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Thread: How much does your household spend on gas each month?

  1. #1

    How much does your household spend on gas each month?

    From an AP article:

    The median household income in the U.S. before taxes is just below $50,000, or about $4,150 per month. The $369 that families spent last month on gas represented 8.9 percent of monthly household income, according to an analysis by Fred Rozell, retail pricing director at Oil Price Information Service. Since 2000, the average is about 5.7 percent. For the year, the figure is 7.9 percent.


    In our household we spend about $100 on gas each month, but then we only have one car and we both usually walk to work (though sometimes we drive).. Except for grocery shopping, we don't use the car for much else.

    How does your household rank?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    $90-$110/month. Don't drive much right now. Gas is $3.60/gallon down here.
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  3. #3
    maudit anglais
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    Generally $50-60 a month but we are in the same situation as the OP - only drive the car 1-2 times a week for shopping/visiting. We spend $90 a month each on transit passes.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I ahve been getting by on under $100 per month when I do not need to travel out of town. There is an advantage to working from home.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gotta Speakup View post
    From an AP article:

    The median household income in the U.S. before taxes is just below $50,000, or about $4,150 per month. The $369 that families spent last month on gas represented 8.9 percent of monthly household income, according to an analysis by Fred Rozell, retail pricing director at Oil Price Information Service. Since 2000, the average is about 5.7 percent. For the year, the figure is 7.9 percent.


    How does your household rank?
    I believe it around here. I'd like to know what that...neighbor...5 houses up the street pays - he drives his Chivvy 2500 to the bathroom it seems. Twice a day 5 days a week to the school 6 walking minutes away, single-use trip to the grocery...seemingly 1/3 of the neighborhood is this wasteful - sitting in the parking lot with the engine running, pull the Harley out to go to a bar to be seen...its amazing.

    We'll never "educate" any decent fraction of this sort - and I suspect any misguided attempt to toll or raise fees...er...taxes on gas will cut their consumption of dinners out and Tapout pay per view rather than change their habits. They certainly won't move closer to work in a more dense, walkable neighborhood because they could care less about walkability beyond a sidewalk next to where the dog cr*ps. Despite the recent assertions on other threads that we need to densify, the reality is some folk don't give .000000000000000000000045 seconds of thought to any of that stuff.

    [/rant]

    [

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    I believe it around here. I'd like to know what that...neighbor...5 houses up the street pays - he drives his Chivvy 2500 to the bathroom it seems. Twice a day 5 days a week to the school 6 walking minutes away, single-use trip to the grocery...seemingly 1/3 of the neighborhood is this wasteful - sitting in the parking lot with the engine running, pull the Harley out to go to a bar to be seen...its amazing.

    We'll never "educate" any decent fraction of this sort - and I suspect any misguided attempt to toll or raise fees...er...taxes on gas will cut their consumption of dinners out and Tapout pay per view rather than change their habits. They certainly won't move closer to work in a more dense, walkable neighborhood because they could care less about walkability beyond a sidewalk next to where the dog cr*ps. Despite the recent assertions on other threads that we need to densify, the reality is some folk don't give .000000000000000000000045 seconds of thought to any of that stuff.

    [/rant]

    [
    Totally off-topic (or maybe not), but why do you choose to live in a "McSuburb" that encourages behavior you disapprove of? Why don't you live in or closer to the city?

    On topic: I spend about $100-$150 on gas, depending upon whether I make road-trips to Erie, PA or Buffalo, NY or my hometown (about 35 miles away). A few weeks this winter, I didn't even put 100 miles on the Subi as all I did is commute to work and stop at the grocery store on the way home. That was because of the nasty weather, not because of gas prices.

  7. #7
    I should say our $100 includes our work related diving, like the time I had to visit 90 schools to check their outdoor physical improvements. At least half of our driving, if not 2/3 is work related.

    People do change their behavior when gas prices rise. The break point is somewhere north of $3 a gallon. When gas prices rise above that amount, people (as a group) cut back.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Linda_D View post
    Totally off-topic (or maybe not), but why do you choose to live in a "McSuburb" that encourages behavior you disapprove of? Why don't you live in or closer to the city?
    The age-old issue: tradeoffs. And preferences. The close-by school that I can see from our bedroom window has an award-winning principal, an award-winning teacher, we got the house for a good price, we're not far from light-rail. When the kid's ready we'll move but for now we're out here. Plus, the BH isn't as concerned about such things as much as I am either. We prefer a larger yard for gardening, and this house is ideal for vegetables.

    We're a team here and only part of the team focuses on such things and it doesn't affect the team so much that we must flee. Not everyone obsesses over the quality and accessibility of the built environment and not all members of our partnership do.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Inland Empire can't afford high cost of oil
    Rebecca U. Cho, Staff Writer
    Posted:05/21/2011 8:29 PM

    Escalating gas prices have become a real worry for both consumers and the analysts who track economic trends. But the Inland Empire should be particularly concerned with high oil prices, according to a new University of Redlands study.


    Residents in the San Bernardino and Riverside counties are feeling the worst pain at the pump in Southern California, according to the research, which looked at the amount of money residents spend on gas as a share of their disposable income by U.S. ZIP code.


