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June 22, 2022 52 mins

You can’t escape summer! Whether you’re baking under the sun at your local pool on the weekends, or setting off on adventures with your kids during their summer break, the changing season and warmer temperatures signal that it’s summer break. Just like summer impacts basically everyone, so does the price of a gallon of gas increasing at a previously unseen rate. Even electric vehicle owners aren’t immune to the rising prices- though there’s gotta be a palpable sense of relief every time you plug your car in! The US crossed the $5 a gallon threshold a couple weeks ago and who knows where the prices are headed from here?! But we’ll talk about why gas prices are unrelenting right now, we’ll share some of our thoughts on fossil fuels in general, and then we’ll the majority of this episode talking through the many steps you can take to lessen the pain you’re experiencing at the pump.


During this episode we enjoyed a Really Big Bird by Trillium- a huge thanks to Sean for sending this one our way! And please help us to spread the word by letting friends and family know about How to Money! Hit the share button, subscribe if you’re not already a regular listener, and give us a quick review in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Help us to change the conversation around personal finance and get more people doing smart things with their money!


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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to How the Money. I'm Joel and I am Matt,
and today we're discussing fighting back against gas price insanity.

So just before we hit record, we're joking about mustaches,
how neither of us can grow mustaches. But do you
have a not a must mustache trimmer, but an eyebrow trimmer?
Because I was looking looking in the mirror the other
day and I realized that, like, I've got a few eyebrows.
Brown hairs are like hanging down. It's middle aged, dude,
middle age yester. When you're looking in the mirror trying

to figure out how you're gonna trim your eyebrow. Has
I know No, I was just thinking that yesterday as
I looked in the mirror, and I was like, what
is I have a white hair growing out of the
top of my ear? And I really think it's like, yeah,
that's middle aged. That's when you know you're middle age
when you have hairs growing out of places you didn't
know they grow. If it's growing out the top of
your that's one. As long as you don't have like
a tuft of hair like here here, like it's not
that bad, like the end of a chuck of corn

or something like give it a decade. I'm sure I'll
be there at that point. You've got a note here
about some Aldi chair. What's your story? So so this
was something I thought. I learned a lesson from this
the other day when I was in all the and
I thought maybe everybody out there would stand a benefit
from it. Basically, not not too long ago, after we
finished off our screen porch on our house, we got

a couple of new outdoor chairs. We got these like
kind of cool egg looking chairs. Oh yeah, you're you're
hanging there like hanging wicker basket chairs. Yeah. Well, actually
they're not hanging. They set on the ground. But they've
seen the ones that hang to the old they're suspended
though right there. I mean they're not. Well you tricked me, Well,
some of them do come like that, but this one

is not. And this one was like a Walmart find
for I want to say, we spent like two hundred
and fifteen dollars per chair or something like that. Right,
and then I was in Aldi the other day and
they had, of course the exact same chair. Basically, I
don't even know if it was the exact same brand,
but it looked like the exact same chair, and I
was like, man, I'm about ready to face palm because

I guarantee you the Aldi price beats the Walmart price
by ten or fifteent. But I went up and I
looked at the price tag and no, it did not.
What was the It was four d so basically double
the price that I paid. Yes, that's pretty crazy. I'm
actually I cannot believe that Aldi Wood is able to
Are they allowed to sell something that's that expensive? I

don't know. I literally don't think I've seen anything that expensive,
even like sometimes they'll sell like weight sets, like an
Olympic bar with like the bench and all the weights
and stuff like that. I'm trying to think what else
I've seen there that that might be bigger and more expensive,
But literally nothing at that you have named the most
expensive item I've ever heard of. I think so too.
I haven't seen anything at Aldi that cost bucks. I

just think that the lesson I learned from that was
that even at a retailer, you trust that typically he
has ridiculously low prices like Aldi, like we talked about
all the frequently, and you know, we talked about my
dollar ten gallon of milk. It's still a dollar ten
at our local all the which is impressive, But that
doesn't mean that everything that all the sells, or that

any retailer you like cells has the lowest price, and
so comparing prices before just assuming that a retailer is
going to be you know, obviously clearly have the best price,
like no, no no, even still slow your role. Even a
place like Aldi, it doesn't necessarily have the corner on
low prices, and you might find it cheaper somewhere else.
You might find it cheaper used even but like, um, yeah,

it's just one of those things. I was like, well, well, whoa.
I didn't think it was gonna be twice as much.
I actually thought it was gonna be cheaper because of
all these reputation, But in reality it wasn't sure they
weren't just selling all the rest of them that they
had for over four h dollars, Like maybe they had
five of them. They're like, hey, you can buy them
all maybe No, it looked like it was four fifty
per individual chairs, sir, it was for each one. Well, hey,
I'm glad that you still are happy with your wal Mart. Yeah, Walmart,

they're great, They're great. So um yeah, word of the Wise,
all these great but not always the cheapest, so um yeah,
comparison shopping is still still love Aldi though glad it
worked out for you this time. Man, Let's introduce the
beer that we are going to enjoy during this episode.
This one is a really big bird. This one is
my Trillium Brewing sent to us by listener Sean. Thank

you so much for sending this one, plus another one
that we're gonna enjoy next week on the show. But
we will share our thoughts on this one at the
end of the episode for sure. Yeah, Trillium one of
the great American breweries, and we're excited about this one,
so thank you Sean. And uh but Matt, let's get
into it. Let's start talking about gas prices, and we
are talking about fighting back against gas price insanity because,

as anyone who has two eyes can tell, gas prices
are insane right now. And it just made me think,
like what else is just ubiquitous? Right? And like summer vacation,
summer break is kind of ubiquitous, right, Like universal truth,
anyone who had kill experience is realized, like, oh man,
I gotta start playing, I gotta start thinking about how

