How Gas Prices Do and Don’t Affect My Life

All this talk of rising energy prices, just for fun I decided to see how this affects me personally. Since everything has some correlation to transportation which is directly related to gas and energy prices, the prices of pretty much everything has (or will) rise.

I want to see what areas of my life are affected more than others in respect to rising energy prices.

How They DON’T Affect Me (much):

  • Driving in Austin. Thankfully most things where I live are pretty close. My gym is 5 miles away and I usually ride a bike (bicycle) there. Downtown is also about 5 miles away.
  • The Scooter. I bought a scooter a while ago to bypass traffic and parking when I was in college. That scooter gets 122 MPG (Yes, one-hundred and twenty two miles per gallon), and I can comfortably ride anywhere within about an 8 mile radius (can’t use freeways). Full tank of premium gas (1.9 gallons) used to be about $4.30, now about $7.80. However it’s still negligible. 200+ miles of travel for less than $10 is pretty good.
  • Groceries. I know all the prices have gone up, but I eat a very simple diet of mainly fruits and a few other things, so each trip to the grocery store (about once per week) costs me roughly $20. Simple trick: use one of those hand-carry carts instead of a normal shopping cart. It’s hard to stuff that little thing with more than $20 worth of food and it forces you to only buy the essentials, no junk. So while rising energy prices DO affect this area, it’s not extremely significant yet.
  • Going to work. I wake up, walk to the next room and BOOM I’m in the office. Zero commute time = zero transportation costs.

How They DO Affect Me:

  • Prices on my websites go up. For example HouseOfRave’s shipping prices have literally doubled in the last year. Many products have also gone up in price to correlate with higher shipping costs from Asia. People accustomed to paying $5 for shipping are sometimes surprised to see $10+ shipping charges on relatively small orders.
  • When I drive to Houston. My family and lots of friend live in Houston so I try to go back often. It’s exactly 150 miles from Austin to Houston, so a 300 mile round-trip (Roughly one full tank of gas in my GS300). Each trip to Houston equates to about 450 miles of driving which equates to nearly $110 in gas per trip.
  • When I drive IN Houston. This city is huge, and no matter where you go, I’d say it’s at least a 15-30 minute drive. There’s really no way around this in Houston.

Conclusion: So far rising energy prices are more of an annoyance to me than a real issue. They haven’t really had too much effect on my lifestyle, although I’m pretty sure this is something that will slowly become more of an issue in the coming years.

*By the way…this article really tested my grammatical ability to differentiate between ‘Effect’ and ‘Affect’!

Blog posted on: June 9, 2008

15 comments on “How Gas Prices Do and Don’t Affect My Life

  1. Money

    That’s great that you have simplified your life so that something like rising gas prices has a minimal affect on you.

    I leased a car to force myself into driving less. It makes me focus on staying under my allotted miles. I find excuses not to drive because of it.

  2. Anonymous


    I saw that you are visiting The bay area in June (now July). I work at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, which houses around 120 tech start ups from around the world working on the next big thing. I don’t do tech, but work for the same company that owns P&P Tech center. Lately, the company has been on the look out for expanding into other hot tech areas. They currently have two other locations in silicon valley and planing a few others in other countries in Europe and Asia. At one time, there was talk of an Austin location, thats where you “come in play.” I thought you could squeeze a 30 minute meeting with the CEO of the company, who is very approachable, to discuss what could be done in relation with UT Austin the “Silicon Hills” folks that would like to have a P&P in Austin.

    if you have any questions,

    good luck!

  3. pakistan IT Forum

    That’s great that you have simplified your life so that something like rising gas prices has a minimal affect on you.
    Nev, do you still have your other scooter as well?

  4. Maggy

    Congratulations Nev! I read that you love to read.

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    Sharply focused on stocks, mutual funds, careers, consumer rights plus enterprise & smart spending it delivers a stellar mix of unbiased, credible, unique & relevant content with sharp analysis.

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  5. LazyInvestor

    I agree that the high gas prices are more of a nuisance than a crisis right now. Although it does depend on your perspective and income level as different people are affected in different ways.

    Ofcource it would greatly help our stumbling economy if the damn politicians allow us to drill for more oil and build more refineries and nuclear plants and stop damaging their own country for political gain.

    As a side note, I have been investing in various oil funds and royalty trusts for quite a while now and I can most definitely say: “What the gas pump taketh away – the oil fund giveth back!”

  6. Jerry

    So, this is how the price of gas recently affected our move across the country (ME to OR)… instead of renting a truck with a tow trailer for our car, we sold a bunch of stuff and bought a custom made trailer to tow behind our sedan. Instead of the estimated 5 mpg (and the $3000 rental fee, not including fuel), we got 22 mpg and saved over $2000 in fuel costs. The insurance rider was very small for the trailer, and we just found out that we are selling it for close to what we paid for it within 48 hours after listing it in the new place! All in all, it was much cheaper and used a lot less gas. not as much as if we had made our move on scooters, but still…

  7. Sam

    Hi Nev,

    I live in Singapore and the gasoline price here keep going up and now it cost me S$2.00 to pump in Esso 9200.

    So the conculsion is if you wanna drive then got to prepare to pay more. I am paying like $1000/mth to maintain my Hyundai Getz.


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