Community members make money-saving adjustments to compensate for high gas prices

(Claiborn Schmidt | Collegian Media Group)

While working as a Shop Quik employee, Abbey Luedders, freshman in animal science, noticed the recent increase in gas prices is affecting how much gas or diesel people in Manhattan fill their vehicles with.

“People [used to] come in and say they want $20 in gas when gas was almost under $2 a gallon. Now people come in and don’t even know how much it will cost to fill up their car,” Luedders said. “Customers will ask us, but we don’t know either.”

Devin Conley, senior in kinesiology, finds this increase in price is making it more difficult for some students to choose between traveling back home or using the money to pay for overall normal expenses.

“I would say that with gas prices going up it’s harder for me as a student to support myself with rent because I do like to go home to Kansas City to see my family. It really makes me think about if I can afford it that week,” Conley said.

Many people are choosing not to fill their tanks all the way as a result of being unsure of how much a full tank will cost.

“There are a lot of people who come in and will just pay for half a tank because they want to limit how much they spend on gas since it is very expensive right now,” Luedders said. “Gas right now is $2.69 and diesel is $2.99, almost $3.”

Tevis Blandi, junior in business administration, said he noticed the increase since working for DoorDash because he has to fill his tank more often than in the past.

“I DoorDash four to five days a week, and while I do get decent miles per gallon, I’m definitely going to the pump more than ever. I’ve probably doubled the amount of trips I make to the gas station on a given month,” Blandi said.

Conley finds it hard to spend the money it takes to pay for a full tank of gas in her vehicle every other week when she has other expenses that she could be using the money for.

“Even though I work, it cost me $50 to fill up my gas tank, and it’s really hard to do that every other week, financially,” Conley said. “For me, a whole tank of gas is five hours of work and $50 every couple of weeks could be my groceries or part of my rent or a whole utility bill.”

Even with a 40-cent difference between diesel and gasoline, gas prices still affect students such as Luedders. Some students try to limit their amount of driving so they do not have to fill up as often.

“I am being affected by this because when I used to fill up my tank, it would only cost $20 and now it takes around $25 each week,” Luedders said. “I drive a lot less than I did last semester because gas was so cheap last semester and this semester it has skyrocketed.”

Students like Conley also find it harder to have a social life because of the increase.

“It’s also hard to make other financial choices such as buying more groceries for the week or having a social life and going out to dinner with your friends,” Conley said.