    A combination of high gas prices, far commutes to work and low household income lead those who live inland to carry a higher gas burden than their coastal neighbors such as south Orange County and north San Diego, the study found. The newly created Institute for Spatial Economic Analysis at the university conducted the research.


    There are signs that elevated retail gas prices are creating a divide between the rich and the rest of the U.S. population, according to The Associated Press. Retail earnings reports out last week show Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom customers are back in pre-recession style, opening their wallets for luxury items such as Jimmy Choo shoes. Meanwhile, Target and Walmart shoppers are keeping their hands off luxuries, choosing to focus instead on groceries.


    Johannes Moenius, a professor at the University of Redlands School of Business and the study's main researcher, spoke on the study's key findings and what they mean for the region's businesses and policymakers.


    Q: Did your findings regarding Southern California and the Inland Empire surprise you?

    A: The normal pattern you should expect is the city centers with public transportation show up as green (meaning less of a gas burden) and areas where affluent people live show up in green. But for Southern California that's not quite as true. It's one of the big outliers in the country. South of Los Angeles, it's all orange, meaning people spend a lot of money on commuting. That should actually be a green area. City centers are normally green. Another surprising finding was other places in the United States with the highest pain at the pump relative to income were those that have lower population density. And in Southern California, it's the opposite. The lowest oil burden has much lower population density, which indicates to me that reviewing public transportation should be on the agenda.


    Q: The study found some of the highest gas burdens in the Southland in the Ontario region and locations outside of Victorville. Why is that?

    A: As Southern California's housing market expanded, places where housing was affordable were more and more off the beaten track and further outside. So people tried to avoid higher house prices by moving further and instead substituting for higher commute costs, as long as oil prices were low. But now as oil prices rise, a lot of people really feel the pain.


    Q: What kind of impact on the region's economy will high gas prices have?

    A: If you have to spend more on gasoline, naturally you'll have less money left for alternative consumption. My expectation would be this would eat into luxury goods and things that can be delayed in terms of purchases like durable goods. The biggest finding nationwide is in the choice of cars. People are replacing what they have with more fuel-efficient imports versus home-grown gas guzzlers.


    We'll see lower consumption and that will feed back negatively into the economy. In the Inland Empire, I think the effect on consumption will probably be worse. People are already squeezed.


    Q: What in your opinion should policymakers learn from your study?

    A: Specifically for Southern California, I think it does support the idea to revisit the availability of public transportation. We are probably the most highly oil-dependent region in the whole United States in terms of commuting; the Inland Empire specifically because most of the bad news is in the Inland Empire. We are taking the brunt in Southern California.


    Secondly, think about how can we move jobs closer to the people? No one has a silver bullet here. And think about the high dependency of the Inland Empire on warehousing and logistics. That's all directly linked to oil. These are things that we really need to think about. If both our commuters and a large share of our industry and jobs depend on oil, then we're really in a difficult situation. Trying to reduce this correlation would be something to think about much harder.


    Q: Will oil prices continue their climb?

    A: That depends on whom you're listening to. If you listen to me, they will rise even further. The problem is, there's a huge amount of uncertainty in any type of data. I can't go to Saudi Arabia and check whether what they claim as proven reserves, if the quality of that information is as good as they claim it is. We don't know how much oil is left in the ground in the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and how cheap it is to get it out of the ground. Between 2005 and 2016, some people believe we hit peak oil. If that's the case, we're in trouble. I have doubts we can produce oil as cheaply in the future as we were able to in the past. With $200 (per barrel of) oil, alternative energy sources become more lucrative. But that means it's a tough 10 to 15 years we're going to go through if oil prices continue their climb.
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  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Less than $100.
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ColoGI View post
    The age-old issue: tradeoffs. And preferences. The close-by school that I can see from our bedroom window has an award-winning principal, an award-winning teacher, we got the house for a good price, we're not far from light-rail. When the kid's ready we'll move but for now we're out here. Plus, the BH isn't as concerned about such things as much as I am either. We prefer a larger yard for gardening, and this house is ideal for vegetables.

    We're a team here and only part of the team focuses on such things and it doesn't affect the team so much that we must flee. Not everyone obsesses over the quality and accessibility of the built environment and not all members of our partnership do.
    I kinda thought that was the case. As I've said on the post on front yards, there are lots of reasons why people live where they do. Me, I'd prefer to live in the country, but ended up on a large city lot (7500+ sq ft) with a smallish house because I couldn't afford/didn't like any of the nearby places with as much land as I wanted (plus, in a small market, there's not a lot of inventory) but I didn't want a 35 mile commute through deer and Amish country from where I do own lots of land.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    As I have done a lot of economic development work in rural communities, I can attest to how higher gas prices hurt those economies. On the employment side, many jobs tend to pay low to moderate wages, and there is not a very good selection of jobs to begin with. It is not at all uncommon to find people commuting 20-50 miles each way to a job. Moving closer may not be an option for many if they have a spouse who works, cannot sell their home, or perhaps also farm. A forty mile round trip commute is 3 gallons of gas, and a 100 mile commute will take 7 gallons. At $3 per gallon that is $9 or $21. At $4 per gallon that costs $12 or $28. At a starting wage of $12 per hour you would need to work as much as half a day to have your wages (after taxes, etc.) cover the cost of getting to and from work. It is hardly an incentive to get a job. The flipside is that employers will find it even harder to recruit workers, making it more likely that they will relocate or close shop.

