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3 Things High Gas Prices Can Do for You | Fiscal Liberty

3 Things High Gas Prices Can Do for You

by Del Sandeen

Fiscal Liberty is a blog devoted to Personal Finance, Controlling Your Debt and Obtaining Financial Independence. Be the first to know when we publish new stuff: Subscribe to our RSS feed or via email

I know the price of gas has forced many of us to make changes and while there’s some grumbling involved at the inflated price of oil, I’m going to look at the bright side and show you 3 (beneficial) things high gas prices can do for you:

1. Make you take trips closer to home. For many families, summertime is the season to gas up the SUV or minivan and take it on the road. People will drive hundreds of miles to Disney World and try to pack a month-long of fun into a week. Sure, it’s fun, but it’s usually pretty exhausting, too. But what about all those attractions that are closer to you that you never checked out because the kids wanted to see Mickey Mouse? Every year, my family drove past several attractions because we were headed straight for Disney. Sure, there aren’t the same rides or characters and some of them are even more — gasp — educational than FUNFUNFUN, but I think a trip that involves some quiet time where the kids can fish, cook out in the open and actually talk to their parents can be just as memorable as one that involves thousands of flashing lights.

2. Make you healthy. I see a lot more people bicycling everywhere these days. It doesn’t matter if high gas costs are what motivated it, the fact is cycling is a great way to get where you’re going as well as get yourself into better shape. While everyone who cycles won’t change their entire lifestyle, many people who begin to take care of themselves with exercise also take this healthy approach to their eating habits. They lose weight, they feel better. If you walk to take public transportation, you’re putting one less car or truck out there on the road, which is a good thing for the environment and for you.      

3. Makes you money-aware. How many of us, back in the good ole days when gas was under $3/gallon, just filled up our tanks without much thought? Gas was necessary to get us where we needed to go and the price, though quite a bit higher than it was when I first started driving back in 1987, didn’t seem too outrageous. Fast-forward to an era when $5/gallon isn’t far-fetched anymore and many people have had to make changes. Change isn’t always bad in a situation like this. When people have to decide whether they’re going to get gas or get food, it forces you to sit back and look at the price of things. It makes you think. Many of us may not have given much thought to how we spent money on seemingly “necessary” items like gas, but today, we probably do. I’ve had to re-do my budget due to high gas prices; I’ve had to adjust my schedule to get my kids to their activities, but you know what? It’s made me more conscious of how I spend my time and money. And that’s a good thing. 

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