This year, the United States hit an all-time high for gas prices. The rising gallon price is impacting individuals all across the country. For college students, the added expense of gas creates a budgeting dilemma. At NAU, students share a collective exasperation for the burning holes in their wallets — many of whom turn to various tactics in an effort to accommodate this financial development. Students are walking more and driving less, prioritizing their gas bills over grocery bills, and shopping around for the lowest prices in town. Inevitably, they have to bite the bullet, paying more and more each day for gas.

 

Luke Napier

Finance

“Twice a week I work up at Snowbowl, so I gotta drive up there,” Napier said.

“My buddy’s got a Sam’s Club card, and I have an app that says this is the cheapest place. So, I went here. Last week, I went all the way across town to get cheap gas. It’s pretty far out — like a couple of miles out of town. At the time, it was $4.29.”

 

Allison Lynch

Psychology

“I don’t drive anywhere anymore because you pay for it,” Lynch said. “I used to be able to fill up my tank for $20. Now, it takes about double that. 

“I needed to go to Walmart, but I just had to spend money on gas instead of paying for groceries. I just use the meal plan at school. I don’t go out and buy groceries anymore. I just make do with what I have.”

 

Josh O’Connor

Biology and Nutrition 

“I mean, it’s a bummer," O’Connor said. "I just pay more for gas. I can usually figure it out [without adjusting spending habits]. I don’t drive a whole lot honestly. And usually, when I do gas up, I just fill up a little bit.”

“I just went on a road trip last week. So, that just made things more expensive — that sucks.”

 

Thomas Foreman

Information Systems

“I live in Munds Park, so I’d make like a 21-minute commute every day and it’s tough," Foreman said. "I’ve been having to buy less groceries and stuff overall [to pay] for gas. I'm just trying to take more hours at work while balancing class and getting everything done. So I mean, it’s definitely been harder for sure.

“There’s literally one time I got gas at the Circle K — it’s because it was cheaper. Usually [Speedway] is cheaper than everywhere else.”

 

Victoria Gonzalez 

Communication Science Disorders

“I try to not go fully empty. I hit a gas [station], and then I’ll go fill up that way I don’t spend as much money,” Gonzalez said. “[I don’t drive] that often because I try not to — I don’t want to spend on gas. So, I try to save.

“I’m from Texas so I have to drive up and down during breaks. It’s actually a little cheaper there, so it’s nicer going back home.”

 

Joe Acuesta

Math Secondary Education, Minor in Cinema Studies 

Considering all the events going on right now with Ukraine and Russia, the stock market crashing, and other things going on in the world, [rising gas prices] make sense,” Acuesta said. 

“I do Instacart and DoorDash a lot. So, I mean I make money off of gas. The more gas increases, the less money I make. More frequently, [I do] Instacart because I drive less. You make a little bit more money if you spend more time grocery shopping and getting bigger orders.”

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