5 Ways to Save Money at Amusement Parks

amusement park savingsRecently, I went on a trip to a major amusement park here in the Midwest (Six Flags Great America). It was just my youngest child and I, taking a 1:1 day at the park just like I did a few years back with my oldest. I recall going to this same park with my parents when younger, so it has some extra meaning to me even though I don’t’ visit often.

We had fun, and it was a great day. The temperature was quite cool for a summer day, at about 68 degrees for a high. At night, it got a bit chilly, actually! However, it was refreshing and actually ended up being great weather to spend a day at the park.

In terms of spending money, I think I did a good job in some areas, and a poor job in others. An example of the latter is my purchase of a snack early in the afternoon. I got a bit hungry, and bought a pretzel with a topping. Yes, I know that isn’t exactly grown-up food – but it’s okay to be a kid once a while, especially when spending the day with one! Anyway, I ordered without checking the price first (extremely unusual for me) and was stunned when they asked for over $8.

Yes, it was over $8 for the pretzel!

So you get the idea, there were some things I could have done differently. But as I said, some things I did well. Anyway, this day served as a reminder to me that there are definitely some ways we can save money at amusement parks. Here is a list of 5:

Look for Discounted Tickets Ahead of Time

In my case, this worked out well. My ticket was a discounted one, purchased ahead of time and not at the gate. My child’s was through his school, where he actually got it as a free ticket via a reading program, if I recall correctly. Anyway, this all helped the total day’s cost be quite a bit lower than it could have been!

Eat a big meal first

Ok, this may sound a bit funny. But do you want to pay over $8 for a pretzel? One, by the way, that tasted terrible and came with an equally terrible-tasting topping?

Imagine doing this for a family of 4. You could be dropping over $30 at once, for mediocre snacks. That’s not to say that they’re all like this, but why risk paying exhorbitant sums for less than stellar food.

We had a good breakfast and an early lunch, but we could have made that a bigger lunch. Lesson learned!

Carpool or Get a Ride

In this case, with 2 of us, there was no need to carpool. However, I got a ride from some people nearby, including one family member who dropped us off. Another person living just one mile away picked us up.  Conveniently, near the gate there is a drop off/pick up area.  This saved $25!

Carry a Water Bottle

This one isn’t something we did. I’m really not sure why, other than I had it in my mind that we wouldn’t be able to bring anything inside the park. However, it’s good to at least try to bring in a low-cost bottle for the day. Even if you have to pitch it if not allowed in, perhaps you might lose $1 by taking the chance.

Once inside the park, I noticed that vending machines were selling water for over $4. A water bottle, refilled at fountains, would be a lot cheaper!

If Parking, Bring a Cooler with Food for the Car

Obviously, I didn’t do this since I was dropped off. But if you’re parking, bring a cooler with lots of ice and some food. Check first if you can do this, but if you can get stamped for re-entry, you might be able to go to the car and eat a healthy, homemade lunch or dinner instead of eating at the park.

What might cost you $50 for a family of 4 could cost you only $15 if you bring food and drinks this way.  Plus, you can make it healthier and more energetic, so you can enjoy the rest of the day!

Bottom Line:  You can save a lot of money at theme parks by thinking ahead, and making the right money-saving moves in advance. Perhaps a better way to put it is that you can avoid spending way too much : )

My Questions for You

When is the last time you visited an amusement park?

Have you found them to be very expensive?

What have you done to save money at parks?

If You Want to Save Money, Just Ask!

ask to save moneyThe “squeaky wheel gets the grease”, so to speak. Or, in some instances, “loose lips sink ships”. These concepts apply in so many aspects of life, when your decision to speak up can either help you out or potentially negatively impact you.

Focusing on the positive aspects of speaking up, there are many situations in which it can really help. One such context is public speaking in your career, when having the willingness to speak up and learn how to do it well can be beneficial to making money.

Of course, as we know, it’s about both making money and saving money. For the latter, it can also help to be willing to speak up. In some cases, there can be very little downside to asking for discount. If we stop and think about it, once we get past our fears of looking “cheap” or getting rejected, the end result will most likely be either status quo or better.

And sometimes, just by having a conversation, good things could happen.

I’ve written about asking for a discount previously, in an article on asking for discounts at restaurants as well as in this article on asking for a discount on a mattress. But it’s been a while, so I have yet another example of speaking up to save!