I keep my kids busy, how I keep them entertained
during the during the summer months. And if you don't
have kids, just when you think about summer, you're thinking
about going to the beach, taking a trip with some friends,
uh something where you are getting away from the house.
A lot of folks have been doing that this year,
So some sort of summer break basically impacts everyone. Well,
so does the price of gasoline, right and and and
it's increasing at a rate that's previously unseen, like at

a rapid clip. And so you know, even yeah, you
Tesla drivers, you're not necessarily completely immune from the reach
of five dollar a gallon gas, although ev drivers are
insulated obviously in a much bigger way from these price hikes.
I'm sure you know there's a palpable sense of relief
every time someone with an EVY plugs in there. Like
I don't even have to pay attention to the triple
A gas price meter because it's basically like popping. It's

like a thermometer where the mercury level has risen, and
it's basically like popping through the top. Right. Um, but
we're gonna talk today about you know why ASK prices
are unrelenting right now, you know where they might be headed,
and the things that you can do in an environment
of extreme paint at the pump today on the show. Yeah,
and actually so this is kind of crazy, but more
people they've been stranded on the side of the road

and they've been calling Triple A to help them because
they've run out of gas that they do not have
gas in their tank. Folks are that scared to go
to the gas station. More folks than ever are filling
their tanks up partially as compared to just topping, you know,
doing the full fill, which I totally get reminds me
of those memes where it's like men will literally do
this or that instead of going to therapy. It's like

Americas will literally rather run out of gas and be
stranded on the side of the road then go to
the gas exactly. Yeah. The average price of a gallon
of gas across the nation crossed over the five dollar
a gallon threshold as of a couple of weeks ago,
and that's not even the highest it's ever been. If
you adjust for inflation, the average price of a gallon
of gas would actually have to touch five dollars and

forty four cents in order to repeat what we experienced
back in two thousand and eight. But there's a real
chance that we do hit that depressing mark sometime the summer.
We will see what happens. But the reality is that
gas prices are clearly on the minds of most Americans
right now, because every time you fill up, you know,
your your eyes are popping out of your head as
you're seeing the final sale get closer and closer to

a hundred dollars. And honestly, some people are over that.
I'm sure, yeah, I guess because I mean, you know,
it's gas is more affordable down here in the southeast,
and so I'm sure everybody who's listening who does not
live near us are like, oh, yeah, we we crossed
over that hundred dollar fill up threshold. If you drive
a week in California, you might be pushing four. I
don't know, I could not imagine. Uh, but yeah, we

figured it's time to release a full episode that's going
to be wholly dedicated to discussing gas prices and what
it is that you can do about them. Right and
so you know, one question that might come up is, well,
why is this happening? And the truth is that a
Smorret news board of issues is really causing oil prices
to rise quickly, which equates to higher prices at the ump,
and there's just not enough drilling taking place by some

of the major companies who typically as gas prices are rising,
you would find them increasing production um to top that.
On top of that, the war in Ukraine has taken
a lot of Russian oil off the market, which is
just really compounded some of the problems in the market
when it comes to supply and demand and some of
the some of the other things I've read, Matt, the
easing lockdowns in China are just causing more people more

worldwide demand for for gas. And so it's not it
went two months without being able to drive anyway, that's right.
That's kind of basically insulated us from a little bit
of the shock, and now they're back on the roads,
and so we're all feeling it. And there's this like
cascading effect when it comes to higher gas prices, right
because this is particularly difficult for folks at the bottom
of the income spectrum who are spending more than eight

percent of their after tax income on gas right now,
that is really really painful. It's It's not just that
it costs more to fill up your your truck, your sedan,
or your many man too, right, because um, your motorcycle
or your motorcy hog. That's right. Uh, it's really extends
to so many other things besides just you at the pump,

because airfare has gone up in a big way, thanks
in parts to increase demand more people traveling, but also
because of soaring jet fuel prices. And then small businesses
they're feeling the impact of higher gas prices, which leads
to understandable price increases that they have to pass on
to their customers. You know, some some are being pressed harder. Right.
Something this impacts is some small businesses more than it

does others. So for instance, like lawn care companies, they're
jacking up their rates on average in the like twenty
two percent range. And so yeah, when your business revolves
around fossil fuels, not only to get to your customer,
but also in uh you know, the lawnmowers and stuff
that you'd use to then tend the lawns. I mean,

you can't just absorb the higher price of fuel forever.
That has to basically be passed on in the form
of higher costs, and so we're all feeling not just
at the pump, but in other places too. It's it's
influencing kind of what we're seeing overall with inflation, like
we talked about recently. Yeah, I gotta think that no,
no other small business is probably feeling it as much
as like small lang care businesses that drive around in

order to get get from house to house, and then
all the work they do is purely dependent upon small
engines that run on gasoline. Like literally, I think the
only thing that would be more affective is if you
were like a traveling gasoline salesman. Right, It's like I know,
I don't think so, it's a hypothetical, and that is
the only thing I think that would be more difficult
to sustain during these difficult times. NASCAR drivers are feeling

it too. I don't know, maybe they're sponsored the h
but we do have maybe a small glimmer of hope.
Fortunately for some of those small business owners, the I
R S they're actually stepping in with a rare mid
year change to the mileage rate. So as of July one,
the rate is going to be sixty two and a
half since per mile. So you know that means they'll

be at least some tax relief for business. This is
that drive quite a bit. That's a small silver lining
to an incredibly dark storm cloud. I know. And if
you just heard me say mileage rate, and you're saying
to yourself, I don't like what is that? I do
not know what that is. For most folks, you probably
don't have to worry about this, But if you are
a small business owner, this is the rate that the
I r S uses to determine how the amount of

expenses that you can deduct from your from your taxes
for every mile that you drive your car. Thus the
mileage rate exactly. Yeah. So for instance, back when I
was a photographer, at the end of the month, I
would pull it up literally all the miles driven because
when you travel to different shoots, it was easy for
me to determine. Okay, this month, we went to Athens, Greenville, UM,
some town in Alabama, Nashville. I guess we never went

to Nashville, but uh, chat to do again. That's that's
that's the city else Trainia thinking. But either way, you
tally all that up and you're able to reduce your
tax liability. It can be an easier way to track
your expenses associated with your you know, using your personal
car for business rather than keeping up with all the
individual expenses, for sure. So that's that's at least, you know,
some a slipper of good news when it comes to

taxation for small businesses and how much they're driving. But
let's let's quickly to Matt before. We're gonna get into
a lot of practical things in this episode, uh, a
lot of little things that you can do to kind
of roll back gas prices in your own life. And
then later in the episode we're also going to talk
about sorry I think that was not in actually but
speaking of egg chairs, Sorry about that. It's coming full circle.

