Even as gas prices fluctuate, gas remains commuters’ biggest expense. What can be done to provide relief to consumers who spend a large portion of their wages on gas?
There’s a lot of complaining going on about gas prices. I happen to be one of the complainers. Whether due to price gouging or just an economic cause and effect, there’s no escaping the sometimes shockingly high gas prices.
Lucky for me, I rarely drive. I don’t have to because I work from home.
But what about people who don’t work from home and have to refill their tanks every week, or even every day? What can be done to provide some relief to consumers trying to earn a living, yet are spending a large portion of their wages on gas?
I had to know, so I asked around.
As I talked to people throughout the country I heard pretty much the same thing: Gas prices were horrible. Gina, in North Carolina, said gas is currently around $2.80 a gallon for the “cheap” stuff. Fortunately, like me, she works from home; but her husband doesn’t. She said they had planned to buy a new truck this year, but because of gas prices they decided to put it off.
“It wouldn’t do us any good if my husband has to push it to work!” Gina grimly said. So, because of gas prices, Gina’s husband won’t get his new truck. And some unlucky dealership won’t make a nice sale, either.
In Southern California, one woman reported that her husband who works an hour away spends upwards of $70.00 to fill up his truck. To help offset gas prices he found some people to carpool with.
Around the country gas prices rage about the same, fluctuating from a sweet $2.49 to an outrageous $4.60. Who can afford the commute to work? Who can afford to drive?
Consumers are wracking their brains trying to figure out how to cut down their gas expenses. Their solutions, while sensible, aren’t without a cost. One solution, for example, is to have companies reimburse employees for mileage. Although that would save money for workers, in turn it would increase expenses for companies. That means the cost somewhere else done the line would have to go up.
Some consumers are car-pooling to work, which is a good for both saving on gas and cutting down on air pollution. A downside to car pooling, explains Faith, an Indiana resident and stay-at-home mom, is that it now takes “forever” for her husband to get home. He has less time now for the family.
So, what is the best solution? Telecommuting.
According to Chuck Wilsker, President and CEO of The Telework Coalition, telecommuting just two days a week can reduce a person’s gas expense by forty percent.
Wilsker, who has studied workplace trends and telecommuting for nearly two decades, recently noted, “The more organizations that have telecommuters, the more likely we will see [gas] prices stabilize or drop at the pumps. Now that more of our economy is information-based and has high-speed Internet, we don’t need to commute to work as often.”
Your turn: Does the fluctuating cost of gas contribute to your wanting to telecommute? How much would (or do) you save a week telecommuting?
Are you frustrated with rising gas prices but don’t know where to find companies that let you work from home? Let Telework Recruiting help you find telecommuting jobs!