How much do changes in gas prices affect you? I’ve thought about this some, and while I definitely feel the difference between filling my tank for $20 and filling it for $35, there are people out there worrying themselves over the difference in $2.51/gal and $2.49.
Seriously, there are apps you can load on your phone to find the lowest price by pennies.
My tank holds 18 gallons. I generally put in around 15-16 when I fill-up, and I do that about every ten to fourteen days when all I’m doing is going back and forth to work with the occasional trip to a store. Assume for the worst case I fill up every week, and put 16 gallons in each time. I pass three to four gas stations on the way to work, depending on which route I take, and the prices vary by up to $.03/gal between them.
Sixteen gallons. Three cents.
Forty Eight Cents a week. Call it fifty for easy math.
Fifty two weeks in a year.
Twenty six dollars a year. POSSIBLY MORE if I went out of my way to find another station… but of course that would eat into my mileage, lowering my savings.
Granted, I have a short daily drive, despite the heavy traffic I have to deal with on most days – and some of you fill up more often, but really – is there any good reason to waste time and effort in pursuit of the lowest penny per gallon? I don’t even think it’s worth crossing over the oncoming lane to get to the station on the other side of the intersection to save a penny per gallon.
None of this applies if you’re an over-the-road driver, cabby, or have an exceptionally long commute, but I think I’d be safe to say you in those positions already know where the deals are, so no problem.