When the gifts from Grandma are unloaded and holiday travel is over, the typical American household will have spent $4,155 filling up this year, a record. That is 8.4 percent of what the median family takes in, the highest share since 1981.
Gas averaged more than $3.50 a gallon this year, another unfortunate record. And next year isn’t likely to bring relief.
In the past, high gas prices in the United States have gone hand-in-hand with economic good times, making them less damaging to family finances. Now prices are high despite slow economic growth and weak demand
Now then, since I am a freak about data, I can tell you to the dime as to how much I have spent on gasoline for the past 20 years !!
I have used Quicken as my favorite financial tool for over 20 years. Even before I had Quicken, I used to write my own BASIC computer programs to track my auto expenses, but I have also added making spreadsheets to collect the data.
Below are my numbers for 2009 to 2011:
I fill up about every 6 working days.
I drive the same 66-70 miles a day in a 2004 full size pickup (6 cylinder)
I think it was in 2007 when gas was costing above $4.00 for quite sometime, I checked my MPG and found I was getting around 17 1/2 MPG (65-70 MPH)
I checked it again going 55-60 MPH and it went up to the current MPG of almost 19, an increase of almost 10 %. Meaning on a tank of 25 gallons, I could go almost 40 extra miles, saving $6-7 per tank.
Even though I meticulously record and track my spending, it does become quite shocking when some of the numbers are totaled up and you can see how much of your money goes to different categories.