I paid $67.31 to fill up my car yesterday. A few disclaimers. First, the fuel red light had been on for a WHILE. The needle sat decidedly below empty, and I'm pretty sure my car was in the process of applying for a credit card so that it could get gas on its own and not wait for me to get off the dime.
Second, (more of a confession), I drive a gas guzzling SUV and I feed it premium to add to the pain. So, if you back out the math, I bought more than 21 gallons (yes, I was that close to calling a tow truck) for $3.14 a gallon.
According to the latest stats from AAA, the national average for regular gasoline is $3.03. Premium is $3.34. (Apparently, I got a deal!). That's 74 cents higher for regular than one year ago. With so much focus on whether consumers are spending more, less, or about the same on holiday shopping, I can't help but wonder how another 74 cents a gallon won't have an impact on that decision.
We'll know more when the retail numbers roll in, but you tell me, have you noticed how much it costs to fill up your car lately, or are you just numb to it at this point? Write to me and let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
But, there is a "light" at the end of the gas gauge. Crude is down more than $12 from its all time high hit at the end of November. Plus, it's the time of year when gas prices are supposed to tick down as home heating becomes the focus. Tom Kloza at the Oil Price Information Service predicts that we will see $3 a gallon by Monday, based on the wholesale prices he sees today. And he's one of the smartest guys in the energy game.
I guess I should have waited a few more days to fill up.
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