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Article Archive >> Community

Daze of My Life: Filled With Anticipation

Daze of My Life
Filled With Anticipation

It may just be me but I doubt it. And what it is that I don't doubt, is, my renewed enthusiasm about buying gasoline. To say I'm excited at the prospect would be a bit of an exaggeration. To say that I am positive about the former negative would definitely be more accurate. And though $2 per gallon savings (give or take), equating to approximately $30 savings per week per driver/car, is not going to fund my retirement, it does, however, represent a nearly 50 percent reduction in our weekly gasoline/commuting allowance.
Sometimes the dollar amount saved sounds better than the percentage discounted, and vice versa. With respect to the declining cost of a gallon of gasoline recently, the latter is more impressive than the former. Still, a $2 price reduction per gallon is significant no matter the percentage amount discounted.
And that's money you can take to the bank, literally and/or figuratively. And who doesn't want to "go" to the bank? It's "coming" from the bank, after having had to withdraw money that's the problem. As is $4 per gallon, gasoline, a problem, for me anyway. No matter the trip - or distance - behind the wheel, be it business, pleasure, errands, gasoline, etc., I can't stop looking at my gas gauge and/or my car's how-many-miles-left-in-the-tank indicator, and prepare, mentally and fiscally, for the next much-sooner-than-preferred, gasoline purchase. Combining trips certainly stems the emotional and financial tide, as does using public transportation but as a percentage, the dollars saved by utilizing these strategic alternatives seems hardly worth mentioning, so I won't.
But spending $2 for a gallon of gasoline (of late) and getting 10 gallons for my meager $20 purchase certainly seems worth it, and it seems like value I haven't received at the gas station in years. Moreover, given the present economic climate, value and/or the perception of value seems to have come and gone. Finding it again, two or three times a week (depending on the driving circumstances), at the gas station of all places, is like finding money on the street or winning at Black Jack: totally unexpected and greatly appreciated. However, since there's no shortage of places to spend your winnings (so to speak), the thrill is rather temporary. But given the likely fact that you're buying gasoline multiple times a week, the thrill is not gone (sorry, B.B.), it's recurring. In effect, for the time in which we're being, it's the gift that keeps on giving. And what used to be a nightmare ($4 and up for a gallon of gasoline), and a recurring one at that, has now become a dream come true (spending 50 percent less for a gallon of gasoline than previously) and a dream that you're reminded of every time you gas up without paying up.
It's not exactly money for nothing, but it sure is a lot more for your money than nothing. It's something incredibly substantial: its peace of mind, it's extra money in your pocket, it's something given rather than taken. And as we all know - or have been told, repeatedly - it's better to give than to receive. However, when it concerns the price of a gallon of gasoline (or for a gallon of home heating oil), I'll take whatever they want to give.

Kenneth B. Lourie is a regionally syndicated columnist who resides in Burtonsville, MD.

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