Friday, May 16, 2008

The new economics

My friend Carla sent me this photo the other day with the caption, "My piggy bank after I filled my gas tank this morning."

It seems like all everyone is talking about it is the price of gas. It's pretty depressing. We are driving back and forth from our old to our new house every day. We try to take one car, but sometimes that just doesn't work, some some days we are each driving both ways. I am filling my tank nearly weekly and this last fillup was the big one. $50. It finally took $50 to fill my tank with discounted Safeway gasoline. Man.... (shakes head slowly) what has this world come to?

A paradigm shift—that's what. Fifty bucks used to be significant. A really nice dinner out for two of you, for example. A generous gift, tucked into your birthday card. Now it's a tank of gas. I am wrapping my head around that idea and I find it has its uses. Yesterday I mentioned that I bought a nice pair of sandals. They are a good brand, marked down to $55. When I was deciding whether or not to buy them, the deciding factor was the price of gas. I said to myself, "that's only a little more than a tank of gas costs" and they seemed too good to pass up.

A tank of gas, plus change


  1. I hope you get good mileage from your new sandals.

  2. Although it is sometimes inconvenient, right now I am very glad we made the decision to become a one-car family. We just have to hope that our life style doesn't change and require a second car again. $50 a tank takes a lot fun out of traveling.

    Thank skinny piggy bank made to the cover of TIME. We just got ours in the mail.

  3. Anonymous1:36 PM

    Well, you could live in France where it costs about $9/gallon. A good friend who moved to France just returned for a short visit. He told me that we should appreciate our *cheap* gas! Everything in perspective, I guess.

  4. Anonymous3:48 PM

    Hi Terry, love your blog and really can relate to your piggy bank. I live in New Zealand where it costs me NZ$120.00 to fill my car which is around $96 American.

  5. HI Terry. I came over here from the UK to tell you to stop carping - it costs about US105 to fill my car with petrol... but I see other non US people got here first! :)
    (It costs me £35 in petrol - thats just over $70 to get to my quitng group now. Ouch!)

  6. I'll jump in too and add that my car takes $90 worth of gas in Germany, but we get subsidized coupons on base (being US military) and actually pay more like $60 a tank. The up side though, is that the Germans use a lot of public transportation, ride bikes, and walk -- all things that would be healthy for more Americans to adopt. Maybe more expensive gas will force city planners and individuals to rethink some priorities.

  7. haven't been able to fill a tank for $50 for at least a couple of years here in Australia. Currently it's close to the $90 mark for an average sized tank.
    we're paying $1.63 per litre, multiply that by 'almost 4' to get the gallon price.