This time, the setting was downtown (Chicago), where I had an appointment. Unfortunately, parking downtown can be incredibly expensive. Now, I would normally think about using a parking app to try to save money by reserving a spot, but I went downtown on relatively short notice and simply forgot to do so in the rush. So, as I arrived there, I pulled into a garage knowing it would be pricey.

The prices at this particular garage were really steep though. I was going to be there a little bit less than 3 hours, for which I would be expected to pay $44. Yes, you read correctly: $44 for 3 hours of parking! Welcome to Chicago…or for that matter New York, San Francisco, etc.

There was a way out of it though. Or, at least a way out of being gouged. The garage was attached to a retail store, thus the parking rates sign had a line saying that with validation and a $10 purchase, you could park for 3 hours and pay $15.

So, if I quickly zipped into the store after my appointment and spent $10, I could effectively park for $25 and get some merchandise in the process. Not cheap and not ideal, but it’s better than $44!

But then I started thinking……in my limited time available in the store after my appointment, I would have to hurry up and find something in order to make it out within the 3 hour window. And realistically, it’s not like I’d find something useful for exactly $10. Maybe something would be $15, or $20. So that parking price might end up being in that $40+ range anyway.

Clever pricing scheme, indeed!

So, here’s what I did to save money. Before even buying anything, I walked up to an information/concierge desk and asked if this is where I am supposed to get the discount. The guy said “Yes”, and asked me if I had the parking ticket. I said yes, and gave it to him, but then said I hadn’t purchased anything yet.

He then proceeded to stamp it with the validation, and gave it back to me.

Notice how there was no receipt involved, or any purchase necessary. I didn’t even ask for it directly. I just engaged him in some conversation by asking a question, and he validated the parking ticket.

Instantly, $29 was saved, which represents savings of nearly 66%!

Now, this may really be more of an example of good customer service. It might not be equivalent to the best customer service experience I’ve ever had, but this is really good nonetheless! Or, it could have been his mistake. Regardless, as far as I’m concerned, the employee was doing his job well and representing the store the right way in terms of long-term customer value and creating a true win-win.

Yet another example of how if you just ask – or at least start a conversation – you can get a discount!

My Questions for You

Do you try to ask for discounts?

What is your best example of obtaining a discount?

Increasingly Brazen Tip Requests

Will we eventually enter an era where a tip is expected for just about any service?

I ask this question because of what I’m seeing lately in terms of where tips are expected, and how this is expanding into increasingly direct requests for money.

Now, from my experience it wasn’t that long ago when a tip was given only in certain situations. If we focus this discussion on restaurants, we can see how the trend is that some businesses are becoming tip-focused these days.

Before we go into these examples, let me share my view on tips.

  • I respect the work that restaurant servers and quick serve/takeout employees do. It may not be glamorous, but it’s hard work and they don’t make that much money
  • To show appreciation for their work – and to compensate them for their low base wages – I tip servers 15% to 20% of the bill. I almost always do this, and very rarely go lower, unless the service is atrocious. 99% of the time, I’m leaving a tip.
  • The aforementioned servers don’t ever expressly ask for a tip, or at least they shouldn’t. It’s bad form to come out and ask. However, as I mentioned, I pretty much always tip.
  • I don’t tip employees at quick serve/takeout places, as that’s not been the custom. Additionally, their wages can be different based on my understanding.
  • Thus, keeping in line with how things have generally been over the years, I only tip servers and do so at a very fair percentage.

Having said all that, let’s go through 3 levels of Brazen Tip Requests

Level One – The Tip Jar

I’ve written about this before, but it seems to be more prevalent with each passing year. I recall one place this year where there was a tip jar placed front and center at a coffee shop, right in front of the cash register. The sign read:

“You’re not required to tip, but we would prefer if you did :)”

Well, okay then!

I don’t see this as a place where a tip is in any way required, so I agree with them. But why put up a sign asking for a tip, and telling your customers that you’d like them to spend more than required?

Level Two – The Touch-Screen Tip

So, I was at a sub shop getting a sandwich to go, when I was all set to pay by credit card. As I was in the process of swiping the card and paying, there was an option for different levels of tip…along with an option for no tip. And oh, by the way, the employee who rang up the order was staring right at me the whole time.

I don’t see how wrapping up a sub in two minutes, as a part of a job, warrants a 15% to 20% tip. Frankly, this type of job has historically not been one that received tips. Therefore, I used the stylus to hit the no tip button. And off I went.

