Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Alternatives to driving?

With gas prices becoming a real strain on our budget, my partner and I have discussed alternatives to driving. Last night we talked about selling my car and buying two scooters. Scooters get about 100 mpg, compared to about 22 mpg for my car (a shitty number for a compact car, I know). I think we calculated that the gas savings would pay off the scooters in 2 years per scooter - plus, we could buy at least one of them outright with the proceeds from selling my car. We may end up doing that at some point.

Meanwhile, our trip to Dallas, which we're taking at the beginning of June, continues to go up in price as gas prices increase. We're driving down there because we're going to Ikea while we're there to pick up a chest of drawers. We actually did the calculations to determine whether it would be cheaper to fly down, rent a car, and check the dresser as baggage on the way home. I should point out that we have travel privileges because my dad worked for American Airlines, so we can fly standby to Dallas pretty cheaply. When we did the calculations a few weeks ago, flying and renting a car was still more expensive. I'm not so sure anymore. But there are still intangible advantages to driving to Dallas which put it above flying, even if the hard dollars eventually favor flying. We also have come to the conclusion that had gas prices been this high when we bought the tickets to the concert we're attending that is the reason for the trip, we probably wouldn't have bought the tickets. We've already canceled one road trip to Hot Springs because of gas prices.

Just a few examples of how this "double income no kids" family is dealing with rising gas prices. Our money is going to Quiktrip, and we're not buying big ticket items or going out to eat as much or taking trips or doing the other things that inject money into the economy. I can't imagine how people with kids on a really tight budget are handling the increased cost.