossipgirl.wordpress.com

    for all things Minnesota.

  9. Megy

    I live in Fresno, and gas prices aren’t quite that high but I’m still considering buying a bike. Great exercise, and no gas. The only drawback is the extra time it would take to get to work. Still, if it reaches $5 per gallon here, I won’t be driving anywhere.

  10. I posted on my blog recently about the price of fuel here in Canada. Given the conversion from liters to U.S. gallons we are paying around 5.50$ per gallon! And a person in Rome commented that they are now paying ….gulp, around 9.40$ per gallon. Yes you read that right.

    I am walking and biking a lot.

    Take care.

    Mark Lowe
    http://www.minimalistliving.wordpress.com

  11. Jonathan Hontz

    With regard to the high prices all I can say is get used to it. Once people prove that they’re actually willing to pay this much for gasoline, there will be absolutely no incentive to lower that price. Then there’s that whole pesky running-out-of-oil thing. ;-)

  12. stoo149

    Good post. I live in the UK, and we’re paying the equivalent of US$9.35 per US Gallon. (I say US gallon because our gallons are different, and fuel is priced per litre. . . .)

    • Rae

      Aren’t the gas prices in the UK more expensive though because they help cover healthcare?

      • stoo149

        Potentially, although with the way things are going – not for much longer! Over 65% of the pump price is tax (this is due to increase in August), but we never actually get to know what the government spends this on.

      • Rae, that is a bit off target. The British National Health Service [NHS] started back in 1948. The price of fuel in the UK has been driven by the so called, ‘Green Lobby’. Subsequent governments in the UK have been conned into believing that CO2 has a significant impact on the climate and they see this as an excuse to raise fuel prices. About 70% of the
        price of fuel in the UK is made up of taxes. Yes, some of that tax will go to the NHS but I would suggest that in the UK we could have had relatively lower fuel prices if other things had been part of the tax burden. We face another tax hike in the fall and by that time I believe that will take us over the $10/gallon price. Crazy when you consider that oil prices have not gone up that much in 2 years!

  13. Rae

    You can’t get anywhere these days without paying a boat load. I take public transporation, and it cost me $8.70 a day, plus $1 to park at the station. If I were to drive, it would cost the gas (about 30 miles in traffic), plus $6 for the toll, plus $15 for parking. You can’t win.

  14. You’re right – I am jealous of your commute. But I do mine on public transit. I got rid of the car. They say the gas here in Chicago is usually the highest in the nation. Any advice for an aspiring writer/editor?

  15. hexi

    three whole blocks and you drive your son? no wonder we have so many obese kids. Some awareness for his actions, cutting his allowance by the amount used for gas perhaps?, and I’m sure he won’t be so “pokey”.

    • He’s the skinniest boy I know and he doesn’t get an allowance. But I do think driving 3 blocks is lame. I walk the dogs and pick him up in the afternoon when there’s no danger of getting a tardy slip for being late.

  16. Gas prices are definitely a headache. We helped my 17 year old daughter buy a car recently – she wanted another Jeep (I’d given her my faithful old Grand Cherokee last spring; late last summer some jerk rear-ended her, gave my son whiplash – he was riding in the back – and completely totalled the Jeep, sigh) – she bought a 2006 Chevy Aveo instead, because of gas prices. A shame when one has to weigh cost of fuel over safety; had she been rear-ended in the Aveo my son would likely have died. :/

  17. Its a disturbing trend, whether it is an effect of supply and demand, or other, this is all impacting economies and personal financial situations. We need implemented alternatives quickly. “Global” anxiety!
    Thanks for sharing your insights and thoughts.

  18. James

    I live in Montana and run “Montana Truth Seekers Ministry”. I do not take a paycheck from my ministry. I work in ministry out of love, not for money. I hold a normal day job with the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks Department. I drive a truck that has decent mileage for a truck but is still a gas gussler. We have some of the lowest gas prices in the country. Reading this makes me thankful that we are paying 3.65 a gallon instead of close to 5 bucks a gallon. I feel like things are just going to get worse for our nation in the long run unless we repent as a nation. I do not feel our hope is in any politician or idea but in God. The current blog I have up is called “Obi Wan is not our only hope”. I will be glad to share the link for anyone interested in reading it.

