Poll: How have gas prices affected your holiday spending habits?

With the U.S. average price of gasoline falling 20 cents per gallon in the past month to $3.22 per gallon today, it may be easy to overreact, but U.S. consumers tell GasBuddy that it’s good news, but, it’s not good enough.

“Some reports have been a bit too gleeful but we’re not expecting any dancing in the streets,” says Patrick DeHaan, Senior Petroleum Analyst, GasBuddy.com. “Even with the seasonal price decline, 2012 is going to yield the highest average price ever paid — January through December — at $3.63 per gallon.”

GasBuddy operates OhioGasPrices.com and more than 250 similar websites that track gasoline prices at over 140,000 gasoline stations in the United States and Canada. In addition, GasBuddy offers a free smartphone app which has been downloaded over 25 million times to help motorists find the lowest gasoline prices in their area.

To gauge consumer sentiment GasBuddy asked whether gas prices and related transportation costs are forcing consumers to cut back holiday spending. In recent weeks a survey of respondents nationwide indicated that 43% of consumers said gas and transportation costs are forcing them to spend less; 51% said those issues are not impacting them and 5% were not sure, based on over 22,000 responses.

Additionally, when asked how their Christmas / Hannukah spending compares to previous years, 32 percent of respondents said they are spending less than previous years; 51 percent said they’re spending about the same; 9 percent are spending more and 7 percent said they were not spending at all, based on 17,000 responses.

To see how local residents feel, the poll below asks Reflector readers to tell how their holiday spending has been affected and to share their sentiments in the comments section.

I'm spending less than previous years
43% (3 votes)
I'm spending about the same
14% (1 vote)
I'm spending more
29% (2 votes)
I'm not spending at all
14% (1 vote)
Other (and I'll explain in the comment section below
0% (0 votes)
Total votes: 7

Comments

luvblues2

No. I don't do Christmas.

Uputwhatwhere7

I'm just trying to figure out why gas prices just jumped up $.26 since this morning. Nothing happening in the world that would cause that. Oh wait it's getting ready to snow so Norwalk gas stations are getting greedy again.

ladydye_5

There is a snow storm in the Midwest, there is a holiday coming, and it is ALMOST the weekend.....oh never mind the fact that as SOON as they post prices FALLING in the paper, it goes UP. (ever notice how it goes up by 10-20cents...but only falls a penny or two at a time)
Even with gas a few cents cheaper, the rest of everyday life does not follow.

Dr. Information

Common misconceptions about gasoline prices

Perhaps the biggest misconception about gasoline prices is that gas companies set them. However, since the companies own only about 5% of U.S. stations, their control over the price at the pump is minimal.

Another misconception is that gas stations like gas prices high. Not so. Profit margins at the pump are about 23 cents per gallon, regardless of the price per gallon. In addition, many stations are under contract to sell gas at a predetermined price, which may yield a profit of only a few cents on a dollar. And when gasoline prices increase, station owners feel the pinch because customers spend less on the store’s profitable convenience items.

Otis B. Driftwood

@Dr. disInformation

Nice copy paste.

Another misconception is oil companies are not reporting record net profits.

Contango

@ Otis B. Driftwood:

If you think that oil cos. are makin' money hand over fist, why not buy a a few shares in (VDE) or (XOM) and put some money in your pocket while you're putting gas in your tank?

Gas is a loss leader for stations. They make about 3 cents @ gal. They make most of their money on pop, snacks, cigs and lottery tickets.

Besides, most majors sold off their stations because they were money losers.

Fromthe419

For those that do not understand how the gas price is figured out go to CNBC, right now it is trading at 2.7540 per gallon add .4833 (gov, state and county taxes) and that is the price your local gas station is paying for it. In the past three days the cost went up by .18, not sure why...nothing going on in the world. But no reason to slam your local gas stations, the price went up in Sandusky and Milan/Avery as well. I do find it funny that every time they write an article about the price going down it goes up the same day or the next day. I agree with Contango, buy some stock in XOM so when the price and their profits go up so does your net wealth. Also get into commodities, with the looming fiscal cliff and the fed's money printing commodities are gonna soar. The best way to fight inflation is to get invested in stocks and commodities that will rise when inflation occurs. I've been buying XOM and silver for over 3 years, sure it has fluctuated, but I bought quite a bit when it was 12, 13, 14 etc and now it's just above 30 an ounce. One last thing regarding the fiscal cliff, has anyone spent their way out of bankruptcy? I've always been of the belief if you are broke you reign in your spending and start to pay your current bills off and not leave the debt to your children and grandchildren

Otis B. Driftwood

@ Contango
In 2011, the five largest oil companies made a combined total profit of $137 billion, which is a new record. That didn't happen because of low prices at the pump.

Contango

@ Otis B. Driftwood:

Three things move prices either up or down: Supply, demand and sentiment.

Oil production and refining are two different industries.

As I wrote: Buy some shares of stock. Think of it as a form of insurance - I do.

Also, China is now the second largest user of oil in the world. This was not true 10-20 yrs. ago. Times have changed.

Fromthe419

If in fact the 137 billion is accurate, if we taxed the five largest oil companies 100 percent of their profits we could run our government for 26 days, does anyone realize how far out of skew our spending is? If we confiscated 100 percent of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet's assets would could run the government for 20 days. I saw a report if we killed every person in the US that has 900 million dollar net worth and confiscated all their assets we could run the government for about 3 months and the middle class would still have to pay taxes, those that think sock it to the rich have no idea how bad the problem really is.

Fromthe419

If in fact the 137 billion is accurate, if we taxed the five largest oil companies 100 percent of their profits we could run our government for 26 days, does anyone realize how far out of skew our spending is? If we confiscated 100 percent of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet's assets would could run the government for 20 days. I saw a report if we killed every person in the US that has 900 million dollar net worth and confiscated all their assets we could run the government for about 3 months and the middle class would still have to pay taxes, those that think sock it to the rich have no idea how bad the problem really is.

hit the road jack

Anyone ever think they're reporting record no.'s of people driving for the holidays? you don't think they want to miss out on a good profit scam before the year ends. Oh and contango they sell gas for .05 less than your competitor down the street,so with credit card fees,you lose. fromthe419,you got it right! invest in petroleum stocks and silver is another one.

44846GWP

Most folks fill thier tank once a week, even when gas goes up .25 over night, that's an extra $3 a tank (approx.) $3 will not break most people. Then it goes down the next week .25, and you save that $3. Gas prices are nothing compared to food prices!

Cliff Cannon

@ 44846 : Amen

P.S. Merry Christmas to you and yours