But later in the episode two, we're gonna talk about
what whether or not you should ditch your current car
if it is kind of a gas hog, right and
you want to turn and traded in for a fuel
sipper kind of like you know, you reference dumb and
Dumb or Matt when he when he trades in the
van for the scooter that gets like a hundred miles
of the gallon or whatever. I mean that that's the
kind of thing that more and more people are considering.
We'll talk about maybe the dynamics of that choice in

a little bit too. But you know, rising energy prices
they might make you kind of want to abandon fossil
fuels altogether, which I get, Like it's frustrating. It's a
frustrating environment to live in right now, and and but
throwing in the towel on your gas scuzzling automobile trade
to get in for let's say, an a lectric vehicle
because the pain is just too great. You know, I
can feel like the right thing to do, But I

guess the question is that a good idea? And that
just really depends on a number of factors. Like, like like
I said that we're gonna get to but it's important
to note that even though gas prices are through the
roof and energy prices in general are kind of tough
the stomach right now, fossil fuels still have done a
lot of good for us as a species. And you know,
I'm glad that there's like a legitimate focus on solar

and wind power. I hope that continues. Like I have
looked into getting solar panels on the roof of my
new house. Any any progress there not? Well, I I
did quote came back higher than I hoped it would.
I thought it was gonna be a little less. But
still I see that as something that I'm interested in
doing in the future. And it does seem like there's
a renewed focus on nuclear power as a cheap source

of energy going forward, which I think is a great thing,
and I think it's something that we have not talked
about enough in recent decades. But fossil fuels really have
helped create a more of the world for all of us,
and so sometimes they get the brunt of our anger,
especially you know, in a time when energy prices are painful.
But really, when you think about where we'd be without

fossil fuels, in a lot of ways, um, we'd probably
still be living in huts, I guess, no, I totally agree.
We we are much better off because of the discovery
of oil and what it is that we can do
with oil. I mean, like literally all plastics are made
from from oil, from crude crude oil, and like a
lot of fabrics as well. Like I mean, obviously cotton
is nice, we both have them, cotton T shirts, I

guess right now, But like polyester, nylon, spandex, these are
all fabrics that are made from. As I get older,
as I have more eyebrows, trimming that needs to be done,
I see to be drawn into the sand. And so
I mean, I'm not trying, I'm not like, uh, like
an this episode brought to you by Excellent Mobile. Now
that like that is not we're what we're doing or

we're not trying to be apologists for oil, but it
is worth mentioning the progress that that it has brought us.
I do think we probably to consume less, right, Like
we have all of the all of these nice things,
and are we saying that, like cool, we've got all
these things, let's do as much of it as we
possibly can't know? And I think that's oftentimes where it
comes down to us as individuals to not only save

money by trying to save less, but thinking about the
other additional impacts that it has on our planet as well.
But I mean, yeah, hopefully fossil fuels do eventually become
a relative history, right kind of like the dinosaurs. Yeah,
but like it's going to take a long time for
that to happen. So while this is it's not you know,
this isn't necessarily balm for the wound of your higher

gas bills right now, but taking a step back to
to realize just how incredible it is that most of
us can still fill up our cars and get where
we need to. That's still kind of an amazing thing
from a historical perspective. But enough about the past, enough
about the future. Let's talk about what you can do
in the present to save money. There's there's nothing that
you can do to lower the price at the pump,

but that doesn't mean you don't have other options in
order to save and we'll actually discuss all of those
different options right after this break. All right, Matt, we
are back from the brace. Let's keep talking about gas prices.

And so I guess like one thing that people could
do is take big barrels and stick them in their
trunk and fill up at today's gasoline gasoline prices in
and in store them maybe in their garage, yeah, hoping
that as gasoline prices rise they make out like a bandit.
That is, there's not one of our tips put it
in grocery bag or trash bags in the back of
your what we think we talk about that there was

like a video or somethings that last year. I think so,
and it was yet pretty rough to watch. No, do
not do that. That's like a hazard to your wallet
and to like, I don't know your your life, so
you don't start stocking up and keeping it on hand
at home. But you know, gas prices, they're clearly now
becoming a bigger line at them and basically all of
our budgets. And that means that people are either choosing

to not change their habits and they're just spending more
of their disposal income on the cost of transportation, you know,
potentially even spending their way into death. Or the other
option really is that folks are cutting back on their
driving in order to try to keep that in line
in their budget, to try to hold fast. Um, you know,
some folks t having to cut back in other places. Right,
you might be delaying a major purchase or changing summer

plans to compensate for this meteoric rise that we're seeing
in gas prices happening just all around us. And then uh,
there was a stat maybe we won't do the cross
country drive, right, let's take two and a half weeks,
let's just go as a grandma like thirty minutes away instead.
And so, yeah, people are having to make those legit
hard trade offs, and there was a stat I saw
a ten percent rise in gas prices. It usually leads

to declines in usage of around two to three and
so most people are having to absorb, like, yeah, they're
changing the way they drive a little bit, but it's not.
It's still impacting them negatively because they're spending more money
overall on gas. And so we would say something's got
to give somewhere, right, So we wanted to mention some
practical ways to curb gas youtuge in your life. We've

got like a big list, so let's start going through it. Yeah,
that's sort of like a game plan, and we're gonna
kind of run through these from easiest to hardest. And
it's worth mentioning that the easiest ways probably aren't going
to save you the most money, right, But they're also
things that everybody can do and it's not going to
require you to completely change the way that you live.
So the first thing we want to recommend is for

you to to use the right apps. Everybody. No, I
mean I think everybody out there knows about the gas
Buddy app. If you don't, head to gas buddy dot com.
But the gap in prices between gas stations can be
abnormally large, especially as prices are rising quickly. Uh So
actually using the app can save you quite a bit.
Uh We're we're still not in favor of you driving

across town where you would waste time and gas in
order to to save a few cents. But if you
can plan your phillips a bit more strategically, it's gonna
help you to tamp down the rise of gas prices
in your life. And there's a big different stood between uh,
knowing that this app exists and actually using it. I
feel like I'm oftentimes maybe the worst coulport at knowing

something exists and having a head knowledge of something versus
remembering it in the moment. And so, like the most
recent example of this, we're driving back from the beach
a few weeks ago, and from the interstate, I'm looking,
you know, I'm watching the price of gas up on
the big signs that you can see, and I'm kind
of like, all right, this one's a little bit less affordable,
this one's a little bit better up here. And then

