Don’t Get Gassed! You Could Be Paying $5 For A Gallon Of Gas Soon
Remember the summer of 2007? Yeah, you do. Come on. How could you forget asking any and everyone that climbed into your car to fork over a couple bucks to help you gas up your ride? Or driving to your “secret” gas station on the outskirts of town to pay “only” $3.65 for a gallon of gas? Or climbing aboard the bus for the first time since college to take a routine trip in order to save a couple of extra pennies at the pump?
Back in 2007, gas prices were at a record high, climbing well above three bucks a gallon and threatening to reach the dreaded four dollar mark. Fortunately, it didn’t get that bad, but it did get bad enough that people actually took a look at the Smart fortwo car and said, ‘You know what? That car doesn’t look that ridiculous right now, does it?’ And if analysts are correct, 2011 could be the new 2007.
First, the facts: Since May 2010, the price of a barrel of oil has risen by more than 30 percent globally and it appears that it’ll only continue to rise in the new year. That means that at some point in 2011, a barrel of oil could be going for more than $100, which in turn will push the price of a gallon of gasoline to $4. And with developing countries, including China, demanding more and more oil and putting petroleum at a premium, the price is going to continue to rise as the year goes on. That may just be the beginning, too, with some analysts already going on the record to say that you could be paying as much as $5 for a gallon of gas by the time 2012 rolls around. Did you hear that? Five dollars!
How will it affect you? Well, right where it hurts: In your wallet. For starters, you’ll obviously be paying more money every time you pull into a station to gas up your car. But the effects aren’t going to stop there. Every time you mail out a package, jump on a plane, order a pizza or hail a taxi, you’ll be forced to pay more out of pocket. Whether you think about it or not, all of the companies that provide those services will be subjected to the higher gas prices as well. And, who do you think will have to foot the bill? That’s right…
So, what should you do to make sure you’re not picking up a second job next summer to foot the bill for the road trip you were planning on taking? Start planning ahead. For instance, if you’re in the market for a new car, there are plenty of eco-friendly cars available these days. Unfortunately, a lot of those cars tend to become super-scarce once a gas crisis rolls around. So rather than wait until it’s too late, invest in one now when you won’t have to pay an arm and leg above the sticker price to save a few bucks at the pump.
If you don’t have the budget for a new car but you’re pushing a gas-guzzling SUV or an older-model car that doesn’t get half-decent gas mileage, you should think about trading it in for a used car that’s priced comparatively but features better gas mileage. No one will want to take you up on your offer in a few months if the price of gas really does spike up to four bucks. But with it hovering around three bucks in most parts of the country, they might be willing to take it now.
And finally, do a little bit of research to see if your state is at-risk for increased gas prices in 2011. While there will likely be minor increases in just about every state, places like Alaska, Hawaii, Connecticut and Rhode Island could get hit the worst. If you live in any of these states, go back to the top of this blog now and read it again. There’s a good chance high gas prices are going to affect you soon—so you’d better start planning now. It’s the only way to make sure that your bank account and your gas tank don’t end up running on E by the end of 2011.