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Old 06-21-2008, 06:55 AM
 
7,126 posts, read 10,310,011 times
Reputation: 2578

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With the price of gas at $4 bux or more I'm wondering how it will affect our decisions, living standards, and more. Some of the thoughts running through my head:
1) Knowing what you know now would you buy the same house in the burbs or closer in?
2) What car trips have you cut back on? Trips to the beach that take 2-3 hours?
3) Do you "work from home" more often?
4) New residents--did you think your commute would be like this and cost this much?
5) Long Island residents that travelled an hour (or more) on the LIE-is this better/worse on your pocket book and time?
6) Going shopping less?
7) Trading off something else in your life to even out the gas prices?
8) Your opinion which way the price will go from here?
9) Tips, pointers, advise?
10) And all of the other 101 questions and thoughts that we would all love to hear.
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:06 AM
 
Location: CLT native
4,280 posts, read 10,387,626 times
Reputation: 2290
[I posted this in another thread, but thought it pertinent to repost here as johne482 mentioned starting an energy thread]

I had been reading about peak oil for a year or so, but I am no geologist or petroleum engineer.

But just this week, legendary oilman T. Boone Pickens said during testimony to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee that global oil has peaked, and now we enter the downside of the bell curve. The world has never faced a problem like this. Without massive mitigation more than a decade before the fact, the problem will be pervasive and will not be temporary. Previous energy transitions (wood to coal and coal to oil) were gradual and evolutionary; oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary.

Mr. Pickens' actions speak much louder than his words.
He is building the world's largest windfarm in West Texas.

click for source


So back to the topic at hand.
Our home is in the near middle of our circle of activities.
Work, school, church, club, shopping, all just 5-10 minutes away.
I will never understand people that choose to have a long commute, and that is going to be incredibly expensive going forward as our whole suburban lifestyle is only sustainable with inexpensive and abundant energy. I am both shocked and alarmed that our country really has no long term energy plan other than sending troops to where the oil is.

The average meal for a family of four travels 1500 miles to the dinner plate.
Cheap and abundant energy for decades have made that possible, but as this changes radically, there will be a great need for localized food production.

My car gets 20/30 so that is not too bad, but I ordered a mini cooper for my next lease.
We will keep the minivan, it is just too handy and returns OK mileage for what it is.
I commuted 3x this week without the car, 2x on the Vespa (79 mpg) and yesterday on my motorcycle-sidecar (lousy 37 mpg).
So we are ready for whatever happens, $5 or $15, it is what it is.

I already have friends bellyaching in their Union County McMansions.
60 minute commutes, and his and her Suburbans, will fall out of fashion in short order.

My advice is to make wise choices.

As an amusing postscript [energy related], please watch Rep Ted Poe wax eloquently on the absurdness of CFL light bulbs.
It is a bit long, but makes more sense than anything anyone else is saying.


YouTube - IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ENERGY SAVER LIGHT BULBS!

Last edited by mullman; 06-21-2008 at 10:21 AM.. Reason: more thoughts
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,218 posts, read 3,098,187 times
Reputation: 6021
Good questions! Who ISN'T bothered by these prices? Not only do I worry about filling up at the pump, I worry more about the price jump consumer goods will take because of this crisis. And yes, I do consider it a crisis.

My industry (airline) is in HUGE trouble. Not just my airline either. I read the other day that United is loosing almost $40 MILLION a month due to fuel costs. The days of cheap fares may be coming to an end. So might my job. Keep your fingers crossed for my industry.

On a brighter note, I drive a Prius...about 50MPG...it still hurts to fill up but nothing like it would have if I had kept my big car! I am far more cautious about how I route my errands these days. I combine trips now that I might not have done before. Lets pray it doesn't go to $5 !!!!
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Right where I want to be.
4,507 posts, read 8,342,154 times
Reputation: 3342
1) Knowing what you know now would you buy the same house in the burbs or closer in?

We would buy the same house. DH has a 12 mile commute but isn't driving into the city. Distance is something to consider when you buy the house, not just when transportation costs rise. We are also with 10 minutes of schools, church, shopping and other regularly visited locations.


2) What car trips have you cut back on? Trips to the beach that take 2-3 hours?

None so far. But, long trips are usually planned in advance and accounted for in the budget. Let's say gas was at $3.25 per gallon last summer, costs $42.25 to fill up and drive 360 miles. Now, with gas at $3.89 per gallon it costs $50.57 for that same 360 miles. No, I am not canceling an entire trip to save $8, or even $16 if we fill up twice. There is more flexibility in my budget than that. I could skip a meal eating out and pay for the gas....it is about choices.

We are hauling the camper to just one place this summer and having it stored on-site instead of towing it back and forth several times.


3) Do you "work from home" more often?

I work from home all the time. DH does some half days at home but usually has to go to the office daily, no gas savings there.


4) New residents--did you think your commute would be like this and cost this much?

N/A

5) Long Island residents that travelled an hour (or more) on the LIE-is this better/worse on your pocket book and time?

N/A


6) Going shopping less?

No, we always consolidated trips and shopping is more of a functional activity rather than entertainment for me so not many trips are necessary.


