Gas Prices?

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.