Rising Gas Bills: Family Budgets Stretched
There are growing signs rising gas prices are starting to hurt family budgets and it’s only a matter of time before consumer spending cuts start severely impacting the National Economic Recovery.
Miami Driver Kenny Shuman’s seen his gas bills rising lately and says “Everything goes up as Gas Prices Rise. They effect everything and we have to deal with what it does to the economy.”
So how does he cut his Gas Bills?
He’s cutting back spending and driving.
Shuman adds ” You’ve got to be more careful with your spending and cut wherever you can. A lot of people like to just take the car out for a drive for no reason. Now, I don’t do that. You have to consider riding a bike or taking a walk or something like that”.
Financial Planners like Coral Gables’ Matt McGrath of Evensky & Katz says right now’s the time to start figuring out where you’ll be able to find the extra money for your next fill-up.
The veteran money-manager says ” Look at the rest of your budget and see how much you’re spending on dining out, cell phone bills, entertainment, it’s going to have to come from someplace.”
A recent “Mastercard” survey found gas station sales dropped for the past 5 weeks, with 70% of the nations’ Service Station seeing spending cuts.
6 out of 10 consumers nationwide are already cutting out any extra spending according to the latest Reuters survey.
While oevral retail ssales are still seeing gains, some economic analysts worry about a possible consumer-pull back during the second-quarter, partly based on rising energy costs.
You can also stretch your budget by cutting all un-necessary driving, use your most fuel-efficient vehicle or public transportation, while doing as many errands as possible in just one trip.
But spending cuts have a downside too, possibly slowing down our economic growth.
McGrath warns “It’s not good for the recovery, hopefully it’s a temporary blip on the radar like we’ve seen in the past. But we have to be prepared if prices keep rising.
With salaries stalled, family budgets are having an increasingly hard time keeping up with all the higher costs. And some U-S Energy Forecasters are predicting even higher Gas Prices in the future. And that’ll make this issue an even bigger problem next year as 2012 National Elections get closer every day.