  19. I am glad to fially see the American gas price on the rise. Maybe now the American Automobile Industry will finally start building cars that don’t waste gas. European cars have been on 5 liter (that’s 1.32 gallons) per 100 km (that about 60 miles) for a good while. Maybe people will start using the public transportation now too. Imagine what you can safe.
    I hate to say it but I am really not sorry at all the gas prices are on the rise. They have been too low for the longest time and America

  20. Crazy times, for sure. I started driving in the ’80s and can recall the stink when gas hit $0.99 per gallon. Sure miss the ’80s, right about now. :)

  21. It’s sickening to think that gas prices are raised simply because of our dependency on it, rather than an “oil shortage,” etc. I hope soon alternative fuel methods will become less expensive and more reliable. I have a tiny VW Beetle and it still costs $50 to fill it up. Some weeks I have to go by $15-$20 increments of fill ups. Not fun.

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  22. I hear and feel your pain! We live on the east coast and the gas prices aren’t any better here. I’m working on a chart to organize all my activities that require driving so that I can lump together as many as possible and cut out any extraneous car trips. And don’t feel bad, I haven’t stepped foot into a Starbucks in months. . .

  23. Come and visit the netherlands with its gas prices.
    1.88 euro per liter!!!!
    internetfavs.com

  24. Ouch!! I paid $3.89 this morning (in GA) and I see the prices rise a couple of cents everyday. Unfortunately for me, my commute, which isn’t as bad as most, tallies up about 100 miles a day total.

  25. T.S. Johnson

    Well, it’s been all about trying to catch up to the European prices since the beginning.

  26. *Sigh* I will be moving back to California in June so now I see what I have to look forward to, being broke thanks to fuel. My husband and I spent 30 minutes one afternoon figuring out whether E85 was really worth the $.30 difference it is here in Texas. Since you don’t get as much mileage out of the E85 but it is almost 1/3 of a dollar cheaper than unleaded. I won’t bore you with all the mathematical details that were involved in figuring this out but I think we figured E85 was better, at least for our bank account.

    Have a great weekend!

  27. Just bought petrol – 1.699 per litre. At 3.7854 litres per US gallon its €6.43. At $1.30 to the euro its $8.41 per US gallon. The car gets 6.5l to the 100k so thats about 36.4 miles to the gallon. I think they up the prices as the cars get more cost effective. Well, the irish revenue has to find it somewhere. They will soon work out how to tax trainers, bikes and air, just in case we try to sneak around the use of cars. Not to worry, good to have a challenge.

  28. And I thought our prices were high…wow. Unfortunately our town doesn’t even have a bus, we’re not really withnin walking distance of anything since the move so there’s really no way around using the car.

  29. Wow, I could never afford to live in California. I live in Mississippi, and complain about paying $3.75. Thankfully, I drive a Prius. But still!

  30. Holy crap 5$ for 1 gallon of gas?! People joked about that as ”the impossible” 4 years ago…. That means you pay $100 for 20 gallons? Whereas We pay $30 for 20 gallons here in Montreal… That’s abserdly
    insane. But come to think of it – it’s a good thing! Less pollution :) .. have you ever heard of my man who was murdered by the government because he found a solution to gas running cars? He created an engine that ran on water ; not only that but the engine did NOT evaporate the water so the engine ran on the same water forever! :) Check it out

    Katie
    http://katieraspberry.wordpress.com/

    • I always suspected there was a conspiracy against anyone who could actually create an alternative fuel source – I would have thought they would be paid royally to keep it a secret. But I guess permanently shutting them up (murder) would be more effective.

  31. Gas prices were not that bad when I moved to TX in ’03, 1.20/gal or so. I can’t believe the robbery at the pumps now. Why do we have to pay such high prices? Why don’t we produce more fuel in North America? Shipping it overseas for refinement will only get us so far, pollution doesn’t follow international borders and it will come back around one day. Bring on solar powered cars already!

  32. Sarah D.

    I live in a rural area and have to drive a lot, although I do what I can to minimize my trips. I’m looking to move somewhere where I can walk to the places I need to (grocery, post office, bank).

    I know you’re not looking for advice, so I hope you’ll forgive me, but if you can drive 6 miles to wait in a line for gas, can’t you walk Jake the 3 blocks to school? Poky or not, it will help him develop good habits instead of bad ones and is certain to be better for his health — and yours. I don’t mean to lecture, but it really jumped out at me.

    Anyway, it isn’t going to get any better over the long run, no matter who is in office, so it’s time to develop new fuel sources and public transport.

