Grumpy Over Gas Prices?
- 2005 18 Jun
It seems that on every street corner, TV station, radio station, and newspaper people are talking about it - the price of gas.
Off the top of my head, I can only think of one other thing that we’ve had more controversy over recently, and that was whether one-ply or two-ply toilet paper was cheaper. Yet when I take into consideration the average American household’s personal debt, the government’s ever-increasing spending, and the fact that the poorest of us in America live better than virtually everyone in the rest of the world, I find that panic over the price of gas and/or toilet paper is well, laughable.
Sure, gas prices are a legitimate concern. But so is our perception of money. And I am just amazed at the warped view the average person has of money these days. I rarely hear people complain because designer jeans -- that used to cost $10-$15 -- now cost $120 or more. It didn’t make headline news when tennis shoes went from $2.50 a pair up to $75-$100.
People stand at the gas pump grumbling about the $5-$15 more per week it costs to fill up their cars. At the same time, they don’t complain about the fact that they are putting the gas into $30,000-$40,000 cars that will cost 1 ½ years of work just to pay off.
We moan and groan because we have to pay one dollar a day for a medication that will help save us, but think nothing of spending $5-$10 a day for bottled water or soda.
Why is it okay to spend vast amounts of money on the things we want such as cars, soda, eating out, name brand clothes, elaborate vacations and fancy weddings while we ignore the necessities to the point where we whine and cry like spoiled children when we must pay for them?
When did things get so twisted? Generations past always worked hard to earn money to pay for the necessities and would buy luxury items if they had money left over. Now, we are the opposite. We work to earn money to buy things we want and if we have some left over to pay for our necessities, that’s even better. If not, no worries - we’ll let the credit card companies pay for it! It’s free money, right?
Getting so heated up about the price of gas without giving a second thought to the other wasteful ways we spend money makes about as much sense as putting off a discussion on your cancer treatments to discuss treatments for an irritating ingrown toenail.
My question to you is: what financial disease are you ignoring while you worry about that ingrown toenail?
Jill Cooper and Tawra Kellam are the authors of Dining On A Dime: 1,000 Money Saving Recipes and Tips. (formerly Not Just Beans) Dining On A Dime will help you shop smarter, by cooking simpler meals and by making your own basic cleaning products and beauty aids. For free tips & recipes visit