First Person: Lower Gas Prices Are Easing Our Budget Stress

Yahoo Contributor Network

In recent weeks gas prices have fallen significantly in my area. A few weeks ago we were paying $4.15 a gallon for regular gasoline. Today regular gas is around $3.55 a gallon, which is much more budget-friendly for my family.

Before the fall in prices, experts were telling us to prepare to pay $5 a gallon, and that had me on the edge of my seat. Prices that high would deeply impact our budget, and I knew I was going to have to work hard to adjust. Now that prices seem to be on a downward trend we are able to plan to allocate the extra money to other things.

Trips

My husband and I try to take a trip to our favorite camping spot every Memorial Day, but I wasn't sure we would be able to afford it when gas was over $4 a gallon. In recent weeks, oil and gas prices have fallen, which means we can afford our trip. At the peak of gas prices early this year it would have cost us more than $200 to get to camp and come back home. Now we are looking at spending about $150 for the entire trip. Saving $50 isn't huge, but it does make the trip more budget-friendly.

Groceries

Right now there is a $0.60 per gallon savings at the pumps, which means we save around $15 per fill up. We usually refill our gas tank at least twice a month, so we are experiencing an overall savings of $30 a month. Our grocery budget has been cut a lot because of the cost of gas. Both our lack of funds and the higher cost of food has really hit us hard. I will be able to apply the $30 of savings to our food bill, and will be able to buy two or three extra meals a month.

Local activities with our dog

One of the travel expenses that we cut are visits to local parks with our dog. We recently bought our first house, and it has a huge yard for her to play in, but it's not the same as going out to a park to play. Now that gas prices are lower we can add a few more trips to the park, and won't have to worry as much about busting our budget.

I'm hopeful this downward trend in gas prices continues. I know that my family and our budget will enjoy summer a bit more now that it's more affordable.

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