    • I never know how slow he’s going to walk and I don’t want him to be tardy for school. He’s small enough for me to carry, but in kindergarten that shouldn’t be an option. I guess if we left at dawn we’d be sure to arrive in time. That might be an incentive for him to walk a little faster.

      • Sarah D.

        I’m one to talk: I don’t drive when I don’t have to, but I don’t take the long walks I could if I just made time for them! Anyway, some day Jake will be running around so much that you’ll never be able to keep up with him and you’ll be looking back at this car time with fondness. Thanks for taking the time to reply to me, and for your patience.

  33. Anonymous

    Hi CF. awesome blog. Be thankful you still get to work from home it truly makes life easier. Since I Supervise, I have to make my 13 mile each way trip to Burbank. Owning a Prius is more than paid for itself and approaching 140,000 miles I can say I have saved some $$$$$. Losing the Carpool Lane has cost me 20-30 minutes extra each day and I must say the frustration has set in. I am considering using a new Hybrid that qualifies so stay tuned.
    Keep up the posts and maybe we will see each other soon.
    GG.

    • Thanks GC. I’m hoping the old minivan lives long enough so my next car can be another Toyota Sienna in a hybrid model. I should check and see if there are any in the works. As you can guess, I’m almost always in the car pool lane for the non-electric car reason.

  34. Good read. The prices are rising I hope $5 a gallon doesn’t look like a good price any time soon.

  35. Correction: The way prices are rising, I hope $5 a gallon doesn’t look like a good price any time soon.

  36. Anonymous

    chin up guys! We pay where i live in australia over $1.50 a letre so roughly $5.63 a gallon doesnt seem so bad now?

  37. In Australia a litre of fuel goes for approx. $1.50 (and rising). That converts approx. to $6.75 a gallon (imperial gallon I think). Fuel prices with inbuilt taxes are a licence to print money for agencies involved. Bruce

  38. The administration goal is to reach $8.00 a gallon. Good luck with that.

  39. Smaller cars. Go on foot. Take the bike… or drink the Kool-ade. Great post!

  40. Reblogged this on Christina Davis' Blog and commented:
    On second thought, I think I hold off on getting my car fixed…

  41. here in Italy gas is 9 US dollars a gallon. It just went up again, it’s a pain, So when we get back home to the U.S. one of the things I am looking forward to is the cheep gas! LOL! Even though not long ago I lived in Cali and was complaining about 5 dollars a gallon, and spending 50 dollars to fill the tank in my 84 Toyota Corolla! If I was you I would drop out of that car pool and I would make your kid walk to school, and only use your car if you absolutely can’t get to your destination any other way. You’d be able to buy those Red Bulls again! :)

  42. Rory

    Make the kid walk the 3 blocks!

  43. Frank Garcia

    I live in southern cali too…
    I dont even think about it anymore.
    It just adds to the stress.
    I just deal with it; no hope!

  44. Great post! You made me chuckle about gas prices. I guess the choices are laugh or cry.

    I believe America made a wrong turn post-WWII when we designed our infrastructure to be automobile based. I admire how you have arranged your schedule to minimize your driving in a city like L.A.! Not an easy feat.

    I’m sure years from now your son will fondly remember how you drove him three blocks to school every morning. That’s the sign of a loving mother! I work with children, and kindergartners definitely move at their own pace. Sometimes we have to recognize them as amazing little individuals and not try to change them to fit our adult needs. :-)

  45. Thanks for availing me such valuable & knowledgable kind of information.I go through your blog and found it fulfilling our needs, wants and demand

  46. Wow, I feel thankful now that gasoline is only $3.79 here in South Texas. Our SAMS Club is running a special for $3.48 and is selling a lot of new memberships because of it. But now I’m getting also getting offers on my economical Nissan Sentra standard from the owners of “gas guzzlers”. :)

  47. That’s less than a buck per litre if my math is correct. Hah, that’s chep. Here a litre costs cca $1,75.

  48. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed Cathy! I think the gas in Chicago is the highest in the country right now. I am so not happy about that. It does make me afraid to step out of my house sometimes. My new motto: Travel only when necessary. Nice post.

  49. We have just had a load of panic buying of fuel in the UK. A politician and his warnings drove up (excuse the pun) the price. Self-fulfilling prophesy.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-17664759
    Maybe electric cars are the way forward.

  50. i’m in Hawaii and the gaz price is insane….. the worst is that it doesn’t stop going up…. till when :(

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  52. Where, of where is our subway? Less gas, less fat (walkin to and fro my imaginary neighborhood blue line station), statistically-reduced chance of ticket for anything, more trees (or concrete), time to think (or text)

  53. It’s the same here in England. I learnt to drive 8 years ago and the cost of petrol has more than doubled in that time.

