Do you remember just a handful of years ago when gas was around $1 per gallon? How terrible were those days! All the money left over in our bank account gave us no choice but to travel with our families, pursue new economic opportunities, and enjoy life in general.
Times are better now, right? After all, gas is almost $3.50 per gallon. Prices on all other items are rising to compensate for fuel costs. And, of course, our small cost of living raise we got at work does not even begin to keep pace.
Where should you take the family on vacation? Nowhere! What recreational activities should you pursue? Nothing! How much should you invest this year? Zero! Why? Simple, all the money for those things is conveniently going into the gas tank.
Ahhh……finally, life is simple again.
I’m sure some people out there long to go back to how things were before, back to the days when we had the stress of deciding where to go on vacation. Well, in the event that you are one of those strange souls who enjoyed having money, what can be done to compensate?
First things first……I think we must realize that gas prices are not coming back down. I know……congress and presidential candidates are screaming and hollering at the oil companies. They are performing their "investigations" to get to the bottom of the problem. Have you ever noticed that they do this every time there is a rapid spike in gas prices? Have you also noticed that nothing ever comes if it?
The truth is that gas prices are the result of many global economic factors. None the least of these is the fact that developing nations are beginning to consume oil in enormous quantities. When demand goes up and production does not keep pace, guess what happens to cost? Welcome to the wonderful world of supply and demand.
So, again, what if you want to leave the simple and peaceful life of struggling to make ends meet and return to the stress of having more than enough money? Well, you need to either reduce your consumption of fuel, increase your income, or both.
There are several ways you can reduce your fuel costs—even without buying a hybrid. You can reduce the number of days you drive to work. I’m sure your boss wouldn’t mind if you only showed up every other day.
You could also consider eliminating other sources of fuel that really are not needed—like electricity. Turn the air conditioner, the lights, and the fridge all off. People survived for thousands of years without these and I’m sure you wouldn’t notice if your air conditioner didn’t run anymore……especially in August.
However, if you feel that those suggestions are impractical, you can simply increase your income. I’m sure your boss will understand when you demand a very large raise to keep pace. Don’t forget to ask for enough to compensate for the increased taxes you will have to pay.
If a direct raise doesn’t work, perhaps request that your boss pay for your fuel to and from work. Simply keep a journal of how much you drive to and from work, figure out your fuel expenses per mile, add in some extra to donate to the IRS, and then insist your boss add that to your check every payday. I’m sure this will not only work, but your ingenuity will probably get your boss to give you a promotion.
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