I absolutely hate feeling like I am somehow at the mercy of anyone or anything. The topic in the news lately is how great the oil companies have it. I read today in the Washington Post that President Obama said “oil companies are enjoying gangbuster profits.”
It can seem at times that there is nothing you can do in the face of serious issues affecting the average consumer, but there are things we can do to make a difference in our own budget and our community. Here are just a few:
§ Know what you are spending when you fill the tank – even if the news isn’t good: I recently asked a number of friends on Facebook how much they spent on their last tank of gas and how long it would last. Based on the numbers it is shocking. TR was the highest. She spends just over $8300 a year on gas. The average was close to $4000 a year in gasoline usage.
§ Are you willing to pay the money it takes to fill your tank? Can you? One skill our predecessors from the Greatest Generation learned was to be thoughtful about their spending. One of the respondents to my question on Facebook stated that she was on the road too much this weekend and overshot her gasoline budget – she joked that “it pays to be a hermit.” She has a point! Plan ahead. If your budget is affected by gasoline prices, plan your trips. You might choose to trade in some of your travelling behavior for some home time!
§ There are two ways to vote – your dollar, and the polls: Let companies and political groups know that you want them to make vehicles with good gas mileage. Consider trading in a gas guzzler for a choice with better fuel economy. Vote for politicians who champion economic policies that promote prosperity in the community (which means money in your pocket) rather than concentrating wealth in the richest 1% of Americans.
It can be easy to feel defeated when you look at the rising prices and the disturbing facts – but don’t forget your power. You have the power to balance your budget; to control it despite the factors. You have a network in Oklahoma that can assist you when you are down – The United Way – 211. In these times, we have to swim upstream; make a stand in your family for empowerment that counts.
Cristy Cash is the Director of Counseling and a Senior Certified Consumer Credit and Housing Counselor at CCCS of Central Oklahoma. She lives in Edmond, Oklahoma with her Husband Matt, young son Jackson and her dog Bear.
CCCS is a non-profit Credit Counseling agency with offices in Oklahoma City, Bethany, Enid, Stillwater and Tinker Air Force Base. Contact us at http://www.cccsok.org or 1-800-364-2227
- From GoGo to NoNo!! Park it and Stick it!! (cccsofcentraloklahoma.wordpress.com)
- Subsidies to Oil and Other Energy Sources-Becker (becker-posner-blog.com)
- Obama Taking Steps Aimed at Boosting Domestic Oil Output (businessweek.com)
- President Obama Says Tax Breaks Should End for Oil Companies (businessweek.com)