The typical family will save $750 at the pump this year. That's enough to buy 187 Big Macs...or put a serious dent in that credit card debt.
How will you spend your gas savings? Travel, throw a bash, pay off bills?
According to President Obama in his recent State of the Union address, the typical family should save $750 this year, thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards.
Here’s what you could get with that little windfall (prices exclude taxes):
A big road trip:
You could drive 9,183 miles, based on the national average gasoline price of $2.05, as determined by AAA, and the 25.1 mpg average fuel economy of cars, light trucks, vans and SUVs purchased in December 2014, as determined by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. That’s enough to explore the continental USA in your Chevrolet (or other fine vehicle) by starting in Los Angeles and going north to Seattle, then across through Denver, Chicago and New York, south to Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Miami, and head back through New Orleans, Dallas, take a side trip to Oklahoma City, and resume your journey through Albuquerque, Las Vegas (check out that Grand Canyon on the way) and back to LA. Where will you go?
You could gobble 187 Big Mac meals at $3.99 each, including medium French fries and a soft drink; 80 Chipotle steak burritos, each with a soda ($9.30); or host 13 of your closest friends for Sunday brunch at Tavern on the Green in New York’s Central Park, where a Beau Monde Bloody Mary, an entree of scrambled eggs, asparagus, fresh peas, Applewood smoked bacon and sourdough toast, and treat of doughnuts filled with maple cream and bacon will run $51.
Buy 301 bottles of Charles Shaw wine, known as Two-Buck Chuck, which retails nowadays for $2.49 each at many Trader Joe’s. That’s almost a bottle a day. If you’re not into wine, you could get about 580 32-ounce Big Gulps at $1.29 each at the 7-Eleven where you fill up.
A little relief from debt:
If you have the monthly median student loan payment of $160 a month, you could make four payments and more than half of a fifth. Credit cards a problem? You could make four monthly payments of $187.50 if you’re trying to pay off the average family balance of $7,100 in 60 months with a card charging about 16.5 percent interest.
Or, putting all the extra money toward paying down a credit card balance at that rate could save you $356 in accumulated interest of those 60 months. Or think of it this way: a $750 credit card balance paid off over five years at 16.5 percent interest would cost you $18.44 a month, or $1,106.40 over 60 months. In short, you can leverage this savings for greater savings.
For more on debt reduction strategies, watch the video below.
Let’s just face it: Sometimes, a little luxury is good for the soul. The $750 in gas savings could buy you a one-night-stay at The Plaza hotel in New York, two nights at The Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston or three at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park.
The gas savings would also equal 91 movie tickets at the national average price of $8.17; four tickets to see Taylor Swift on July 18 at Soldier Field in Chicago (if there are any left at Ticketmaster’s original price of $153.57); or one Amedei Chocolate Gift Box – Infinito from Pianki.
But we want to know what you would do.
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