    We live a 15 minute drive from our daughters school (half hour in rush hour) and not only do we have to do that commute twice daily as well as work, but I’m expecting Twins and the Nursery we want to enroll them in is the opposite direction again! Its costing me about £10.00 per day in Petrol already!

  54. Reblogged this on jmavis and commented:
    Gasoline prices are increasing daily, however; we need it. So I guess the economy just have to adjust their financial budget. However, it appears that the oil companies do not have to adjust theirs.

  55. Just worked out what my local garage in the UK charges per Gallon (its usually measured in litres here so had to calculate it) and converted it to US Dollars – $8.24 per gallon!

  56. I’ve been driving for 6 months now so I’ve always known it to be expensive. Being the UK I seriously couldn’t believe the panic buying we had two weeks ago. Queues all the way up the roads and people fighting at the pumps. Luckily my car doesn’t drink petrol and I also have common sense so I never got caught it one of these queues. I waited for things to die down and then I filled up when I really needed to. I wonder how people will come when our supply inevitably comes to an end.

  57. I actually have been car-free for last 3 decades here in big Canada. I gave up my driver’s license after learning driving with difficulty. Didn’t like driving on the high speed highways, so I decided not to endanger myself and others.

    I did a calculation how much money I’ve been able to redirect saved money from car ownership: http://thirdwavecyclingblog.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/30-car-free-years-cycling-pumps-money-into-my-wallet/ It is phenomenal, at least $300,000.

    If one lives near public transit, or I should say chooses to live near such facilities, it helps save some money. Yes, I also know parents who have only 1 car but cycle with their kids /shop for short distances. This is in the cities of Toronto and Vancouver.

    So yea, I don’t know what the cost of gas /fuel is except when I fly, since Air Canada identifies the fuel charges.

    Great that you telecommute!

    • Kudos Jean. Americans should learn from your message. I conducted a recent study of walking friendly cities in the US and only a tiny handfull appeared. Most of them are VERY expensive too. This quandry is a tough one to solve, especially when most Americans were born with an automobile in their mouths.

  58. Pit

    Here [Karnes City/TX] we’re quite lucky just now, as there’s a price war going on at 2 supermarkets in close-by Floresville as regards thier gas prices. More here: http://pitstexasexpatblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/gasoline-price-war/. It’s come down lately to as low as $3.389/gallon. Let’s hope it lasts for a while.
    But then, there’s my native Germany where regular is sold at about $9.5 per gallon just now!. Well, as someone osted here before: that’s what gave Germany cars that are ever so fuel efficient [some of them easily close to 50 mpg].

  59. Fuel prices in the UK are pretty high as well. Most of the cost is tax, and is set to increase. Petrol costs around £1.43 per litre right now, and diesel costs slightly more (where I live anyway – some places are much more expensive than that).

    Some environmental groups support the tax, because it is “a financial incentive to switch to more environmentally friendly methods of travel”, but I don’t agree with that. As far as I can tell, it’s just another way to squeeze money out of people. It’s a complete rip off if you ask me.

  60. Move to Jersey! We have low gas taxes and a gallon is going for about three fifty. South Jersey has some of the best public schools in the nation and they all have buses! Jersey for the win!

  61. Felicity Fox

    The same is happening here but we call it petrol or Daylight robbery!

  62. I love to find new favorite bloggers by way of Freshly Pressed (congratulations!) and you had me at “When I got my driver’s license in 1978″ because I especially enjoy bloggers of my generation! Then I visited your About page and read “I don’t have a nanny, cleaning lady, or gardener, so if I have a new blog it means I probably have a dirty toilet.” Oh, can I identify. You have a new follower here!

  63. Similar to what one UK poster pointed out above, in Ireland, we’re currently paying the equivalent of $8.32/US gal. In some remote parts of Italy, apparently, they’re paying $9.56/US gal.

    Also like the UK poster, about 65-70% of that is tax (the Irish government is reluctant to tell us explicitly exactly how much).

    So, while you guys in the US may have to drive a bit further every day, be aware that you still have (relatively) cheap fuel. :)

  64. Prise of fuel in Italy is above 1.9 € per liter (more then 9 $ per gallon). A few weeks ago I started going to work with a collegue, to reduce costs.

    In general, echonomic crisis is playng havoc with many family budgets.

