I got my driver’s license in 1973 in Maryland and the price of gas was .52 cents a gallon. It’s ironic that today I filled up the gas tank in my truck and regular gas was $3.52 a gallon. I don’t have a 1967 Firebird like I did back then, but a more fuel efficient Dodge and I don’t joy ride near as much as I did back then. I doubt that in 1973 that I could afford to pay $80 to fill up a gas tank.
The price of coffee, sugar and you name it are going up left and right. It’s going up so much that it’s making the national news every day. Consumer pricing is up 0.4% in January. OK, the recession is over, so start raising the prices? I’m fortunate to be getting a paycheck, but it’s not getting any bigger. More people want a part of it though. At least my vanilla latte’ hasn’t gone up in price.
It’s tough for the American consumer right now. Statistics show that only 71% of Americans can live within their means. When I got divorced in 2009, I had a feeling that there was going to be tough financial times ahead. First thing I did was pay off all of my credit cards. Then I started paying all of my bills online through my banks bill pay program. It was amazing how much money I saved and how I could see where my money was going.
I shop hard now for big ticket items. I use to always use Alaska Airlines for out of state travel. I get their air miles through credit cards, grocery purchases, cable TV, you name it. I also only fly on American made aircraft, so the shopping takes a little bit now. By shopping online, I saved $400 on round trip tickets to Maryland on Continental Airlines and Boeing aircraft. Sorry Alaska Airlines, $400 is $400 to me. You posted $250 million in profits last year, I didn’t.
The days of .52 cents a gallon for gas is gone. No more .05 cent candy bars or $1 movie tickets. We would love to have those days back, but it’s sad to say that they are gone.
I haven’t turned into Ebenezer Scrooge, but I am watching the cost of the things I buy now or in some cases, use to buy.