7) Trading off something else in your life to even out the gas prices?

Not yet. If gas reaches and maintains $4.00 we will have to adjust the budget.


8) Your opinion which way the price will go from here?

I don't know and enough people are speculating, I choose not to join them. I could consult my Magic 8 Ball if you wish.


9) Tips, pointers, advise?

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best! Pay off debt and have a lifestyle that allows you to adjust the budget accordingly when (gas and food) prices rise. Make choices that put you in control, rather than allow conditions to control you. Sounds hard to do...and it is. It has taken us several years to get to the point of not blowing with every wind that comes along. Right now the price of gas is barely a blip on the radar screen for us personally.
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Old 06-21-2008, 04:51 PM
 
7,126 posts, read 10,310,011 times
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Thanks for the well thought out reply. Line up behind me in the line that says "Don't panic or change my lifestyle yet"
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Wouldn't you like to know?
9,114 posts, read 16,241,893 times
Reputation: 3705
1) Knowing what you know now would you buy the same house in the burbs or closer in?
I would have bought the same house because my family is happy which is the most important reason in my book.

2) What car trips have you cut back on? Trips to the beach that take 2-3 hours?

If you live below your means, you aren't really making any major changes. The only people who are making major changes are the ones who didn't pay attention to minor details over the years and now its catching up w/them.

3) Do you "work from home" more often?

I try to always work from home whenever possible. Doesn't have to do w/gas, its just a safety thing...

4) New residents--did you think your commute would be like this and cost this much?

Yes and no....(no one last year could've predicted such a huge spike)


5) Long Island residents that travelled an hour (or more) on the LIE-is this better/worse on your pocket book and time?

6) Going shopping less?

No
7) Trading off something else in your life to even out the gas prices?

Not really....
8) Your opinion which way the price will go from here?

My crystal ball tells me prices will go up, down, & sideways for a period of time...

9) Tips, pointers, advise?

Just live below your means, pay yourself first and you'll be fine...


10) And all of the other 101 questions and thoughts that we would all love to hear
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Old 06-22-2008, 07:13 AM
 
382 posts, read 1,784,278 times
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I started carpooling and some days I use the light rail when we can't carpool. I've cut back drastically on unnecessary driving. I used to take a lunch break just to get out of the office for awhile. I don't do that anymore. When I need to run errands I do it to and from another destination.
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Old 06-22-2008, 09:16 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,883 posts, read 70,143,104 times
Reputation: 22572
1) Knowing what you know now would you buy the same house in the burbs or closer in?

I am inside 51 corridor and would definitely buy the same house again, knowing what I know now. There are times I wish I had looked more at Tega Cay, but under my present situation . . . I am satisfied w/ the purchase.

2) What car trips have you cut back on? Trips to the beach that take 2-3 hours?

We are very conservative about car use, not only b/c of gas, but wear and tear on vehicle and tires, and mileage. We conserve on all our around town travel and always have - cause we make trips to the mountains and to see family - so we "balance" that out by combining errands during the week.
3) Do you "work from home" more often?

Both DH and I work from home.

4) New residents--did you think your commute would be like this and cost this much? N/A

5) Long Island residents that travelled an hour (or more) on the LIE-is this better/worse on your pocket book and time? N/A

6) Going shopping less? No - already combine errands and use online shopping.

7) Trading off something else in your life to even out the gas prices?

Not yet, LOL.

8) Your opinion which way the price will go from here?

Gas will hit $5 a gal in the next year and will go up from there and my worst fears are that it will hit $9 a gal in the foreseeable future. Don't mean to sound over-reactive, but look what Europeans have been paying for decades.

9) Tips, pointers, advise?

If gas continues to rise, it will affect shipping (it already has affected it in Europe and to some degree, here). This means more expense on everyday household items, from toilet paper to groceries. I am trying to figure out how to plant more veggies to cut food cost (looking towards 2009 - not much I can do at this point for 2008).

My tips to others would be: stock up on non-perishables and learn how to cook. Learn to eat more simply. Save eating out for celebrations. Learn to recycle at home. There are ways to cut back . . . if gas eats into your budget . . .
.
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Old 06-22-2008, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Indian Land
628 posts, read 1,916,274 times
Reputation: 468
I try to go to the gym (I'll shower there now rather than go home) then run all my errands in one trip (Lowes, Earthfare, Bank, Target, and Auto Bell, etc)

Also...I am seriously considering buying a Vespa or Honda Scooter. The only problem is at approx 6K....it would take a long time for it to be cost efficient! However if prices continue to rise it might be a consideration.

Last edited by BRKLYN2CLT; 06-22-2008 at 12:33 PM.. Reason: I can't spell
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Old 06-22-2008, 02:40 PM
odu
 
40 posts, read 108,142 times
Reputation: 17
Thank goodness I'm still driving my Honda Civic from college. So while gas is high, I don't panic at the pump, yet! I'm moving back to Charlotte and will be working uptown. Currently, I'm looking to rent as close to uptown as my money will buy. Also considering locations/apartments along the lightrail line.
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