    Nice post!

  65. Gas prices in Las Vegas at my local Sams Club is $3.85. There is a bus system here but with my 4am work schedule I have to drive because the city has dicided to stop some of the 24 hour routes and instead start them at 5 or 6am.
    Sometimes I wish I lived in Portland, Oregon or the Neatherlands because I would love to be able to ride round on a bike or take the train to not only save money but also get some exercise. Riding a bike or walking in Vegas can really dangerous these days. There’s a high fatality rate here because of idiot drivers who can’t get off their phones or stop texting while driving.

  66. Like others are saying, those prices are relatively low. When oil does run out, will be interesting to see what happens.

  67. Scott

    Well written, my friend. Better get used to costly fuel. It’s here to stay now that those who set the prices have learned we will pay.

  68. I just want to say that I absolutely love this post and completely agree….buying gas is such a pain.

  69. Gas Prices!! its a never ending battle at the pump. I spend about 450 each month in gas, because of a 50mi round trip commute to work, and my husband and I share the car. Thank goodness my son is only 2.5yrs old and doesn’s participate in sport/education progams at the moment that I would need to haul him to. I think to myself between gas prices and buying a new hybrid….the car and oil compaines have me in a binde. I feel pushed at the pump to buy a new car and at the dealerships i feel pushed to keep my car because of the cost of new one. I have a great car that gets 35mil per gallon and its paid off, why add a new payment to the mix.

    • Sarah D.

      Advice you didn’t ask for: Stick with your great car that gets 35 mpg and is paid off. MUCH better deal, plus it takes a lot of energy to make a car, so getting the most out of the one you’ve got makes good ecological sense.

      • oh no…. I wouldn’t get rid of my car did a lot of modifications to get the 35mpg….lol. right now its just really tough sharing one car. My husband works at the opposite side of the valley in Phoenix and we have been doing this for 5yrs. Its more or less pressure from hubby to purchase another car. At this point I will walk or take bus to my work. all about less money :) but thanks for looking out!

  70. “Lame stick figure drawings…” You had me at “About,” and now I’m in love. I thought I was the only one in the universe who hates those things. That’s waaay too much information for a bunch of random strangers to have! Looking forward to getting you know you via blog. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed which is how I found you. :>

  71. Great post! Shows nicely the cost of ferrying our darling children about. But fair play to you for your commuting arrangements, I’d love to work from home. :-)
    As Stoo149 mentioned, gas prices in the UK (and Europe) are double what they are in the US. The prices will just keep rising. It’s not a government conspiracy, it’s just the price of drilling ever deeper for oil (before it runs out).

  72. Malte

    with the actual prices here in germany you have to pay round about 6.35$ per gallon. 1.68€ per liter fuel. With every liter petrol we pay about 70 €-Cent taxes. that’s real hard. and it’s getting worse…

    • Susan

      Are you sure about your conversions? A gallon is about 3.8 litres, so that works out to €6.38 or $8.34 per gallon. Still, oddly, the German economy seems to do just fine.

  73. In Poland we have to pay about 6PLN per liter fuel (about 1,9$, 1,44€) = ~7,16$ (5,42€) per gallon.

  74. Such is life. We Americans are too spoiled and have consumed way too much for way too long. Paybacks are hell and now is the time to consider all options for conservation. Driving because a child is a slow walker is no excuse. Allow more time for the stroll. What about a kid seat on YOUR bike?

  75. hummingbirdnc

    I work at a nonprofit, and dress up in hose, skirts and high heels every day, but I still commute on my bike.. There is no reason professional women can’t bike dressed up and nice..you just have to make sure to slip on a pair of bike shorts!

    • Ummm… have you ever lived in LA? It is MASSIVE and highways don’t accomodate bicycles like many of them do in NC. So you have to ride the city streets, which also don’t do well accomodating bikes and take longer. Most people end up taking some highway or another and it often takes an hour or more to commute to work driving a car. Biking is not an option for most LA commuters. Nor is it an option for parents who have kids to take to various schools before going to work. When I lived in CA, if I had ridden a bike to work, I would have been in great shape with a 2-hour commute each way. But, I’d never have been able to get back to pick up kids or make dinner at a reasonable hour.

      • I wouldn’t let my 11-year old ride her bike to school. The roads are narrow and drivers are absolutely crazy in the morning. I feel really bad for the many conservative Jewish families in the area who walk to temple on Saturdays without sidewalks and only inches away from oncoming cars.

