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Filling Up is Hard to Do

Posted By: Adeel Lari on 6/12/2009

Sometimes I worry about ending up as one of those cars stalled on the side of the highway because I foolishly thought I could make it another couple miles without getting gas. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!

… and now the car’s dead and I have to walk how far to the nearest gas station? Ugh. Bad times.

It’s a special game I play that I shouldn’t, I know it is not good for car engine too. I did it again today and I made it there as usual. I filled up at $2.65 today, which is better than it was this time last year, but it’s still not my favorite chore.

In general terms, the average worker commutes 33 miles to and from work each day. With the average car getting about 20 miles per gallon and taking into consideration the current price of gas, the 5-day work week costs:

$21.86 per week
$96.20 per month
$1,154.34 per year

And that’s just to get to work and back and not including wear and tear on the car. If we believe IRS or AAA cost of 0.54 cents a mile, the cost to drive is over $4600 over a year. Wow.

What else could you do with that money? Take a vacation abroad? Actually squirrel it away in that saving or retirement account? What else?

Whatever you do though, those savings are nothing to sneeze at and could definitely be spent on more worthwhile things than a commute.

Adeel Lari, M.B.A., P.E.
Director of Innovative Financing, Research Fellow, and Teleworker
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota

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1 Comment

    • Jun 16 2009, 4:17 PM Lee Munnich
    • E-work makes a lot of sense to me.  It's a great way to avoid congestion or eliminate trips altogether.  Great for the pocketbook and great for the environment.

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