Feeding the tank is becoming impossible

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:59

    As a seventeen year old with a provisional license I am fortunate to have parents who did not make me purchase my own car or pay insurance, but I was given the responsibility of buying my own gas. Since Hurricane Katrina, gasoline prices have temporarily sky-rocketed. Now my wallet is half-empty, paycheck is spent, and shortly my Jeep Liberty Sport will need more gas. Unfortunately, I am not sure if I will be able to feed this hungry mouth. Since I drive a SUV, an automobile that depletes gas rather quickly, I frequently have to fill my tank, sometimes three times a week, to get back and forth to my school, job, and home. Depending on what gas station I decide to use, filling my tank halfway can cost over $30. Ever since gasoline prices have increased, I have quickly learned a life lesson: The bigger the automobile, the more gasoline it requires. The more gas it requires, the less money I have. It is a fact that since January, gas prices have increased over fifteen percent. Steve Roalstad, a spokesman for Xcel said, “Prices for natural gas have been volatile, and trending higher for the foreseeable future.” Steve Roalstad confirmed the lingering fear that the price of gasoline has a good possibility of further increasing. I don’t remember the price of gasoline ever being near $3 a gallon, but I can remember when gasoline cost only a little over a dollar. Every gas station has different prices and it becomes a constant struggle to find the cheapest local gas. It is understandable prices had to increase to counteract the devastating effects of the war and Hurricane Katrina, however it is outrageous that it increased so rapidly. As a high-school senior, I work at an entry-level job as a server at a local food chain. Lately, I constantly find myself coming home without a dime in tips after buying myself dinner and then partially filling my tank. The majority of my weekly paycheck also goes to government taxes, gas, and food. It seems as if my one responsibility of purchasing my own gas has become overwhelming. Once, I was not scheduled to work for approximately three weeks, both a relief and a nightmare. I barely had any money on hand I was worried about what I would do to buy gas among other things since I would not expect a paycheck for about four weeks. Eventually I wound up asking my parents to lend me money for gasoline which was my responsibility, not theirs. I am sure that I am not the only person working at just about minimum wage whose take-home-pay has dropped drastically after filling up at the pumps. I am not the only person who is continuously left with a smaller amount of money to spend at local stores. However, what will happen to the stores and rest of the economy, when so much money is spent on gasoline? This is the affect on the economy that steep gasoline prices has that no one seems to be talking about. Yet, the trickle-down affect will make it soon touch everyone. Dana Marx from Ringwood