        • I’m with you there. When I lived in SD I wouldn’t have let my kids ride their bikes on city streets either. Too much traffic.

    • I didn’t know you could easily ride in heels. I don’t usually wear heels, but that’s good to know.

      • hummingbirdnc

        el naturalista has the best heels to bike in! They have recycled rubber soles that really stick to the pedals. Very nice!

  76. Reblogged this on The Porsche Independent Repair and commented:
    The fuel prices are simply stupid. While there is some kind of related political agenda with all of this including job loss, business economy hardships we continue to see big gun businesses purchase “instagram” for senseless gobs of Money? Is this our way of being hinted the rest of all our efforts in business like the motor scooter businesses, bike shops, taco trucks, wallet makers are worth crap? Where and when do we see Eco and even revival efforts which in my views worth more get handsomely rewarded?

  77. Believe it or not, you set the gas price. Plastics, fertilizers, etc, you know the list, is derived from crude oil. Gasoline is a waste by-product of refining crude oil. Years ago this gasoline was thrown out, dumped. The automobile is the first GREEN machine, it consumed this hazardous waste by-product. Anyhow, today this gasoline is cleaned up, things added and put into the distribution system. This distribution system can only hold so much fuel. When it starts to get backed up, they lower the price. When it starts to get dry, they raise the price. So the price is set not on the price of crude oil but on regulating the flow rate in the distribution system. Gasoline has an expiration date and it’s not cost effective to store, it must be moved along. All people need to do is to cut back on driving just 10% – 15% and the price will fall.

  78. lijiujiu

    Awesome post.
    I agree with u.

  79. Awww…I will be in LA for my intern this summer. The gas price concerns me sooooo much. I guess the gas price in the country will raise as high as a child’s education fund! lol :)

  80. sometimes I am so happy i don’t have a car … but then am lucky I don’t really need one right now

  81. Very interesting, entertaining, and informative piece. I am in Israel currently, which has some of the highest gas prices in the world, so I am defintely feeling your petroleum pain. I don’t have kids to worry about yet, but I know that when that comes I will definitely need to be more purposeful in my driving, like you are. I am from Florida, where you pretty much have to drive everywhere because of the generally lack of public transportation and because everything is so spread out. It is interesting to hear a story about the effects of gas prices from a telecommuter. It shows how it impacts even those who do not have to drive to work and puts the issue in a new perspective. Thanks for the read!

  82. I’m from the UK, and to be honest I can’t even get angry at the oil companies. Petrol cost £1.40 a litre, and 80p of that is tax, which the government are wanting to put up. The fact nobody has kicked up much shit about it shames me.

  83. Man, I’m telling you, gas will reach $5 a gallon this summer. In some places it’s already getting close, and increased international demand will just make it cost more:

    http://dynamopolitics.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/obamas-reelction-chances-threatened-by-5-gas/

    The interesting political implication to all of this is an uphill fight for President Obama going in to November. I’m curious to hear what your perspective is on how the president is handling the energy issue, since you live in California and (if I may speak generally) most Californians tend to be more liberal than the average American.

    • Generally most of my friends are against drilling in our local waters. Accidents are costly and tragic. I don’t think they mind paying more to keep it from happening off our coasts.

  84. Anonymous

    Waimea, Big Island gas is now at $4.93. Not too far up from yours. Great post!

  85. Just came across this post – sorry I didn’t see it first time around as we built a tool that does the driving cost calculation for you. We’re about to launch a new version to will give this audience a sneak peak. You can find it at http://www.costtodrive.com/beta

  86. I do hope that you have considered or are using public transportation for your commute. Though it takes a bit longer, the price and absence of a migrane on arrival are all worth it!

  87. eyeLaugh

    horrible! gas prices give me nightmares.

  88. I hate those stick figure drawings with family member names underneath! If you find a gas station that gives foot rubs, let me know — I’ll make the trek from Texas to Cali!

  89. I love the fuel business but I must admit it is a really dirty thing when you realize how much the auto makers and federal law plays into controlling us all for profits. I mean, in 1980 I owned a Geo Metro that got almost 50 mpg and was bigger that that SMART roller skate that gets under 40 mpg. Automakers should be ashamed! Making tiny little compact cars that only get 23 mpg and bragging about it. Give me a break! Great blogging…. wow, got me going. Again! Great blogging.

