According to University of Central Florida economic forecaster Sean Snaith, economic unrest in the middle east is driving up gas prices and we haven’t even seen the full force of the increases since we are not in peak driving season. John Felmy, chief economist for the American Petroleum Institute agrees, and adds that the instability in Egypt is adding to the rise in crude oil prices.
Many news articles online like this blog from US News and World Report are quoting experts that say a rise to $5 a gallon during peak driving season is certainly a probability if things do not settle down over there. CBS News station WNCT quotes experts as saying that if unrest spreads to Saudi Arabia, the third biggest US oil importer, prices could continue to rise. This makes me very upset and I am starting to come up with a plan to prepare for this.
Currently in my hometown, gas is up to $3.34. Thankfully, I have a Kroger plus card that I share with my mother in law. Together we rank up 1,000 points and she allows Josh and I to use the $1 off per gallon reward. I filled up for $2.15 the other day!
But what will happen if gas really does increase to $5 per gallon?
I think Josh and I can handle $4 a gallon. It will be tough and I will cut back on how often I go to town, but it won’t be stifling. If it goes up to $5 a gallon, I think we will be in trouble. I really won’t be going anywhere. Thankfully Lizzie won’t have preschool this summer, that should help us stay around here.
Our problem is that we live on 20 acres and live at least 15 minutes from any grocery store or town. It isn’t as simple as just putting the kids in a stroller and baby carriers and walking everywhere. That is one drawback of living out here. I still love the privacy and seclusion, but it isn’t easy to save money on gas.
My van gets about 20 mpg on average. Not bad for a van, but it sure isn’t as good as some of those super fuel efficient teeny cars I see getting 36 mpg. That would be so nice! But try fitting 3 car seats (and two of them rear facing) in there. Yeah right. So we are stuck in the van, at 20 mpg.
Looking at the math – if gas is $5 a gallon it will cost me about $105 to fill up my van with 21 gallons! I currently leave my house about 4 times a week (3 times for Lizzie’s preschool and once for church). I fill up my car from empty about once every 10 days. That means if gas rises and I keep driving the same amount, I am looking at shelling out around $315 a month for gas.
Heck to the no!
This means it will be cheaper for us to buy a pool and toys for the kids to play with at home than it will be for me to drive the kids to the free water park. Cheaper to buy all my household goods from Alice.com that offers free shipping. Going to have to look at possibly meal planning for an entire month and going to the store every 2 weeks instead of weekly.
There will be big changes made if gas continues to rise. I will have to think hard about how to budget and afford putting Lizzie in ballet and whether to pay for private school or put her in public school (that is an entirely other post).