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Commuters' Quality of Life Going Down the Pump

Commuters' Quality of Life Going Down the Pump

In what seems like a counterproductive way of living, workers are funneling more money from their paychecks into their gas tanks so they can get to and from the office.

CareerBuilder asked commuters to identify the ways they have modified their spending habits to afford a full tank of gas, and surveying the answers makes one thing clear: Americans, and especially commuters, have a reduced quality of life because of expensive fuel. It seems dining out is the first thing to go for most of the respondents; below are the ways people are making it work when they have to drive to work. Has the cost of commuting taken a toll on your quality of life?

  • Eating out less — 35 percent
  • Spending less on entertainment — 31 percent
  • Buying less expensive groceries — 27 percent
  • Shopping for clothes less — 24 percent
  • Not going on vacation — 21 percent
  • Eliminating cable, magazine subscriptions, etc. — 11 percent
  • Not attending a function where they would be expected to bring a gift — 9 percent
  • Cutting back on their child's extracurricular activities — 4 percent


Join The Conversation
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 9 years
I spent 2 hours per day commuting by car and I'm definitely feeling the pain at the pump. I've cut back on my spending for things I don't truly need as well as driving on the weekends.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 9 years
I'm buying cheaper groceries and eating smaller portions. I canceled the newspaper subscription and switched to a cheaper cell phone plan. I carpooled with my boss for a month, but he backed out.
redegg redegg 9 years
I haven't cut down on anything. Higher gas prices cost us about an extra $7 a week so it's not a big problem.
Megatron Megatron 9 years
Gas has actually gone down a little (~.20) in the last couple of weeks where I live. But, yea, the Grocery Outlet and I are quickly becoming really good friends.
phatE phatE 9 years
what's lowering the quality of life is the freakin construction on every freeway in texas that's adding 30-45 min to a simple trip.. on top of that, it's about 130 degrees (not really, but close).. i haven't had to cut back financially because it's too much of a hassle to go out and do anything that costs $$
cravinsugar cravinsugar 9 years
I haven't elimintaed cable yet because of the package i get...internet alone (which I have to have because i work from home some days) is 45 or more alone, but if I get cable, phone and internet it's only 99/month. But, I have stopped eating out, I have started buying cheaper groceries, i have even started eating less. I could take the trian if i wanted, but would be devoting atleast another hour (over the 2 it already takes) for commuting a day, and i only live 25 miles away from the client i am at right now. I hvae stopped going to visit my parents and bpyfriend as often as well. and, caterpillargirl, i don't live outside my's just that i was living within my means, and with the gas and sudden commuting expenses (i am a consultant so i will onyl be driving there through october) is putting me beyond my means. I will admit to using my credit card knowing i can' pay it all back at once. i am going to stop that though, and just do without whatever I can't afford. or eat some ramen noodles...they are horrible for you, but so delish...
RosaDilia RosaDilia 9 years
Just last night I was discussing the cable bill with my brother which is outrageous nowadays. I'm switching to basic cable and eliminiating the landline. Since my son is away at camp I've been taking the subway to work and the money i've saved by not driving has been impressive.
amerynn amerynn 9 years
My current lease is up in October and we're planning to move closer to my work and steps away from a train my hubby can take in to law school. Hopefully that will help us cut back on gas usage quite a bit.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Except for the last two items on the list, that's me completely. I stress out a lot more when I'm stuck in traffic as well, because I know all that idling is burning through my hard-bought tank of gas.
runnergeek runnergeek 9 years
I agree supercoolnat..isn't that why most people moved away from the city to have a BETTER quality of life? so if gas is expensive, cut back on other stuff and live the life you want outside of the city...its worth it IMO so your kids can have a yard and grow up outside of a metro area.
a-nonny-mouse a-nonny-mouse 9 years
More frequent telecommuting. Mr. Mouse's company is setting a schedule of official work-from-home days for their IT department. Every Geek has a set week day when s/he is encouraged to log in from home during their working hours. (The Mouse is home on Wednesdays.) They are also considering setting a standard (for the IT department) of four ten-hour work days per week, rather than the traditional Monday through Friday grind. (Most of these Geeks typically work ten hours or more per day anyway.)
supercoolnat supercoolnat 9 years
One way to think about it, is that maybe cutting back on these things isn't lowering your quality of life. If you're eating out less, maybe you're spending more time cooking meals at home with your family? If you're spending less on entertainment, maybe you're playing catch with your kids rather than going to a movie with them? Just another way to approach the current situation - being strapped for money might help people think about what really matters to them and how to get the most happiness out of the money they now have.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
I havent cut back on anything, and gas is 4.19 here. Maybe its because i dont spend beyond my means in the first place.
cageyme cageyme 9 years
About 4 years ago my husband and I were looking at houses way out in the boonies. You know, big yards with ponds and moose and 90 minute one-way commutes. Hooray for us that it didn't work out! We decided on a smaller home closer to work. We both are about 2 miles from work. We carpool, we walk, we bike. It is one thing that we don't have to worry about.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
Times like this make me happy I do not have a car and live in a city with excellent public tranportation. I am glad that the public transportation hasn't increased due to the price of gas. I currently pay $75 a month for a monthly pass which enables me to ride as many buses or "L"'s for 30 days before I have to pay again. I make several trips to the grocery store and to get household items but at this point---I am grateful that I came and stayed in a city with this type of transportation. I have cut back on things, just saving more and paying off (I was going this before) but my goal is to become debt free sans my student loans (I love those), to build my savings, and EF back up.
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