  90. I live in Germany and I had to pay 8,94$ ! Thats almost twice as much!

  91. love the post but I live in the UK and as previously said by others believe me your lucky at those prices. One thing I did note however is you only get 16 miles per gallon from your minivan.. I’d be devestated at that. You must get a better economy vehicle. I drive a BMW sedan and get 40 miles to the gallon and I still look to try to find a more economical vehicle.

  92. ’ll make the trek from Texas to Cali!

  93. Be thankful you are not in the UK!

  94. Mrs.

    I understand your concern; but there only one guilty .. the goverment ..

    The free energy, cars that with a cheap and a little .. change can work with water ..

    Engines that can be used to produce electricity, for centuries with out any fuel .. it is only part of the thousands ways, for replacing gasoline …

    But the Goverment. wants the people be in a constant and each time higher leves of anxiety ..

    Because it is like the matter of the World Trade Center .. a way to achieve support from the society, in the differents wars, that USA promotes and are developing in the world … The elites of course .. no the common people ..

    You can’t do nothing, nobody can ..; but is good to know where is the real enemy ..

    Andrés Alvarez ..

  95. Step #1: don’t buy from a certain corporation – select the one who brought the biggest ecologic disaster to the states (Florida etc.) last year.

    I wonder, what happens if everybody says – I will return to BP at $3.50/gal. How long can they stand to watch all cars going to other gas stations? If it is back a 3.50, go there. (Just an idea)

    Step #2 – be wise on buying your next car. Even if it is more expensive when buying, just calculate, what you save on fuel. I go with 25mi/gal. Ford Focus 1.8

  96. My husband calls this “First World Issues” In Third Worlds no one even owns a car!

  97. Just for info, in Belfast Northern Ireland we pay around £1.49 sterling per litre for unleaded. Assume a dollar exchange of 1.5831 and working on 3.79 litres to the US gallon that works out at $8.94 per gallon. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it!!

  98. Every time I need gasoline, I want to break down and cry, that is all.

  99. Gas prices are ridic. Add in the cost of parking, insurance, leasing…basically I think telecommuting one day a week should be mandatory. :D

  100. There is one thing that is just as bad as rising gas prices. Have you noticed how much the bill is at the checkout of the local supermarket? Somehow, we don’t seem to complain as much about food prices as we do about gas. Maybe because we can all afford to lose some weight, but walking or taking a bike can also be good for weight loss.
    We will all drink the cool aid that rising gas prices are good for us and the environment. Do you ever wonder who pays for the fill up of the Beast or AF1?

  101. Definitely jealous of the small amount you spend considering the ridiculously high price! Though not jealous of the daily commute for most people who work in LA. You’re blessed to be working from home! I live on the East Coast. Where I am, gas is “only” $3.90. (I moved here from San Diego and the further East I drove, the less expensive the gas. It used to cost me only $12 to completely fill up my tank. Now it’s more like $70. Then there’s my husband’s gas tank that now takes about $150 at a pop. Do that a couple times a week!) We own our own business, drive all over creation, and our gas bill is astronomical.

  102. plainbagel

    It’s time for alternative energy cars (not just battery). For example, comressed gas cars (aka LPG cars). Also, solar cells for the home which would alleviate oil prices by reducing demand.

  103. It is weird how easily critical some people can be :)

    Great post. I am in So Cal as well. Grew up in Chino. I drive my little man from Rancho Cucamonga to Claremont three days a week for preschool. Hurts at the gas pump, but worth it for a good school.

    Love your writing style. Looking forward to hearing more from you. Congrats on FP!

    • I have a good friend who used to drive to Claremont from Sherman Oaks everyday. She moved to Pasadena to be closer, but geez – it’s still far. Her husband works in Glendale so they’re trying to stay close to him. She used to take her kids to daycare in Claremont, but now they attend school in their neighborhood so she lost the carpool lane. In addition to the gas cost, I can’t imagine how many hours she loses each week. On the other hand, I know I can have a long conversation with her during her commute.

  104. What about a decent transportation system in Los Angeles and in California in genera? this is ridiculous! People could take the train to work and a bus or tram system would relieve freeway congestion! there is such a better way to provide transportation and still be mindful to the environment. My sister spend so much in gasoline because she cant afford to buy a gas saving or fuel cell car. these gas prces are so unfair! grrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!a decent public transportation system could provide much needed jobs and badly needed services to Californians. what is the deal????

  105. Wow, thanks so much for this post. It’s fascinating and true. Unfortunately, it seems like many of us don’t have a choice in commuting (even just once in a while, like your daily/weekly trips for the hard drive)…ugh. I’d love to hear more about your job–what exactly is a dialogue editor?

