Are we rationing gas? Seems to me that we might be. But some things just brother me and there does not seem to be a reasonable justification for it. Let me explain. I own a 1998 Toyota Land Cruiser; it’s paid for and has 275,000 miles on it. I love it, but it’s a V8 and requires premium gas. The tank holds about 22-24 gallons which means, at 15 miles a gallon, it’s a sizeable bill every time I fill up. But based on the prices of new vehicles, it’s less expensive to pay more for gas versus purchasing a new vehicle that may get better mileage. As a teenager, my family owned a small grocery store in rural Alabama. My job was to pump gas and clean the windshields for everyone who stopped for gas. I remember all the talk about gas prices going up back then when the price crossed the teens into 20 cents per gallon. (Yes it’s not a typo, “20 cents a gallon”) Given my past history, the current prices, and knowing the small fortune it cost me each time, perhaps you can understand why I hate stopping to fill up for gas. I rationalize my thinking in knowing that my time is valuable and stopping for gas is just a chore that has to be done. So I tend to wait until it’s close to empty before I’ll stop. Now comes the real rub. When I fill up, I use a credit card, but the gas pump stops at $75 at certain stations like Murray (Walmart), Marathon, Jet Pep, Quick Stop, and Flying J. Of course, with $4 a gallon premium gas, my vehicle is not full at $75. I have asked each one of these station managers why the pump stops, and one told me it was my credit card stopping the purchase. Yet each station has implied that if I merely put the card back in, it will allow me to continue to fill up my vehicle. Now why on earth do suppliers, distributors or stations have this mentality? First of all, it’s not my credit card because we pay it off each month and I have called the card company. Second -the limits on the card are high and they never cut my wife off at $75 inside Walmart! She can go just to get milk, bread and various items and it’s usually more than $75. So, it’s not the credit card! Therefore it has something to do with the gas! One explanation might be that the stations are limiting supply so they can serve all their customers. If this was the case, why do they all tell you to just to re-insert the credit card and start the pump over again? WHY DO I HAVE TO DO IT TWICE? Why are they making it difficult to purchase their gas? I believe it’s a programming problem between credit card, debit card and cash purchases, and the old pumps are not programmable to meet the various options today. Regardless of the reason, I am not doing it twice. They just lose my business! It may be a few more cents at another station but convenience and time are more valuable to me. So I say “Keep your OLD GAS!”
Andy graduated from the University of Alabama-Birmingham with a B.S. degree in Accounting. He is a Registered Investment Advisor Representative of Money Management Services, Inc and holds the designations of CPA (Certified Public Accountant), AIF® (Accredited Investment Fiduciary), CTS™ (Certified Tax Specialist), and WMS (Wealth Management Specialist). As an advisor, Andrew specializes in comprehensive financial planning, estate tax planning, personal taxation planning, retirement income distribution planning, wealth accumulation, personalized portfolio management, and fiduciary investment management services.