Gas prices forcing lifestyle changes

June 27, 2008 4:06:44 PM PDT
"Absolutely! I'm a student. Getting downtown can be difficult, so we carpool more, " says Christa Arkbaurer of Toledo, Ohio. "With the price of gas what it is, no one really wants to drive."

And she is not alone. A Consumer Report survey says three-quarters of us are now driving less. Half of us are scaling back vacation plans. The Fourth of July is just a week away.

Bob Morby of Phoenixville is among those changing plans. "We usually go to the shore. Not this year. We'll stay put."

Six out of ten drivers say they are taking money they used to spend on entertainment and dining out and putting it in their gas tank.

"I usually fill up," says Belinda Wilson of West Philadelphia. "Now I get less for the same amount of money in gas."

Earl Larue is coping by working longer hours. "As an electrician, I just got work all over the place. It means more overtime."

While the surge in gasoline prices has slowed this last week, more trouble could be in the pipeline as crude oil prices hit new records.

Mid-Atlantic AAA's Ed Voluck says "73 percent of the cost of gasoline comes from the price of crude oil. How much additional that means at the pump remains to be seen."

Four dollar gas is changing how we behave, at least for most of us.

"It hasn't changed the way I behave," says Gail Newman of Bethesda, Maryland. "I just worry more. I just read by 2010, gas is going to be $7 a gallon."