Understanding how fuel prices, supply, and demand work in the national and international economy is important for all of us who drive to work, school or just about anywhere else. In a world where all economies run on gas, we need to be aware of why gas prices are affected and if there is anything we can do to lessen the blow anytime the prices go up.
The two major reasons why the fuel price may go up depend on where we get all our gas from, specifically the Middle East. Nowadays, the region is facing a lot of unrest which is a possible reason why the Americans have to pay high for the fuel in their cars. Every time, there is a fear of unrest in any country of the Middle East, there is a possibility of gas prices going up everywhere else because we get most of our crude oil from that region. The big oil companies find it pretty profitable to take advantage of this situation and make abnormal profits because they enjoy the power of a monopoly. Another reason why the fuel prices may go up is a subtle reason and most of us are not even aware of. Speculation on the prices of gas might affect the actually price fluctuations as well. Commodity traders that buy and sell future contracts in crude oil bid up the prices of the contracts and hence, they fulfill a prophecy all by themselves. But the people who have to bear the brunt of the high prices are the consumers and households.
Having said that, while we need to know all the reasons behind the price trends, we also need to know how we can minimize the effects of gas price increases on our daily lives. This is not going to be easy but it can help relieve the pressure on your monthly finances especially whenever there is a significant increase in the fuel prices. The first and best thing you can do is lessen your dependence on your car or any other personal vehicle. Prefer the public transport system if you can over your personal transportation. Public transport companies cannot vary the prices of their tickets like gas stations can and you can take advantage of this situation especially if you can work out a bus or train route that is closer to your home. Even if you do use your personal vehicle, try to plan all of your tasks in one trip so that you don’t have to make multiple trips in the same area.
When you are shopping, choose products and items that were produced in your local region since these required lesser transportation costs compared to products that have been shipped form far off. This stands especially true for fresh vegetables and fruits. Many people welcome carpool systems as well especially if they can work out a system with their neighbors. This not only relieves your responsibility to pick and drop your kids to school every day, it relieves the pressure on your vehicle’s gas tank as well.