In the past few years, our already stressful lives have taken a sharp turn toward stress that can feel absolutely unmanageable. What began as a local illness in one part of the world quickly became a global health crisis. It not only threatened our very lives, but also had a ripple effect on every aspect of life. Let’s explore inflation and gas prices below.
Inflation and Rising Costs
Rising From changing the way we interact socially, to changing the way we shop, and the way schools and healthcare functioned, COVID turned so many things upside down. However, one of the most affecting aspects of pandemic fallout, which is still very much alive and well, is the massive inflation we’re experiencing.
The cost of everything has soared since the beginning of 2020, and inflation is higher than we’ve seen in the past 30 plus years. It was already difficult for many Americans to keep a budget and make ends meet, and especially so now with inflation and job loss being some of the most lingering aftermath of the pandemic.
Now that the COVID pandemic seems to be on its way out, and life is returning to normal for the most part, perhaps inflation may have normalized as well. However, the war in Ukraine is bringing a new wave of increased prices, particularly relating to the cost of fuel.
In 2022, 43% of Americans now say that their biggest concern this year is the rising cost of gas. Obviously, the cost of fuel affects the cost of everything else, both on a global and national scale, as well as on an individual scale.
In 1993, the price of gas was just $1.07 per gallon, but we saw prices of $4.29 per gallon in March of this year. The shocking and frightening thing about this difference is that this doesn’t reflect a completely gradual increase. The fact is that gas has risen by close to 40% just since 2020. Today, it costs about $52 to fill up a car, and nearly $100 to fill up the average truck.
Rising Car Insurance Premiums
Unfortunately, along with rising gas prices, drivers are also seeing price hikes in car insurance premiums. The cause of price hikes in both arenas are largely the same. Things like labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, COVID and the Ukraine conflict are affecting both. Insurance is also taking a hit from increased fuel theft, higher medical bills, and the rising cost of vehicles.
Despite the price increase, unless the entire North American population decides to move to Virginia and New Hampshire (the only places where insurance isn’t mandated), then we all still are required by law to maintain insurance on our vehicles.
With this in mind, it’s important to embrace other solutions besides simply breaking the law to save our budget. Individuals can do things like driving less, and not speeding, both of which save on gas and premiums, as well as shopping around for lower premiums every single year. Shopping for new premiums can save up to $400, and individual drivers can also ask about discounts like safe driving, defensive driving, and low mileage discounts.
In times of high inflation, we can feel that we have no power to make a difference, but taking a proactive stance and doing our own due diligence can save more money than we realize.