    The effect on retail has been more interesting. Again, it is not unusual for people to drive a long distance to shop. Get out onto the plains or to the southwest and nobody blinks at the idea of driving 100 miles to go shopping. Higher gas prices seem to have cut into these trips, although not so much the overnight ones. Another result that appears to show up in the data is that some rural communities are doing a better job of caturing their local market, reversing a long-term trend.
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  13. #13
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    As I have done a lot of economic development work in rural communities, I can attest to how higher gas prices hurt those economies. ...

    The effect on retail has been more interesting. Again, it is not unusual for people to drive a long distance to shop. Get out onto the plains or to the southwest and nobody blinks at the idea of driving 100 miles to go shopping. Higher gas prices seem to have cut into these trips, although not so much the overnight ones. Another result that appears to show up in the data is that some rural communities are doing a better job of caturing their local market, reversing a long-term trend.
    Jared Bernstein has a good take on your cogent points here. I too am torn over how we have ordered our society based on artificial price signals and blindness to the problems over cheap energy.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    I spend less than $100 per month when I don't have to travel anywhere in a month. It helps living only a mile from work so I can ride my bike when the weather is nice. On months wehre I might drive to/from Chicago to visit family I might spend over $200 on gas.

    Since I'll be living in AZ soon I'm thinking I may end up spending more because I will be further from school than I am from work right now plus almost everything out there is sprawling and inaccessible except by car.
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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Last year I spent around $250 per month on gas due to my long commute (43 miles one way on congested roads) to work. Since becoming unemployed and now picking up a temporary gig much closer to home I spend about $30 a week at the current gas prices.
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  16. #16
    Cyburbian HomerJ's avatar
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    Since I have lived less than a mile away from work, I haven't spent more than $100/month on gas. But, any time I make the road trip back to my family in Chicago, that's about $100 worth of gas for the trip.
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  17. #17
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    I travel 32 miles to work and 32 miles back - 64 miles a day.

    I drive a gas efficient car (38 - 40 mpg highway) but I still spend around $400 a month on gas... with my wife contributing a fair bit with her gas guzzling 20 mpg Crossover...
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  18. #18
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Zilch for normal use.

    My wife and I do rent a car for occasional out-of-city trips or vacations, so over the course of a year it probably averages to $20 a month or somewhere around that. We also probably spend $60-80 a month in taxi fare, which is comparable to gas I suppose.
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yeah.....

    Chez The One spends about $300 a month on gas right now
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  20. #20
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    I don't know what my household spends on gas each month, as heat is included in my monthly rent bill.

    Mike

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    Oh, you mean gasoline?



    I don't keep track, but it is in the range of a couple hundred dollars per month.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian stroskey's avatar
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    You all sure don't drive much!

    We both live within 3 miles of our workplaces but we still rack up about $270/month in gas together. We go out of town to the larger communities which are about 40/50 miles away quite a bit and we're always putzing around town. I suppose if we carpooled and didn't go anywhere we would have hardly any expenses but we like to travel and it shows I suppose. Her vehicle gets 19 combined and mine get 18 combined so they are not too efficient.

    It represents about 4% of our pretax income.
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  22. #22
    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    Since I'll be living in AZ soon I'm thinking I may end up spending more because I will be further from school than I am from work right now plus almost everything out there is sprawling and inaccessible except by car.
    There are two LR stops in Tempe that you can use to get to class.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian CJC's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by stroskey View post
    You all sure don't drive much!

    We both live within 3 miles of our workplaces but we still rack up about $270/month in gas together. We go out of town to the larger communities which are about 40/50 miles away quite a bit and we're always putzing around town. I suppose if we carpooled and didn't go anywhere we would have hardly any expenses but we like to travel and it shows I suppose. Her vehicle gets 19 combined and mine get 18 combined so they are not too efficient.

    It represents about 4% of our pretax income.
    I'm an outlier, as my wife and I don't own a car, but we certainly travel a lot and spend plenty on traveling, just not in the form of gas. We spend an average of a few thousand a year on plane tickets, and probably around a thousand on train tickets on average (usually in other countries as part of traveling, though we typically do use the train to go to Tahoe skiing a couple times a year).

    We did blow through a couple hundred dollars in gas a few years ago with a Ferrari rental in Italy for a day. That was fun
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  24. #24
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    My wife & are both qualify as supercommuters - driving a combined +1,200 miles weekly just for each getting to and from work.

    I'll let you do the math......
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  25. #25
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal View post
    I have been getting by on under $100 per month when I do not need to travel out of town. There is an advantage to working from home.
    Ditto. In fact, my spouse complains that I don't drive my car enough, which affects the condition of the brakes.

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