Most of my friends on Facebook probably saw this posted earlier this morning. Last night, when I drove past our local Exxon to get Red Robin (Yumm!), I nearly drove off the road when I saw the gas prices.
A 20-cent increase in just 7 hours.
Although this is the highest price in our area, most other stations are between $3.31 and $3.35 per gallon (the exception is at the Seminary/York corner, which has Oceanic at $3.10 and BP at $3.11–at least those were the prices this morning).
The good news is this: when I drove by this Exxon just an hour ago (about 7 p.m.), the prices had not changed.
Shall we celebrate their stability? Is confidence restored that the madness has settled into a dull ache?
Hardly. Predictions have been quite fluid these past 24 hours, with most conservative projections putting the price per gallon at $4.50 to $5.50 by summertime.
I’m glad that we downsized both cars last month. We cut in half our monthly fuel consumption, but even that may not be enough to force us to make some critical decisions in the coming months.
The last thing on the chopping block will be the kids’ activities, of course. Few things (oh, survival I would imagine is one of them) would be more important than denying our children the opportunities they’ve worked so hard to maintain.
But $5 a gallon? I can’t even imagine what that will do to our budget.
I imagine that we’ll be much more strategic in our “little” trips around town, and a few of my Facebook friends got it right when they said it’s time to dust off the bikes and widen the roads.
We’re already cutting back so much as it is, though (even our Red Robin ventures have been slashed…), and it’s hard for me to imagine what other “luxuries” we might do away with.
Still, we’ll get by. We always do. I just think we all need to rethink our priorities a little, as this move toward 5-dollar gallons is here to stay, and waiting for a reprieve will only delay the inevitable shift in living simply, living smartly.