I Hate Gas Prices

I hate gas prices right now. Don’t think I am just another American complaining about gas prices over here while Europe pays extreme prices. Paying four dollars a gallon really hurts. I have been underemployed for the last nine months, and unemployed for the five months prior to that. This has caused problems for our budget and forced me to cut back where I can. Mr. Truly and I have done pretty well slimming down the costs in our lives, despite my minor protests.

We do everything that that traditional experts tell us to. The first thing to go was our fancy digital cable package, which gave me all the channels I could want. We originally had this because of the World Cup. Then we switched cell phone companies to avoid a data package fee. Next we started making coffee at home. Then cut out extra trips anywhere. Finally, unable to avoid it any longer, we cut cable out all together. We held out until the Summer Olympics were finished and then kissed cable goodbye.

To be honest, I really thought I would suffer much more from the lack of television. But my crazy life is crazy busy. I hadn’t been watching TV, and I had wandered away from the majority of shows in my nightly line up. Project Runway is the only staple that I WON’T give up, and I don’t have to. Lifetime is wonderful and provides the full episodes online! I can even watch the new one right away. Who needs to watch it on television?

The other thing that has saved me is Netflix! Netflix streaming has a wide variety. If you haven’t tried it, check out this review by Selena MacIntosh. Netflix provides all the shows my children watch, and while they might not be the most recent episodes, previous seasons are usually available. Anyway, my two year old doesn’t realize she can’t watch the newest Phineas and Ferb. I have a wide selection of romantic comedies, even adorable ones from Great Britain.   I miss On Demand once in a while, but on the whole, being without cable is fine. I have the Internet, thank goodness!

What I truly miss most is my freedom. I hate that gas prices determine where I go and how often I go. I want to see my family and friends. For some reason, all my close friends live an hour away. I used to be able to go up on weekends without thinking about it. I should be able to go any time I want. If I want to see my mom everyday, well dammit, I am going to see my mom everyday. But a financially responsible person can’t think like that. I know exactly how many trips I get per fill up and how many miles I get before I have to fill up. Sometimes I want to stick my tongue out at the pumps and say, “Screw you!” But I don’t. I consolidate trips and make a visit to Seattle, once a month if I am lucky, and I look forward to special occasions, like our annual Christmas gathering, that I will never miss.

So in the times of tightening our financial belts, what have you given up that you miss the most?

By Trulybst

Pursuing life to its fullest. A woman, a mom, wife, and struggling teacher who knows the importance of treating myself right.

5 replies on “I Hate Gas Prices”

We’ve never had cable, and considered it a huge upgrade when we got a Wii for Christmas and could stream Netflix. Between it, the Internet and free Redbox codes, we mostly see what we want.

We designed our suburban life before gas prices went through the roof- so my daily route is just a killer. I calculate what other trips I need to make during the week and condense trips as much as possible. I’m really looking forward to cutting out 30 minutes of driving once my son’s done with preschool. I’ll get hours of my life back each week, and probably save a couple hundred $$ a month in gas. For real.

We don’t visit family (three hours away) as often as we used to, and my friends and I really try to carpool to social events. And we have more social events at home, instead of going out.

I can’t even imagine trying to pay for gas anymore. New Yorkers complain a lot about transit fare hikes, but it’s still less than having a car would cost. Last time I had a car it was in the low $2 range and I was struggling. I don’t know how anybody does it now.

Travel has been something I’ve missed. Not in terms of direct fuel prices, as we don’t have a car, but we rely on the bus and train, and the fares have gone up so much. So these days we’re far less likely to do last minute trips to see my parents, for instance, since the train (20 minutes) and bus (40 minutes) now cost around £15 (currency converter tells me this is around $24) for an adult and child. And it’s a big cost given everything else. But on the upside we do look more at what we can do in town (I.E. walking distance) and that’s been helpful.

The fuel prices are so tough to see though, and my darling mother has had the struggle of diesel costs rising and rising.

There isn’t too much that we’ve had to give up though as we’ve always lived minimally (sort of). The only thing I guess that’s really had to “go” is Mr. Juniper and I going on dates. We used to try and go out once or twice a year for a movie and a meal, but just can not afford to now. To be fair, a significant reason for that is Mr. Juniper’s health but it would have been nice to still have the choice, as it were.

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