  106. Gas prices can’t get much higher, can they? There are plenty of alterntives – biofuels, clean diesel, vegatable oil (gets better gas mileage than iced-coffee), bicycles, CNG hybrid buses, skateboards, the subway, and the like, but I know none of these are practical in your case. So I have one perfect solution: Homeschool!

  107. The prices in my town are in the $3.68 range today, but I generally flip a bird at the gas station every time I see the price go up.

  108. Gas prices are painful to read about, but this was a cool, fun post!
    Thanks!

  109. Jennifer Butler Basile

    We just drove 3/4 of the eastern seaboard to visit family. The grand total for gas was staggering, but still scads less than flying. Still a hard pill to swallow. Even around the town, I feel your pain. Great post.

  110. Yikes. And I thought we had it bad with gasoline costing near $4.00 a gallon. Your best move actually is the fact you drive that fully depreciated older minivan or car. Imagine laying out $25,000+ for a brand new one. I liked you commentary. Nice site.

  111. As the ‘official’ Man Of The Minivan, I feel your pain ;)

  112. It’s about $7 a gallon in Melbourne, Australia at the moment and has been climbing. I’m so glad I live in a place where it’s practical to cycle or walk most places and that has a good public transit system. The last time I was back in America, regular unleaded was $4.19 a gallon, up from $3.78 only two months before. I couldn’t believe it! Still cheaper than here, but that is high by American standards and in America, you often don’t have any other option than to drive, so I always end up spending a lot more on gas there than I do here simply because I have to use the car more.

  113. I like the creativity of your blog header. Had never see one quite like it before.
    Here’s a music artist of NZ to listen to, some days when you need to chill.
    http://horiwood.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/stan-walker-music-wont-break-your-heart-music-video/

  114. As housewifedownunder said, it is certainly expensive by American standards but less than many other places. I was last in the US in February and I’m just wondering at what price will everyone stop driving SUVs and Trucks? My parents own and drive two trucks and they aren’t even diesel! I always hire a small car when I am back visiting, and feel like I am the tiniest thing on the road? My husband and I in Australia both drive diesel cars. It may cost a little more at the pump but I can go twice as far.

  115. About $4 per gallon for gas in Philadelphia. I would bike if i live in a good neighborhood. My uncle got a rock throw at him when he was riding a bike.

  116. Anonymous

    Thanks for availing me such valuable & knowledgable kind of information.I go through your blog and found it fulfilling our needs,wants and demand

  117. Thanks for availing me such valuable & knowledgable kind of information.I go through your blog and found it fulfilling our needs,wants and demand

  118. Monique"s Fibro Community

    I will not be complaining the prices here in Philadelphia, Pa., anymore. We are just approaching $4.00 a gal. Thank you for providing this insite on what is a growing problem every where, although worse in some places than others.

  119. Don’t blame to much. In Europe we are paying around 1.55 euro up to 1.80 euro per litre which means is 8,70$ per gallon

  120. Gas is not quite that high here …. yet, but when it did go up and was costing me at least $60 a week to fill up my truck for my 40 mile one way commute to work, it was time to make some changes. So we moved and it doing so we cut the drive down to less than 4 miles to work. Now that we are living in the “city” we also attend more things, like festivals, visit museums, go to the beach – that’s the plus side of the move. The negative side would be we downsized and its still taking us time to get used to that. Also, the local church goes bell happy all day long, city traffic noise, having neighbors you can hear through your walls and just the overall feeling of being crowded. Both my husband and son are ready to move back to the country but then neither of them had to make the hour long drive back and forth, so we’ll stay put for a while longer.

  121. socialshan

    I feel your pain. There is one gas station on my way to and from work that is $3.77 and I will wait as long as I have to to get gas there. I’m sure that price won’t last long.

  122. I saw prices here near San Jose California go down about $0.10 in the past week. It is welcome but incomplete relief. I’m so glad I invested in a more fuel efficient vehicle a couple years ago. I’d sure like to see bio diesel more widely available.

  123. Reblogged this on Cost2Go Blog and commented:
    Great post about how high gas prices are impacting daily family activities

  124. I never thought I’d be so happy to “only” pay $4.05/gallon! What’s with that random $.009, anyway?

  125. Suzy

    Quick question if you are a very very busy mom then why do you have time to do a page and a half story about the price of gas now days? Sounds like you are very very busy now days

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