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’!