Ever since Christmas, gas prices in Ohio have been above $3.00/gallon. I drive a lot to and from work (90 miles a day / 450 miles/week.) So does Todd. However, Todd drives 15 days a month. I drive 20 days.
Luckily, Bianca is a gas-sipper. Todd’s vehicle (we call him “Big Red,”) is an “average” vehicle in my opinion. It gets 28 MPG on average. When I fill up, it is about $28. When Todd fills up, it’s about $40. Bianca has an 11 gallon gas tank and I’ve never had to fill up over 10 gallons. Todd’s has a 12 or 14 gallon tank. I cant remember which one of the two it is.
I generally cringe when I see anything over $35 on the debit card from a gas station. But I have to put it into perspective. We no longer have car payments. Is a fill-up of $40 every week going to kill us or the budget? Nope. Heck, we were paying for 5 ½ fill-ups per month in payments alone.
Todd gets an incentive for being on time at work and not calling off. Every quarter that he’s on time, he gets a $250 gift card to choose from. He chooses gasoline. We usually have to pay for gas only a month every quarter. In December, Todd went to work, but had to go home early to go to the doctor due to a problem with his jaw. He ended up going to the emergency room per his doctor’s orders. Because of that, he will only get $100 in gas cards, meaning, we will have to pay for gas much more than we are used to.
Many people ask why we travel so far for work. For me, I travel because the area I work is not affordable to purchase a home based on our income. Heck, property taxes in this area are about what we pay for our mortgage every month! I get paid decent money and I live in an area that is a lot less expensive to live. Not to mention we have an acre of land, I can have a piggy without a permit and we are not on top of our neighbors. I happily pay less than $30/week in gasoline to get to and from work, and spend some time in the car catching up on podcasts.
Neither Todd nor I could find a job in Warren or Youngstown (the two closest cities to where we live) making what we make with the benefits we have. Jobs in our area are about $10-$12/hour tops. We live really close to the Chevy plant that produces the new Chevy Cruz, but it is VERY difficult to get a job at the plant.
For now, we will deal with the gas prices and traveling to work. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I am waiting for us to get in the financial position where Todd can quit his job and find something making a lot less but doing something he loves to do (even if it is at $8/hour.)