I realized, oh, like the gas Buddy app. It's had
Kate pulling up on the you know, on the phone
and we happened to be driving through Augusta, Georgia at
that point, and there's a Costco there just off of
the interstate Boom. Thirty cents a gallon. I think it
was actually a little over thirty cents a gallon. Granted
you do the math on that on a twenty gallon tank,
you're still only like we're really talking about six seven bucks,

But even still, all of those phillips add up, right,
and that's money I would rather put towards an expensive
egg chair from Walmart then just you know, sending it
to the the big oil basically. Yeah, no, I agree,
And that's one of those things where, yeah, just flipping
that up saving six or seven bucks if it's still
on your route, But remembering to do that, I think
is the big thing because like again, I think a

lot of flags have heard of it, but how often
have you used that app? Maybe it's just moving it
to your home screen so it's there as a reminder.
Uh upside, that's another gas app that I have played
around with a little bit, but I feel like they've
kind of gamified it a little bit more where different
gas stations in your area have uh they've got different
offers that you can claim, and so when you claim
that offer, you fill up there, you take a picture
of your receipt and then you earn cash back. And

so that's another one worth looking into if you are
looking to gamify it a little bit. There you go,
and I think where you fill up, Matt is key
like kind of like we talked about shopping it all
the typically you're gonna pay the lowest price on groceries
at least overall for your bill. Well, the same is
true when you we're talking about the warehouse clubs and
filling up on gas there. So if you're if you're
getting it, let's say at Costco or Sam's Club, if

you remember there, typically you are going to say something
like twenty thirty cents a gown like that's like what
you just described is not abnormal. Yeah, it's actually normal
for warehouse club members. And so that's why there's usually
such a long line on the side of the Costco
gas station. But on top of that, oh man, what sorry,
I don't want interact. Well, you're good, I was just
gonna talk about Costco. So before you move on, So
you stopped at the BUCkies on the way back from

the beach, and I just remember this because we drove
past the literal miles of traffic. Please tell me you
didn't wait in line. No, no, we didn't have a line, dude,
I'm not even kid. It was like a grand opening too.
By the way, it was like barely just like there's
flags everywhere and stuff like that. I don't know. Maybe
the word it on line to get in, dude, like
not just a line to get in. I thought it
was a line to get on the interstate. And I

am not kidding when I said that. We passed literally
at least two miles of traffic hole in the right lane,
and I was thinking, oh my gosh, all of these
folks are trying to get on the interstate. What is
going on up here? Well, yeah, I mean yeah, y'all
left a couple of days before we did. We were
there on a Saturday, so there you go. But literally,
I was I was planning to drive past the exit
and get on the take the on ramp, take, you know,

make a you turn a little bit further down and
come back the other way. But as we got closer,
it was people trying to get into Bucky's Nobody was
getting on the getting on the interstate. I could not
believe it. If you've never heard of Bucky's, it's basically
like it's essential America. It's like a theme park mixed
with like the best buy in a gas station, like
all mashed up. It's ridiculous, and you can buy Bucky's

gear and there's a wall of beef turkey. It's uh.
I don't know if it's good or a bad thing,
but it exists. Bucky's mascot is a beaver, so that
you can get beaver stuff, yes, if you're so inclined.
So so now you know about Bucky's, which tend to
be in the southeast. Yeah, I don't are they out
west or anything like? No. I think they started in
Texas maybe, but they're in Florida, Georgia one of the Yeah,

well yeah, if you if you spot one, it's more
of a novelty thing. Um but but don't wait hours.
I mean literally, it was. It was like the equivalent
of a six Flags line or something like that. It's
not that it was insane, it's fine, it's not that great. Well,
let's talk about credit cards map for a second, because
they're using the right credit card, Bucky's credit card, M
probably probably, although I will say the one good thing
about BUCkies they pay their people really well and they

have good benefits for one k stuff like that kind
of random, but they really take it to their employees,
and I think that's a sign of a good business.
So I will say I appreciate BUCkies for that. But
on the credit cards, the right credit card, using the
right one can be helpful to UM and it can
save you a decent chunk when you're paying at the pump.
And so you know, the warehouse clubs where where you

go to fill up matters, but then also the credit
card you use, for instance, at the Costco City Credit Card,
it's it's a solid choice if you're a Costco member.
They offer four percent cash back on gas purchases. The
Sam's Club one is even better at five percent if
you're remember there. But outside of the wholesale clubs, the
best option for most folks to fill up is to
use the City Custom Cash Card, which offers five percent

cash back on any one category each month max spend
five hundred bucks in order to get that five percent.
Gas stations are one of those qualifying categories, right, so
it is well worth. Yeah, if if you can't find
a specific gas car or you're not a Warehouse club member,
the City custom cash card is the best one probably
to use. What will link to those are the show notes,
but literally just a piece of plastic that you choose

to use when you're filling up. It provides like a
little nice cash back discount and really, right now, Matt,
like when you combine all these factors, like every little
thing helps going somewhere cheaper, using the right credit card,
everything helps to kind of mitigate some of the price
prizes that we're seeing. Yeah, so far we're up to
like getting gas at off between between like the cash bat,
you know, using the right app or getting it thirty

cents cheaper for a gallant or putting it on a
credit card. It all adds up. So the next recommendation
we have is gonna be for you to bike more
and drive less. Come on, if you've listened to the
show for for any amount of time, you knew that
we're gonna say this, But a huge percentage of our
daily car usage is gonna be on trips that are

between one and three miles. Eight percent of all car
trips are less than three miles long. That is totally
biking distance right there. So we would recommend for you
to dust off your bike if you haven't used it
in a couple of years. Talk of those tires, all
that chain. But every time you opt to use leg power,
not only are you getting some exercise, you are saving
yourself legit amounts of money. Uh. I mean, not only

is it good for like your body from an exercise standpoint,
it's good for your your mind right from a stress
stressful standpoint. It's better for the earth, uh spen if
for your neighborhood, the fact that you can ride by
your neighbors and like wave to them and talk to
them rather than floor it. You know, I'm like rather
than like coal dust exactly. So biking is definitely something
that we are huge fans of and would love to

