There’s a lot of complaining going on about the cost of gasoline. I happen to be one of the complainers. Whether due to price gouging or just an economic cause and effect, there’s no escaping the sometimes shockingly high gas prices. Lucky for me, I rarely drive. I don’t have to because I work from home.
But what about people who don’t work from home and have to refill their tanks every week, or even every day? What can be done to provide some relief to consumers trying to earn a living, yet are spending a large portion of their wages on gas? I had to know, so I asked around.
As I talked to women throughout the country I heard pretty much the same thing: Gas prices were horrible. Gina, in North Carolina, said gas is currently around $2.80 a gallon for the “cheap” stuff. Fortunately, like me, she works from home; however, her husband doesn’t. She said they were hoping to buy a new truck this year, but because of gas prices they decided to put it off.
“It would not do us any good if my husband has to push it to work!” Gina grimly said. So, because of gas prices, Gina won’t get her truck. And some unlucky dealership won’t make a nice sale, either.
In Southern California, one woman reported that her husband works an hour away and it takes $70.00 to fill up his truck. Luckily, he found some people to carpool with.
Around the country gas prices rage about the same: $2.96 in New York, $2.99 in Massechusetts, $2.80 in Texas, and a whopping $3.24 in Montgomery, Alabama. Who can afford the commute to work? Who can afford to drive?
Consumers are wracking their brains trying to figure out how to cut downtheir gas expenses. Their solutions make sense, but aren’t without a price. One solution, for example, is to have companies reimburse employees for mileage. While what saves some money for workers, in turn it increases expenses for companies,which is sure to have ramifications for the workers somewhere down the line. Some consumers are car-pooling to work, which is a good for both saving on gas and cutting down on air pollution. However, a downside to car pooling, said Faith, an Indiana resident and stay-at-home mom, is that it now takes “forever” for he husband to get home. He has less time now for the family.
What is the best solution, then? Telecommuting. According to Chuck Wilsker, President and CEO of The Telework Coalition, telecommuting just two days a week can reduce a person’s gas expense by 40%. Wilsker, who has studied workplace trends and telecommuting for over ten years, recently noted,
“The more organizations that have telecommuters, the more likely we will see [gas] prices stabilize or drop at the pumps. Now that more of our economy is information-based and has high-speed Internet, we don’t need to commute to work as often.”