A gasoline price success story

It’s time to compare notes.

On the way home yesterday, I tried to calculate whether my plan of spending only $20 a week on gasoline is going to work. I think I can make it to Friday if I don’t make any unnecessary trips, I get a tailwind, and I only drive downhill. We’ll see.

When I got home, I fired up Quicken to find out whether all of my fretting about the price of gasoline has been a worthy endeavor. Has it — at least as measured by the cost of gasoline I’m putting in my car — been warranted?

Surprisingly, no!

Using Quicken’s reports feature, I called up how much I spent in gasoline in 2007 from January 1 to May 22. $363.61. Then I ran the same report, but changed the dates to 2008. The result? $364.20. That’s a 51-cents increase. And I haven’t even started the whole bike-to-work-one-day-a-week thing yet.

How’d that happen? I’ve been focusing on increasing my miles per gallon (I drive 55, I brake and accelerate over a greater distance), and not really considering the effect of combining trips etc.

I know a lot of you use Quicken, too, to track your finances. Run the same report, please, and report back here on the net result of your changed — or not — driving habits.

Also, list some of the ways you’ve changed. One tip free: Don’t fill up. Fill the tank only half full. Otherwise, you’re wasting gasoline lugging around the weight of additional fuel you don’t need unless you’re on a long trip.