see you incorporate more into your life as well. Yeah,
I know, anyone who's been listening to how the Money
for two D plus episodes is like, we get it. Guys.
You like bikes and you talk about its frequently, but
it is one of those things that's just not enough
people do. And when gas prices at some point, there's
a breaking point, right and when gas prices are at
five plus dollars a gallon, if you live in California
and you're spending six dollars and seventy cents a gallon,

at some point you have to say this is ludicrous
and I have to make a change in the way
I live in order to combat rising prices in my life.
And one of the easiest ways you can kind of
take that back is to at least at least on
some of these smaller trips that make up, like you said,
fIF of our car drips, like hop on the bike instead,
and that is it sounds insignificant, but I promise it's
not insignificant. And and just going to to all the

on your bike and loading up a couple of grocery
bags you know, in the basket on the front, like
it's it makes a difference, and it contributes to your savings.
Um that that you're gonna incur. Absolutely, Yes, another sort
of civil tip, you know, Like I don't want to
sound patronizing here, but the way that you drive, like
when you do drive, that's going to obviously impact the
fuel economy of your car. I said at the beginning
here that we're going to kind of start with the

easiest and kind of work our way towards like maybe
the harder things that you can do. We we we probably
should have started with this one first, because this is
by far the easiest tip. I don't know, it's difficult,
it's different. Maybe it's to not be a lead foot,
but like you know, like if your car, if it
has an eco mode button, like keep it on. If
you're prone to accelerating off the line quickly as soon
as the light turns green, cut that out. If you eat,

if you like to go twenty miles over on the interstate,
that's something slow down. Because all of these little changes
can add up to increased fuel economy. It can lead
to you spending less money on gas, and not just
on gas as well. But just think about all of
the ripple effects by being uh by by driving slower, right,
you're gonna spend less money on breaks because you're not
having to slam on the brakes because you're going too

fast and the light trended yellow and you think, okay,
if I keep going, I'm gonna run a red light,
and so you have to slam on the brakes, right, Uh,
If you're not flying around corners, your tires are gonna
last longer. Uh, and that's a pretty big expense as well.
Not to mention, if you're going too fast, you're always
like you're gonna run the risk of getting a speeding ticket.
Those are not cheap, they're they're crazy expensive. Not to mention,

if you're going too fast and you aren't able to
stop or you're not paying attention, you could end up
hitting another vehicle. And the financial impact of getting in
a wreck is definitely going to outweigh giving your miles
break down, giving your fuel economy a little bit of
a boost. Right, let's keep going. Let's just talk about
another one that that it's actually pretty easy, even though
it's a little bit further down. Like all of these

things are pretty easy. They're not so far nothing terribly difficult, right,
And so something you should consider is wrapping your car.
And I mean that like putting an advertisement on your car, right, Um,
And this one is kind of goofy, but but I
would tell people not to laugh it off because wrapping
your car with a legitimate company, which by the way,
is easier said than done, can provide some income that

will directly help offset what you're spending on gas. And
Rapidfy and Carver Ties are the only two legitimate companies
that I know of in this space. Linked to both
of them in the show notes. But this is one
though that you can speak to personally because I have
actually wrapped my car and it was a Salesforce ad
campaign that was on my niece on Leaf when I

owned it. Quite professional, I will say, very very professionally.
I got a lot of questions about it, like hopping
out at the grocery store or whatever, people are like, oh,
you work for a Salesforce. So I'm like, I'm just
a cheap dude who got his car wrapped, and they're like,
oh god, you you're weird. What a weirdo. But you know,
I made a few hundred dollars and it's one of
those things where I didn't even drive that much. But
there are a lot of people who could make more

depending on their driving patterns. You can make hundreds of
dollars a month for turning your car basically into a
rolling advertisement. So it really could provide some legitimate passive
income that would come in handy for lots of folks
right now, Matt turning every mile they drive from a
frightening expense into something that's actually kind of generating income.
You're turning the tables on on what it costs to

fill up gas right now, and so I like it
in that way. It's sort of the car smart. It's
sort of like house hacking, right, It's like you're it's
a it's a judo move. It's this sort of trick
where it's like, oh, this used to cost me money,
now I'm making money turning the tables. I like it.
And I know that something like eighty percent of how
to Money listeners are like, okay, cool, Yeah, I'm not
that frugal, but I have of the folks out there
we're like, oh yeah, I can do that. Incredible, or

at least twenty percent of the folks maybe who are thinking,
all right, let me look into that a little bit more.
And the reason we're kind of running through all these things,
especially now as we kind of get into maybe some
of the more difficult ones, is we wants you to
consider all of these things, like all factors should be
on the table, not just now because gas prices are
at all time highs, but because we want you to
save more money, we want you to spend the less

so that you can invest and save more. Uh. And
one of the ways that you can do that as well, Joel,
is by working from home as much as possible, because
you know, like what was normal to avoid spreading the
virus back in the day is looking more attractive for
other reasons right now, namely gloring your gasoline bill. Uh.
And so, depending on your job, depending on your commute,
exorbitant gas prices could be the perfect reason to ask

your boss for more flexibility. As returning to the office
is gaining steam these days. We've we've previously highlighted the
financial and the career benefits to returning to the office,
and like, we still believe that that's true, but that
doesn't necessarily mean that you need to be there every
single day of the week. You know, you don't need
to be there five days a week. UH. It's gonna
come down to you striking that balance between trying to

save some money by working from home, but also showing
up in person to make sure that you are able
to advance at work and within your career. UH. This
is sort of one of those instances where you don't
want to go from one extreme to the other, right,
because if you were to go to the other extreme
and say I'm never going to go into the office
again because I don't want to spend any more money
on gas. Well, I would say that you're probably being cheap,

not frugal in that instance, because you might be foregoing,
you might be passing up like rates. Perhaps. Yeah, if
you're out of sight, you're out of mind oftentimes, especially
if you're earlier on in your career, and so you
don't want to do that. But higher gas prices might
be the perfect reason to ask your boss if you
can work from home three days a week, even though
they're calling for people to return four or five days
a week. And even if your video it's not an excuse.

I think it's a legitimate concern and your boss is
actually gonna understand that concern when you ask absolutely yeah,
and you said out of sight, out of mind, you know,
just that little two dimensional representation with your face on
the screen, it doesn't count as much. You're like, you
don't have those soft touches, those interactions that you have
within an office environment. And so we want folks to
keep some of those factors that are more difficult to quantify.

