Friends grumble about gas costs, cents and bucks

There's no denying the price to fill up your gas tank is having an impact on your wallet. That's a given. While we all agree something needs to be done, in the mean time, what can we do to accomodate this added expense?

Perhaps we can adjust our spending to balance things out. Let me give you an example. I have friends who grumble when the price of gas goes up 10 cents. Those same people will walk by a dime on the sidewalk and not pick it up. "Why don't you pick it up?" I ask them.

"Oh, that's just 10 cents. I don't have room for loose change in my pockets," they reply.

I see. Well in a debit card world, I'm not surprised to hear that. Debit cards are great. I'm not arguing that point. But isn't 10 cents the same, whether on a sidewalk or on a gas station sign? Is there a new conversion formula I missed out on?

Next, let's look at the overall price of filling up your tank. I'll hear people say "It cost me 40 bucks to fill up my tank this week!"

Yep, that sounds high. But then I ask how much it used to cost. "30 dollars," they reply.

So what we're looking at is a $10 difference. I don't know if "bucks" are measured differently than "dollars", but the end result seems the same. You pay $10 more for gas each week. Then I happen to observe the same person buys a $5 cup of coffee, twice per day, 5 days per week. That's 50 dollars (or bucks) per week for coffee. Hmmm...

I wonder if people know they can buy a coffee machine. It's a fascinating invention.

Pardon my humor. All I'm saying is that I do understand and agree that the price of gas is too high. But if we're going to talk about money, maybe it would be wise to evaluate what's "too high" about other items we buy. I suspect people don't mind the price of coffee because it brings them pleasure. Buying gasoline is not enjoyable, so they are more inclined to be bothered by it.

I urge you to remember that 10 cents is 10 cents and 10 dollars is 10 dollars. Your bank account doesn't care if it goes towards gasoline or coffee. Either way, you lose money every time you buy it. It's up to you to decide what things in your life are really worth paying for, and what can be eliminated from your budget.

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