Various news sources (ABC, CNN) are reporting that the current low gas prices will save the average driver $550 in 2015. The average driver will spend $1,962 on gas next year, according to the Energy Information Institute, which is down about 20% from this year. So, what will you do with your $550 savings?
I will first tell you what we won’t do. We will not use cheap oil as an excuse to trade in our gas-sipping Prius for a gas-guzzling luxury car that may have a smoother or quieter ride. The American auto industry is always saying that average Americans prefer large vehicles. Well, they haven’t spoken to me or my wife.
I do not expect the lower cost of gas to change our driving habits, although some sources are saying it’s cheaper to drive than fly for distances up to 2,500 miles. I might be up for driving around 400 miles to save money and have my own car and supplies to use at my destination, but I’m at a point in my life (part of getting old?) where driving for days and days just isn’t fun anymore.
I do expect to roll that extra $46/month into our taxable savings every month. And if we realize lower costs on things like electricity due to the low cost of oil in 2015, who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? I will do as I always have done and roll all money that is left over after our monthly expenses into our taxable savings and investments. Right now, I am amassing $20,000 in our high-interest savings account to purchase our annual allotment of i-bonds for 2015. I may wait until May to make the purchase in the hopes that the fixed interest rate will be something higher than the current rate of 0%, though.