Pain at the pump as gas prices rise

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By Morgan Hall

(Vanessa Soto)

By Morgan Hall

With the prices of gas going up and nearing $4 a gallon how does this affect students?According to the web site the average retail price of gas in Riverside has gone up 22 cents in the past month, and costs $3.85 per gallon on average.

The campus consensus seems to be that the rising price of gas can make day-to-day life more difficult and financially straining.

“The high gas prices cuts me down on leisure spending, it means I have to go to the beach less and shop less. You have to work just to be able to afford to drive to work,” said student Michaela O’Malley.

Working part time is great and was once convenient for extra spending cash but with gas prices so high all the money made at work seems barely enough to cover filling up your tank to get there.

“Minimum wage did go up to compensate but gas is especially expensive for students,” said student Scott Pintelon.

Well, it is awesome minimum wage went up but $8 an hour seems hardly enough to cover the expenses of living in Southern California plus the gas to get around.

So, I decided to take a look at my expenses and see how much money is poured into my gas tank. I work part time and go to school full time. Both work and school are relatively close to home which is an added bonus.

An average week of strictly going from home to work and school in my small car costs me $60. Geesh! $240 a month of driving to and from places I have to go, this is not including leisure activities and having somewhat of a good time in my personal life. I know it’s no $600 but it still hurts the wallet.

With work, school and stress already at a maximum, it can be difficult for some college students to deal with gas prices being insane. Each time I go to refuel it seems the numbers on the billboard of the gas station seem to go up and up.

Often times it would be nice to have the financial freedom to put all that hard earned money toward something fun or something you want and may not necessarily need.

“I heard gas prices are going up more in summer,” said student Helen No.

oh great, as if the prices weren’t detrimental enough it has to get worse when students have more free time to do leisure activities. Taking the summer off of school for the summer should be a time of relaxation and fun.

Living in California during the summer is quite possibly the best thing ever. With the beach so close and the parties revving up it’s time to be out and about but, the gas prices may put a damper on driving plans.

Gas prices have been a constant complaint coming from the mouths of Americans for a while now, and the prices are on ly expected to keep moving up.

But what can we do as students to save some moola?

My first suggestion is to carpool. Finding a friend to cruise with and split costs is easy on the wallet and the environment.

And if you and your pal have classes at the same time they can help hold you accountable to actually showing up to school.

Also when going out with friends it is way more fun to drive together.

Carpooling can save money and allow more time with friends.

I heard that prices go up on the weekends when most people are filling up to go out of town so, filling up on week days like Wednesday the prices are cheaper.

Also if you fill up in the mornings when the gas cools and is less dense it weighs less and you get more for your money than you would mid day when the gas is hot and expands to weigh more.

Another amazing option to get more “bang for your buck” is to check out Web sites like

These sites give helpful tips for the pump as well as listings of inexpensive gas prices in your neck of the woods. It is a good idea to keep your eyes on what gas stations may be cheaper in your neck of the woods.

Plus places like Costco usually have prices a few cents under competitors, and that few cents can make a huge difference.

But whose fault are the rising gas prices? Is it the consumers high demand to fill the tank or is it a problem of the source for gas and oil?

“Oil and other hard commodities are seen as hedges against a weakening dollar and inflation. Also, a weak dollar, the currency of international oil trade, makes petroleum products less expensive to Asian and European buyers.” Said Pablo Gorondi, a writer for the Associated Press.

With the United States dollar becoming weak and the ongoing economic stress surrounding the real estate market, it is no wonder the gas prices going up have a more harsh effect.

It is very difficult financially supporting yourself and possibly a family as well. The economy in it’s current state is causing financial distress for many people and the rising gas prices are only worsening the situation as hand

At the moment gas prices are ridiculous and there are no promises for it to go down in the near future.

In the mean time as busy college students it is a good idea to try and conserve gas to save money so, when filling up at the pump make sure to get every last drop as if it was liquid gold.

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