To me, this is more a more brazen request than the tip jar.

Level Three – The Verbal Request for a Tip

I was at a different place very recently where I was again at the register paying for my food. This time I gave my card to the employee as she rang up the order, and she proceeded to ask:

“Would you like to add a tip today?”

This at a take-out/quick-serve type of place where there are no servers. You wait for your food and pick it up. And, just as with the aforementioned sub shop, the employee was looking me right in the eye as the tip request was made. Though this time, it wasn’t via a screen – it was her directly asking me!

While I’m not at all a confrontational person, and generally an easy person with whom to work and interact (from what I’ve been told, anyway), this was not a situation where I was going to be afraid to say no. She got a very nice, but direct, “No thank you”. I don’t think she liked it, but I don’t see how a tip should be given for a fast take-out order, much less asked in this way.

Are things changing?

I think they are. As I look at my reaction to these events, I’m confident that I reacted appropriately and that my belief that no tip is warranted in those situations is totally fair. However, I wonder if 10 years from now, tipping in those situations will go from being unusual to expected. And, that brazenly asking for a tip where none is warranted will then become unnecessary, as it might eventually be seen as brazenly rude to not leave a tip for a take-out or quick serve counter worker.

We’ll see. But I’m sticking to my story for now!

My Questions for You

What are your thoughts on tipping at take-out or quick-serve places? Do you see this as being under a different set of “rules” and expectations than tipping a restaurant server?

Do you find each of the three tip requests I described to be brazen, or just one or two of them? Or, perhaps none? If you think this is all totally normal, feel free to share as well – I’m welcoming different points of view here.

Do you think we’re potentially moving to a situation where tipping becomes much more widespread in different situations in the future?

What is the Primary Reason You Save Money?

primary reason to saveWhy do you save?

It’s a simple question, but I think we would get very different answers if we sampled a large group of people. Some people think in terms of needs, some in terms of wants. Some are risk-takers, others are risk-averse. Plus, we each have our own life experiences and circumstances that shape how we view money and why (or why not) we choose to save.

This question came to mind as I got in a conversation with someone who enjoys traveling and likes to visit far flung places across the globe. Now, I have had this interest in the past, and would like to do so again in the future. However, with kids and other more important financial responsibilities, this won’t be a part of my regular lifestyle for quite some time. After all, there are other things to focus on!

But this person talked about saving for the next trip. As in, having the primary purpose for saving money in general being very specific to the interest in doing more traveling. Not for any other important aspect of life, but for globetrotting.

This got me thinking about the different reasons people might save money. I think we can divide these into two groups: Aspirational, and Fear-based.

Aspirational Reasons to Save

Here, the reasons for saving can be for fun things that bring personal happiness and satisfaction, or in some cases personal development. For example:

  • A “dream home”
  • Luxury car
  • Traveling the world
  • Early retirement

These aren’t based in worrying about anything. Rather, these are based on the idea that life is short so why not enjoy what we desire and not waste time thinking about the downside. Again, I’m talking about looking at these as the primary reason to save.

Fear-Based Reasons to Save

In this category, the reasons to save are more along the lines of worrying about not being able to take care of an important part of life. For example:

  • Retirement when unable to work
  • Health care issues
  • Elder-care or other family issues
  • “Just in case” an unforeseen issue arises

I’d characterize this mindset as more conservative in nature when it comes to money, though some (including someone I discussed this topic with) might consider it to be a “scared” approach to money.

My Primary Reason to Save Money

Again, the question here is: what is your primary reason to save money. In other words, what ranks highest among all the reasons to save, and what really motivates you to do so more than any of the other competing reasons.

For me, the primary reason to save, as I’ve thought about it, is to make sure that I don’t end up short of money when I’m older and unable to work. That visualization can really keep me going!

It’s not a dream of living in luxury, or having material things – though those would be nice outcomes and do enter my mind as secondary reasons! However, while those types of thoughts can also be motivating, I think more in terms of making sure my needs are met in the future. The last thing I want is a financial disaster when older and much less able to generate non-passive income. So, I’d say I have more of a fear-based approach to saving money.

What about you?

I’m curious to hear about what your primary purpose to save money is.

Of all the reasons you might save money, what is your #1 motivator?

