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If you have been reluctant to create a budget, you might want to shift gears and start now. It will help you come up with the extra $69 a month you will spend on gas this summer.
AAA, the nonprofit federation of motor clubs, reports that consumers are spending $69 more on gas each month compared with last summer.
Pain at the pump
Nationwide, the average gas price was up to about $2.91 a gallon as of Thursday, and AAA projects it will remain between $2.85 and $3.05 through Labor Day — Sept. 3 this year.
At 25 percent of all gas stations in the country, however, gas already costs more than $3 a gallon. That’s up from only 5 percent of stations one year ago.
Of course, that means the situation is far worse in certain parts of the country than in others. In eight states, for example, gas costs more than $3 a gallon at every station — or nearly every station:
- Alaska: 100 percent of gas stations are selling gas for more than $3 per gallon
- California: 100 percent
- Hawaii: 100 percent
- Idaho: 99 percent
- Nevada: 97 percent
- Oregon: 98 percent
- Utah: 98 percent
- Washington: 100 percent
Now, brace your budget for this, too: Gas prices could prove even worse than AAA is projecting for the season. While an upcoming OPEC decision could drive gas prices down, several factors stand to drive gas prices higher than projected for the summer. AAA says these factors include the:
- Nation’s increasing exportation of oil so far this year.
- High and possibly record-breaking demand for gas expected this summer.
- Hurricane season.
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting a 75 percent chance of a “near- or above-normal” season for 2018.
Saving on gas
An AAA survey conducted earlier in the year found that most folks would not change their summer travel plans if gas prices passed the $3 or even the $3.50 per gallon mark. Spokesperson Jeanette Casselano notes:
“Summer is synonymous with road trips and vacation and we are not going to see Americans are giving up this pastime this year. The higher gas prices may just encourage travelers to shorten their driving distance. While others may pinch pennies by eating out less or finding more free family-fun activities while on vacation.”
For more ways to counteract higher gas prices — without shortening a road trip or pinching pennies — check out “5 Easy Ways to Cut the Rising Cost of Gas.”
What’s your go-to method for dealing with summertime increases in fuel prices? Share with us by commenting below or over on our Facebook page.