We want you to keep those in minds as well.
People want to see your winning smile and it does.
It translates into more money over time. I think, you know,
moving up in your career more quickly. And Matt, let's
talk about another thing you can. We would say reduce
your commute, you know, because if you can't work from
home than attempting to live closer to wherever you work,
we would say that's worth considering. And again, these are
going easy too hard. This is a more difficult thing

to pull off. It's more of a long term consideration.
But this is something that you really can change over time.
And I know that we've we've normalized long commutes in
this country, especially in some of the larger metropolitan areas,
but that doesn't mean that how the money listeners have
to throw in the towel, admit defeat and accept the
idea that spending one and a half hours or two

hours in your car each day and going to and
from work that that is normal. It doesn't have to
be and it shouldn't be normal, and we don't want
you to accept it like that. Um, you can and
you should work to avoid the hell that is commuting
from multiple hours every day. And so Matt, I don't
know if you remember this, but more than four years
ago we recorded an episode. It was episode twenty and
it was called why You're commute is Killing You Listen

to the older how do Money episodes at your own risk.
But still that's something we we felt passionately about that
from the get go, and we still feel that way
that spending much time on your commute is bad for
your finances, it's bad for your personal health, it's bad
for the environment, it's bad for everything. And so we
want you to shorten your commute, live closer to where
you work, and so, yeah, producing your commute is more
of a long play, but it's still a really smart one,

that's right. What other tip on that front would be
to carpool because if your commute is set in stone,
if it's an immovable could you potentially ride with a
coworker and split the driving duties. This is going to
reduce your gas costs and it's going to reduce the
overall stress in your life if your coworkers really awful
and a terrible driver or a terrible person. You know, also,

I wanted to mention mass trains it that's another option
as well, But you know, maybe taking the bus or
taking the limited rail or subway options that your city
might offer. That might be something that you have never considered,
but you might be thinking now, you know what, it
might only take me an extra fifteen minutes. In that
entire time, I could be reading, or you know, pull
up the laptop, get a little bit of work done.
Or you could continue to just listen to our listen

to my favorite person off podcast. It's a perfect thing
to do on that bust, download the Libby app, listen
to a good audiobook that consider that as well. But
you know, gas prices are so dang high right now.
Folks are considering even bigger changes, like maybe selling their car,
opting for more of a fuel sipper. And the question
is that smart? That's something we're gonna answer. We'll discuss

that right after this break. All right, we are back
from the break. We're still talking about gas prices. They're
obviously so hot right now in a bad way, and
most of us are are freaking out at least a
little bit. And Matt, you you just talked about car pooling.

I did that with a coworker for quite a while,
and I will say it is actually pretty nice and
you know, it's it's not the most convenient thing, But
sacrificing a little bit of convenience for massive savings was
it worth worthy trade off? I think in my mind
and hopefully it is in the minds of how the
money listener, and you're doing the back when gastles like
a dollar eighty or two, like like on a expensive,

expensive year, that's right, it was. You would definitely be
doing it today. Yeah. Well, and I gotta say one
of the thing about car pooling is there were state
incentives to to car pool, and so we actually got
paid from the Georgia Clean Air Campaign or something like
that a little bit to car pool, like if you
can do it a certain number of days in a
certain amount of months, they're like here, here's seventy five bucks,
or here's a gift card to at least pace for

breakfast once a month. Where you're really like, hey, it's
just like an extra minor incentive that like it helps
helps you follow through. So all right, well, let's talk
about maybe like the biggest possible change you can make
in order to save up on gas prices, which it's
kind of like the nuclear option when gas prices just
like get too high. It's like, well, should I get

a different car altogether? Should I sell my car and
get something that is more fuel efficient? Man, screw this,
I'm getting a N E V. Well, you know, here's
the thing. We want you to make the decision not
just because fuel prices are sky high in the moment,
that's right, but also because you're looking to slim down
your monthly budget regardless and moving forward. And so yeah,
changing cars is smart, but but only if when gas

prices resume to some sort of normalcy. You're not gonna
end up wasting money because of it. Right, It's crucial
to not make an emotional decision and to really think
about your overall car usage, because yeah, you might be
cringing right now with every single fill up, but you
you might only be filling up, let's say once a month,
because you're not much of a driver. And so if
that's the case, sounds like us, Yeah, like me, It's like,

there's no reason to make any sort of change. So
we are not selling our van, Yeah, how we're keeping ours,
And so switching switching vehicles to save on gas is
for a lot of people, it's actually shortsighted and it
could end up costing you more because gas, of course
isn't the only cost, nor is it even the main
cost in owning a car. And it feels like that
right now. It feels like gas is is the major

burden of outing a car, of owning a vehicle, but really, uh,
there are other, more important, more dramatic costs involved. Then
we don't feel quite as viscerally, but they're still taking place.
That's right. Yeah, the main cost of voting a car
is depreciation. But the cost of gas, it is so visceral,
it's it's it's so tangible, like the there are no
other expenses where we are just bombarded with that information.

When we just drive down the street, whether we're going
to the store, whether we're going to work, whether whether
we're you know, biking or driving to a friend's house,
you always see the price of gasoline. And so there's
this argument out there that gasoline just gets this unfair attention,
the spotlight put on it, and because of that, we
tend to be maybe uber sensitive to the price of
gasoline when maybe yeah, like you said, we are putting

too much emotional stock, we are awaiting the price of gasoline,
maybe too much in our lives. There's no billboard saying
that I passed every single day that says, Joel, your
car depreciated by dollars yesterday, appreciate this coming year. That's
not so thing. We see. We don't get an email
or something with updates of how little our car is
worth now. But maybe we should somebody should start that project.