Walmart or Target: Which Store Do You Prefer?

prefer walmart or target?At which of these two retailers, Walmart or Target, do you prefer to spend your money?  I had a recent visit to each, one after the other, and my customer experience tells the story.

The Walmart Visit

Recently I had to go out to pick up a few things, and remembered that I had a Walmart gift card. I normally don’t shop there too often, but a gift card is of course a good enough reason to visit a store! So, off I went to tackle that mini-shopping list.

As I walked into the local Walmart, I was immediately struck by downtrodden appearance of some of the other customers walking in. Not that there is anything wrong with people looking one way or another, but it was a different scene than what you’d see at other stores in this area. But, I’m not there for a fashion show; rather, I was there to save money!

So as I walked around the store, looking for the aforementioned items on my list, I noticed that the prices at the store didn’t seem incredibly low. Maybe some things were at prices comparable to those at other stores, but a few were certainly a little bit cheaper. Sure, I could probably save a few bucks here!

But the selection wasn’t great, and I didn’t find everything I wanted. Furthermore, the place was dirty. Floors didn’t seem all that clean, and I saw misplaced merchandise all over the place.

In the checkout line, I noticed that the cashiers didn’t seem too enthusiastic to be there. Some of the customers seemed to have an “edge” to them too, as I noticed one giving another a really dirty look for walking in front of him. The cashier in my line seemed quite annoyed at the lady in front of me who asked for a price check.

Meanwhile, there was a grown man in his 40’s waking around wearing pajamas. You know, just to add to the character of the place.

So I bought a few things and took off. Next stop: Target

The Target Visit

As I walked into Target, the first thing I noticed was the very new looking shopping cart. Much nicer than what I saw at Walmart. This was representative of the rest of place, actually. The store was cleaner than what I saw at Walmart.

In terms of selection, I found there to be higher quality merchandise at Target. The variety seemed greater, and the merchandise was organized better. Now, the prices were not always the same. Some things were comparably priced to Walmart, but it seemed like a few things might have been a little bit higher priced. Not a scientific study we’re talking about here, just some observations.

But the people were distinctly friendlier. No angry glares, and the cashier was relatively friendly too. I did get the standard question about whether or not I wanted to save 5% by opening a card, and I declined.   There was even a pleasant reaction to that!

The Assessment

You know, I like saving money just like the next person. Ah, who am I kidding…..I probably like saving money more than the next person! But the shopping experience at Walmart is so dreary compared to Target, and for what I look for, the selection is not as good while price savings are not exactly drastic. I’ll take Target!

I’m sure there are some good quality Walmart stores out there, and in some less-populated areas they may be the only game in town. But customer experience matters, and that pushes me away from Walmart and toward Target or perhaps other alternatives.

My Questions for You

What are your thoughts about Walmart vs. Target?

Which store do you prefer?

Are you willing to spend a little bit more to have a better customer experience (cleaner store, better service, etc).

Making Mature Money Decisions: 3 Examples of Spending Less

In some ways, people don’t change. When it comes to our core personality traits, I’m convinced that most of us stay the same over the long-term.

That being said, sometimes our preferences and habits might change as we get older gain life experience. Some of this simply comes with maturity, and some of it might come via hard-earned wisdom.

One area in which we can make different decisions as we get older is spending money. Now, I think this can go both ways. Sometimes people spend a lot more money on things as they get older, but other times they might decide to spend less. There are probably very legitimate reasons for going in either direction, but what gets me most excited is the latter: spending less!

Here are 3 types of expenses for which I have grown accustomed to spending less:

Cars

Admittedly, I was never a big spender here.   However, I did buy an SUV about a decade ago. It really wasn’t needed, but it just seemed like the right thing to do at that point in life. When you become a parent, there seems to be – for many people – a sudden willingness to spend more money on things you think you need, but truly don’t. I call it first-time parent syndrome.

No, an SUV was not needed. Certainly not a nice, brand new one. You could just as easily do well with a Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, or some other seemingly reliable, practical smaller vehicle. And you don’t need to buy brand new. That’s the route I ultimately took, and am now driving something less expensive and more practical financially.

I know one other person who has downscaled even more, going from a new BMW in his 20’s to a beat-up, 10+ year old car as he reached 40. And actually, his means greatly increased during that time, but his spending sharply declined. This is in sharp contrast with many (most?) others I run across, who ultimately decide to buy nicer, more expensive vehicles as they get older.

