More than 8% of income spent on gas
How much has it cost to fill your gas tank this year? The average American family will spend a record $4,155.
Today's news is filled with reports of gas prices falling, just in time for the holidays. The national average price is $3.213 per gallon -- compared with $3.359 a month ago and $2.981 on the same day last year, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report.
But don't celebrate just yet. Americans have spent more money at the gas pump this year than ever before. In fact, when all of the year's holiday travel is completed, the average American household will have spent a record $4,155 on gasoline, according to the Oil Price Information Service. Post continues below.That number is based on a total U.S. gas bill of a little more than $481 billion, which is more than in any past year (including 2008, when the national average price of gas spiked at $4.11, according to AAA). It also represents a staggering 8.4% of the average family's income, which is the greatest percentage since 1981, The Associated Press reported.
With the country sliding into recession and the Middle East in turmoil in 1981, American families spent an average 8.8% of their budget filling their gas tanks. Over the past decade, the average has been 5.7%, AP said.
Though prices were higher in 2008, total spending that year was lower -- just $448 billion. That's because this year's prices stayed elevated for a longer period of time, unlike in 2008, when prices collapsed in the fourth quarter, according to ConsumerAffairs.com.
And though we're trying harder than ever to use less gas -- driving more fuel-efficient cars and carpooling, among other things -- slow economic growth, high unemployment and stalled incomes mean a higher portion of family budgets is being spent on gas.
If you're like me, you're probably thinking about what else you could have done with $4,155 this year. A vacation, perhaps. It also could have made a dent in the cost of an electric or hybrid car, which start at about $30,000.
What are you doing to save money on gas? Do you think you can save more next year?
More on MSN Money:
4 years ago when gas wass $4 a gallon, I saw the writing on the wall. I bought a 1999 Ford Ranger EV. I drive it every day. Those very few times I needed to go father than the truck goes, I took a taxi. I never have regretted buying an Electric Vehicle.
It wont be long before Obama will give gas cards to the lazy....oops I mean less fortunate
- EVADING TAXES,
- TAKING SUBSIDIES,
- taking advantage of loop-holes intentionally made for the REPUBLICAN-OBSTRUCTIONISTS.
- Defunding our national agencies, etc, etc.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Saving just a single month of expenses may take longer than you think. See how your savings rate affects how quickly you can build a solid emergency fund.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'