If you have to feel that a little more about website,
I think that would be a good thing. Yeah, in particular,
buying a new car like that's going to hit you
in the wallet immediately when you drive, you know, drive
it off the lot. And we're not completely against you
buying a new car, but it's not something that we
recommend often. If you have the cash to be able
to pay for it, uh, and that car is gonna
fit into your lifestyle, not just now but for the

next ten years, like for the next decade, it might
be worth considering. But don't let that gas price tail
wag the buying a new car dog, right, Uh. Swapping
your used car for another similarly priced use car that
offers better fuel economy or you know, or that takes
you into the e V sphere, that is often going
to be a better way to go. Yeah, I think

people often use well, gas prices are crazy, and I'm
training in this thing. It gets fifteen miles to the
gallon or something that gets thirty miles to the gallon,
it's a no brainer for me to get into a
new car. And that's really just a way to make
yourself feel better about making a poor decision to buy
a much more expensive, nicer car. And so that's what
we want you to avoid trading and something that's that
works perfectly great and and suit your needs just fine

for something that's gonna actually cost you more than a
long And that's why I bought this Jaguar exactly. Like,
come on, man, Like, that's not why you bought that Jaguar.
You bought it because you wanted those sweet leather seats
in the new bows sound system or what else. I
don't I don't know why anybody buys the Jaguar. Yeah,
that's a good question. I've never considered it. Well, And
and like, we definitely don't want people Matt buying a
new car, most people buying a new car, But more

than that, we don't want people buying another car, whether
it's new or used. Right, if it means adding an
additional car into your life, then that's a problem, and
that's actually something that's going to cost you more no
matter what in the long run. And so you know,
more households, according to statistics, now have three plus cars
in the driveway than ever before. Something like of households
have at least three vehicles. We hate seeing that because, yeah,

you've got to ensure the additional ride. That's not cheap either,
you've got another car that's depreciating in value, so it's
actually yet eating into your overall net worth. Gas, like
we said, is not the only expense that you need
to think about when you're adding another car into your life.
You know, there are other costs that are crucial to
consider before you go out there. And let's say get
a used Prius to add to your fleet, hoping that

it's going to help ease the pain at the pump
your feeling. This is one of those things where we
would say, actually want your own fewer cars. And so
if you can go down to being a one car family,
that's something we would applaud, you know. And and if
you're holding fast at two but you're thinking about three, man,
stay strong at too, because every single additional vehicle you
add into your life. Even if it is more economical

when it comes to a gas usage, it's still going
to be worse from an overall dollars and cent standpoint. Actually,
So on that note, we're about to be out there
in the burbs, uh, and we are both one car families.
Do you think that that y'all will be able to
maintain the one one car family status? Right? So are
we've in one car a one car family for like
fifteen years now, You've been one car family for a

number of years now. But it'll be very interesting to
see if we're able to maintain those bragging rights. I hope.
So that's my goal, is my goal? Yeah? For sure.
I don't want to buy another vehicle. Yeah, I mean, yeah, no,
I don't either. And I can see myself getting like
maybe like a roadbike because I could see myself having
to maybe spend more time on roads where I'm wanting
to get from point A to point be faster but

under the but you know, using the power of my thighs. Uh,
not necessarily those fossil fuels. Yeah. No, I'm with you.
And it's one of the things that we've thought about
and We've intentionally tried to design where we live and
the institutions that were part of whether it's schools like preschools,
like when it comes to where our office located, all
that stuff, like everything is within uh you know, a

stone strow a bike ride where it will be located.
We're not there yet, but I am I'm actually looking
forward to kind of I don't know, taking folks on
a little tour announcing the new office, because folks are
familiar with where we are recording this episode right now,
but things will be changing here in the next week.
So if you don't follow us on Instagram and how
the Money Pod, what are you doing with your life us?
We will do a tour soon of our new digs.

We're pretty excited about. It's um a garage apartment in
just an adorable little spot. So, uh yeah, you just
take a look at the new Hat of Money studio soon. Well,
um yeah, Matt, let's let's keep talking about change, changing
up and getting a different car because you know, we
talked about electric vehicles a little, but they're obviously looking
way more attractive than they were even just a couple
of years ago. And if somebody is like, oh, Man,

I'm so jealous of my neighbor's Tesla two years ago.
They're even more jealous. They're like green within me now
and they want to steal it in the middle of
the night because they're so tired of paying ridiculously I
guess prices. They're envious now of the Nissan Leaf that
their neighbor had in that and they're like, oh, it's
so hot right now. That looked ugly, but now I'm
into it. All of a sudden, it's become much more attractive.
That's right. And Bloomberg actually recently it came up with

an article and it said that that we're actually at
peak internal combustion engine output in two From here on out,
they've said evs are going to gain steam. I don't
even more rapid clip and and I don't know, Matt,
that that sounds about right to me. When you look
at the projections of the bigger car companies of the
way forward has been releasing more electric vehicles. All of

the major car players are finally starting to catch up
with Tesla and they're releasing some of Some of these
manufacturers are releasing their first electric vehicles this year, like
Toyota and Subaru and so at the same time, electric
vehicles are making more financial sense as gas prices rise,
and so you and I we already especially me already
had like a soft spot for electric vehicles because of

the total cost of ownership factor, because they're basically glorified
golf carts with fewer moving parts. The lack of maintenance
and repair costs, combined with the fuel savings, it really
means that evs are gonna pay off handsomely for a
lot of folks within just a handful of years. So, yeah,
evs make a lot of sense for a lot of people.
They're like golf cards with their bags zero to sixty

and sometimes like four seconds seconds. But electric vehicles like,
they're not They're not easy to get right now. That
like that's the the big problem. Uh, and a lot
of like like most new evs are are still quite expensive.
Forwards Electric Lightning f one fifty, it was priced just
right with a base model uh costing less than forty
tho dollars, which is unreal. That truck in particular actually

would save some folks quite a bit of gas money
in the coming years. Um, and so it would be
a no brainer for some of those folks who need
a truck for their job. But it's sold out everywhere.
It's it's likely going to be sold out for years
to come. Yeah, if I was going to get a
new car when we move, Matt, that would have been
the one I wanted. That's when you're kind off. It
wasn't really the fact that you're thinking about, because it's
like it's like a pretty it's almost ribbon esque in
in how cool it is. It's not quite that cool,

but it's way way cheaper, much more affordable. Yeah, I
know you're you're bummed about that, But one thing worth
noting is Chevy they actually decrease the price of the
new Chevy Bolt by Sadly it doesn't qualify for the
federal tax credit, but a base model Bolt costs less
than twenty seven thousand dollars. Uh. And that's better than
that's better than the price that you're gonna pay for