Clothes

When younger, I have to say that I dressed well! My professional wardrobe was almost entirely from Nordstrom. Really.

In days gone by, I would go to that very nice retailer, and buy everything for work from there. Some of my casual/weekend wardrobe was from there too. I rationalized it by focusing on shopping at a few of their big sales – I believe they were the Anniversary Sale and the Half-Yearly Sale.  Also, by thinking that dressing really well correlates to success.

Fast-forward to today. From buying really nice stuff, I’ve gone to buying simply pretty good things that are on sale. The difference in cost between really nice and pretty good can be quite significant. As in, maybe 75% less costly!

Honestly, I think that for most of us, it really doesn’t matter. Very few people in most jobs or walks of life need to be dropping big bucks on clothing. One can look good on a budget, and retail therapy is not a way to maintain self-esteem anyway!

Home Amenities

My first home purchase was a brand new condo with all the bells and whistles. The place had nice hardwood floors, granite countertops, and marble baths. Yes, marble.

I have no idea why I cared so much about such things back then. I guess I’m not really in the market to buy a new place at the moment, but I wouldn’t care about such features. Why I thought kitchen countertops needed to be expensive granite instead of something less costly like laminate is beyond me.

Don’t get me wrong: I like good quality stuff. However, I now recognize that just because I really like something, it doesn’t mean that I need it. Rather, we should prioritize and allocate our money to what’s most important.

And what is most important now?

Well, to me it’s a matter of taking care of the basics first and foremost – and that includes the basics in the present and the future. That means the ability to retire someday!

Aren’t retirement and financial freedom more important than working many more years grinding away to pay for an lifestyle escalation? I think so!

My Questions for You

How has your spending changed – if at all – on the 3 categories mentioned above (cars, clothes, home amenities)?

Do you believe in spending on nicer things as you get older, or would you rather save the extra money for future needs?

 

The Frugal Super Bowl Party

frugal superbowl partySo, what did you do for the Super Bowl?

All over the country, I imagine that people everywhere were of course watching the game at the very least. It’s basically an event here in the U.S. for which most things simply stop. Many of us are watching with others, and some are hosting or attending fun parties for the big game.

I had plans to go to friends’ house during the afternoon, and was looking forward to a good day in general. However, those plans changed – not the part of the day being okay though, because it was. More on that later.

Here in the Chicago area, we had a massive snowstorm that pretty much altered the plans of tons of people. In fact, there was a blizzard warning for much of the day, with people hunkered down at home instead of venturing outside. Driving was not recommended, and it was easy to see why, considering the snow and wind.

Needless to say, this type of weather made people cancel get-togethers and events. In the morning, I spoke to someone who said that his wife had a baby shower to go to, but it was canceled because nobody could make it. Super Bowl parties? Yes, many suffered the same fate.

So, what to do in that case?

Over here, we didn’t leave home all day. Instead, we got things done around the house – which is a good way to spend what amounted to a “snow day” for everyone. And the big game? Well, we just stayed in to enjoy what turned out to be a really good game and an exciting finish!

No big party, no spending lots of money on drinks, pizza delivery, or anything of the sort happened. It’s not like we could go anywhere with the blizzard, so it was just a matter of making do with what we had at home.

And you know what? It turned out to be alright. More than that, it was a lot fun! Yes, it’s possible to enjoy the Super Bowl without spending a lot. I’d guess it cost about $6 per person based on the food at home – dinner, snacks, etc.

It’s yet another example, albeit small, of how spending extra money does not necessarily lead to more happiness.

My Questions for You

What were your Super Bowl plans?

Have you ever noticed that sometimes it doesn’t take spending a lot of money to enjoy a celebration, party, or other event?

Additional Note: Here’s something Super Bowl-related to check out for entertainment purpose – how the stock market performs after the super bowl, based on which conference’s team wins.

The “Forever Stamp” Concept Applied to Gas Prices

 

prepaid locked in gas pricesFirst off, I’ve written just recently about gas prices, and how low they have gone. A recent post on $2 gas discussed the topic of these prices that are low relative to recent historical gas prices, and how we might want to keep that history in mind when making big financial commitments going forward.

In other words, be careful when putting your budget together, and don’t make the assumption that gas prices will remain low. I say it’s best to assume they’ll go back up, and if they stay low we can consider it a pleasant surprise. Kind of a bonus, if you will.