like most other used EV models. You're gonna get that
that fresh bolt battery at charging capacity when you get
that thing. Yeah, so maybe a bolt makes sense for you.
Let's say, if you're like really really in on the
e B train and it's and specifically Matt if you're
a particularly heavy driver, because every additional mile you drive

over the average makes you a more qualified candidate to
switch up to an EV. And so, like the the
Kia has one called the e V six, which is
another electric vehicle worth taking a look at. Have you
looked at the pictures of that thing? Look awesome? It
looks so sweet. It looks really cooler than a bolt.
Like I would be more than willing to pay a
little bit more money in order to get something that
basically goes from looking like a bolt something that looks

like like it's very Tesla esque. It's like a mash
up between Tesla and like the like the Kia. They
tell you ride like the suv. Whatever it kind of has,
like that big back or whatever looks super cool. It
does it does. And well, the good thing is this,
this car still does qualify for the federal tax spread,
and so you can get it in the dirty three
thousand dollar range, which is still below the average price

for a new car, not too shabby. And so yeah,
the thing is, though, there's a lot to consider before
you just knee jerk buy a new electric vehicle. You're like, great,
gas prices are terrible I'm making the plunge. Sign me a. Yeah,
we talked about the trade offs of e V ownership
back in episode one seventy one. We'd encourage you to
go take that to take a listen to that, but
also just kind of run the numbers. And if you're

let's say you're driving a car that's worth four or
five thousand dollars and it's still in good condition and
it's a Corolla that gets thirty miles to the gallon,
you're not doing too bad when it comes to the
car game. And so unless you absolutely need a new car,
we wouldn't necessarily encourage you to go in the EV
direction to give up a well maintained, nicely running, five
thousand dollar car in order to purchase a thirty three

thousand dollar car just to save money on fuel. But
you know, for a lot of people, upgrading to a
new e V it makes more sense at least than
upgrading to a new internal combustion engine vehicle. Yeah, that's right.
And you know you mentioned how buying a new vehicle,
how that's kind of the new clear option. But I
think I've got one more that's gonna it's gonna trump.
It's gonna be even more of a nuclear option, and

that is moving because aside from how close you live
to your your place of employment, the state where you
live matters. Because here in Georgia we are lucky enough
to have some of the best prices in the entire country.
Think we're literally lasting gas. I think we're the most affordable,
partly because the gas tax is currently ti. Yeah, our
governor has temporarily suspended the state gas tax and so

that's led to slightly less shock when we fill up.
But we talked about the cost of living back on
our episode when we talked about us moving and how
it's something you should at least be considering. And granted,
you know, hopefully we won't see gasoline prices at all
time highs forever, but if fuel costs are a large
part of your budget, or if you happen, you know,
to run a business where you are a traveling gasoline

salesman and gasoline prices spy a large role, then you
might consider it a bit more than the average person.
We we don't want you to move solely because of
gas price is, of course, but it can be one
of the many factors that you are weighing in your
mind as you are thinking about a potential move. That's
right if you live in one of those higher costs
of looming areas and you're like, man, rent has gone

up in a big way, like in an outsized way
compared to a lot of other parts of the country,
and gas prices are shocking and taxes are repulsive, and
there's like literally that this is just one of a
number of things on on your list. And you can
work from anywhere, or you can find another job that
pays just as well or as maybe even more interesting
in another part of country, say Georgia, it's a lovely
state to live. Um, if you've got a food truck

and you're right now, you're out in California and you're like,
I'm trying to go next, where could I go? Could
we interest you in the city of Atlanta. Yeah, we
would welcome to your food truck. And and and so, Matt,
I appreciate the p s A for folks to come
join us here. Public service announcement. Yes, so I think
it's definitely worth considering. It's one of those things that
again it is, uh, those two things changing the car

you drive or moving to a completely different state are
harder things to pull off, um, but they're at least
worth having on your list. They're worth considering. And and
there are, fortunately, like we've talked about, things that you
can do to ease the pain of high gas prices
in your life, there are things that you can do.
Now you have at least some amount of control over
the price of gas and how that influences your your

monthly budget, and and lots of the little things that
we talked about can actually add up to meaningful savings.
I think each one of those things on its own
feels insignificant, but when you put them together, they become powerful.
And so making a bigger switcher or to a different car,
or even upgrading through an electric vehicle it could make
financial sense for some folks. But again, we want you

to run the numbers before you make an emotional decision.
And you know, signing yourself up for years of car
payments in order to avoid going to the gas station.
Ever in the future, it could result in worse overall
financial pain for you in the long term. That is
what we don't want for you. We want you to
say them on gas, but we don't want you to
cut your nose off. Despite your face, because that's to say,

a few bucks of the P right, that's not gonna
be worth it, and we'll lead to more tears in
the end. Absolutely, all right, man, let's end this episode.
Will not fully end it. Let's get to the beer
where you and I enjoyed a really Big Bird. This
is a double I p A by Trillium Brewing, and man,
this is a world class double I p A. This
is so good, just a classic New England style I

p A. And I will say, just the depth of
flavor that they were able to just cram into this
beer like it made me. It reminded me of meat, right,
because as you're eating meat, it's got that ou mom
a Right, it's got this depth of flavor that you
can't really put your finger on. It's not sweet, it's
not salty. Uh, it's this depth of flavor. It adds
like this additional dimension. And I feel like that that

is exactly what they were able to do with with
this beer. Uh. Evidently they've got a standard, not a standard.
It's still a fantastic I p A. But that's called
Big Bird. And so this is really big Bird. And
so they just punched up Big Bird even more they
somehow included even more hot flavor. But what, yeah, what
were your thoughts on this beer? Man? I thought this
one was bold and aggressive but also dialed in and

so it's kind of like didn't feel out of control,
like a restrained use of power, but it's perfectly honed
into being just like a top notch double I p A.
This is and I expect no less from Trillion'm like,
these guys really have been making some of the best
beers in the country and and you know, and that
that's in the Northeast where it seems like most of
the best breweries are like especially when it comes to

the I p as like this, oh yeah, this style,
and they are one of the top producers of killer
I p A s. So big thanks to listener Sean
for sending this one way. We really appreciate it. Man,
always a joy to get to have some trillium. We
will link to some of the different resources we mentioned
in our show notes. You can find that up on
the website at how the Money dot com and Joel,

that's gonna be buddy. Until next time, Best friends out,
best Friends out. The number
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