Picking up on this theme, I came across an interesting article on Time’s Money site that discussed the concept of locking in gas prices at a fixed rate. This allows a consumer to hedge against the potential that gas will go up.

There were a couple of services mentioned, but one that caught my eye was a small regional group of stations that apparently has a plan like this. In looking at the site, it appears that you can pre-pay locked-in prices at around $1 or so above the current at-the-pump prices. Obviously there are additional details to the program, but this is a high-level summary of what saw.

The way I understand it is this: If gas is $2 per gallon, and you lock in prices at $3 per gallon, you could potentially come out ahead if prices surge back up over $3 as we has seen for quite some time.

It’s an intriguing concept, and it reminds me of the “Forever Stamp” model. Perhaps it’s not quite the same thing, but the idea that you can lock in prices is one that seems like an interesting option for consumers and a novel idea in commerce.

It also seems like one is paying a premium – like an “insurance” premium of sorts – to protect against risk of loss. In this case, loss of money when gas prices skyrocket.

This is something I’d have to really think about before deciding on whether or not to do that. I’m not aware of any local companies offering this sort of option anyway, at least at this time.

Could this idea be applied to other expenditures in our budget?

When it comes to one big ticket expense, housing, we can lock in prices by getting out of the renting cycle and buying a property. Though property taxes could always change, even if your mortgage payment stays the same.

But how about things such as coffee, produce, perhaps even heating oil? It would be fun to be able to “lock in” the price of a cup of coffee that normally costs $1.50 by paying $2.50. Maybe years down the line, when coffee is well over $2.50, we’ll come out ahead : )

Okay, that last example is a bit much. But you get the idea!

My Questions for You

What do you think of the idea of prepaying for gas?

Can you think of any other expenses that would be nice to have a pre-paid, locked-in price option?

Hooray for $2 Gas! Now, Be Careful.

two_dollar_gasGas under $2 per gallon is a welcome sight!

As of this writing, I saw gas for sale at $1.92 per gallon. Just one day prior, I filled up my car’s tank at $1.99 per gallon – and thought that was a bargain. Little did I know that prices would drop about 3.5% in just one day.

Don’t worry, I didn’t lose any sleep over it. I’m not THAT frugal, despite past forays into extreme frugality :)

These prices are at levels that many of us probably thought would never happen again in our lifetime. However, they’re at those low levels now. So, it’s time to celebrate, right?

I think it’s a good thing, and it’s nice to see.  Though as I wrote about several months ago when prices were closer to $3 per gallon, we should squirrel away that money saved on cheaper gas.

This might sound funny, but when I had the aforementioned gas purchase the day prior, I actually saw the $1.99 price on the sign and got a little bit fired up. It was irrational, I’ll admit it. You know, like an overly excited Black Friday shopper seeing a great deal at retail store.

Though I did have to laugh when at the pump I was asked whether or not I wanted a car wash. You know, when the temperature outside is literally 1 degree above zero, it’s quite the humorous question to ask a customer.

Anyway, back to gas prices. With prices at lower levels that in recent history, it’s a great time to remember that recent history. As in, remembering that those prices can go back to those levels at any time. As suggested in a post on Money Beagle, we shouldn’t count on prices being this low – and it might good to spend as if prices were that high.

This all came to mind in a very recent conversation where somebody was talking about buying a bigger house. These people live in a good enough house now, but for whatever reason they’re afflicted with dream home syndrome.   The current place is closer to the city (Chicago), which all other things being equal means that prices will be higher than in more outlying areas due to jobs and other factors.

And what came up as a reason to consider moving further out? Gas prices!

It’s one of those exact things I had hoped people wouldn’t think of, but it looks like some are doing so. Memories are short with some folks all of a sudden, and low gas prices are causing people to get enticed to get more for their money buy considering a home purchase in a far flung suburb.  Human nature, perhaps?

What will be interesting is if we see another wave of interest in such outlying, “exurb” type of places just as we did in the prior housing boom. You know, if gas prices stay at low levels for an extended period of time.

My take is that we ought to truly enjoy these low gas prices, but NOT count on them when making any budgeting decisions. So I’m doing just as I said in my prior post I referenced: suggesting that we save that extra money we have due to lower gas prices.

My Questions for You

How low have gas prices gone where you are?

Have you thought about how much you’re saving now in total, compared to how much you were spending before?

What are you doing with the extra money you’re saving?