The Rise of Gas Prices Pumps Up Student’s Frustration While Being on a Limited Income

Reese pumps gas at their local gas station, typically they only pay around $35 to fill up their car. But with the soar in gas prices, that once $35 has turned to nearly $70. Reese angrily slams the nozzle back into the gas pump and speeds off after paying that $70.

Students are on a limited budget, especially with gas prices rising well over $4. Most high schoolers make between $7.25 and $16. 

As global oil supplies remain tight and conflicts between Russia and Ukraine reign on, gas prices continue to rise, according to AAA. 

On the higher end of the pay scale, rising gas prices may only be a slight inconvenience. While for others on the lower end, gas may just be their whole paycheck. 

With gas prices climbing steadily, $11 an hour just wasn’t enough to fill up her Mazda 3 and have money left over for other expenses. 

“I hated getting gas at my old job,” junior Mya Brown said. “It’s around $50 to fill up my tank, so it’s only a tiny bit of an inconvenience now, nowhere near as much as it was before.” Brown works at Sheetz where she makes $16 an hour, while at her previous job at Lions Pride she made $11 an hour. 

Junior Tyler Doyle also told us how before the prices rose it cost him $80 to fill up his 2012 Chevy Suburban, it is now costing him nearly $140. Which is nearly double compared to prices in January of this year, which were around $3.30 according to AAA. 

Gas prices display over $4 at a local Rutters. With gas prices on the rise, students struggle to make ends meet. “It used to cost me $20 to fill up my tank,” said senior Christine Kapp, who drives a 2012 Honda Civic and works for $11 an hour at Giant. “It’s now costing me around $40, so I just don’t fill up my tank the whole way.” 

This puts people in a tight spot. Many students try to find a balance between a full tank of gas and a full bank account.

“I remember during summer of 2020, it was about $45 max to fill up my Jeep Cherokee.” said senior Mason Ritter “Now it’s almost $70, it’s been costing about a third of my paycheck just for gas.” 

Ritter also explained how it was quite an inconvenience only making $9.25. However, Ritter also told The Leonid that his employers gave him a raise to $12 an hour, making the rise of gas, slightly less of an inconvenience.  

Junior Matt Miller also explained how grateful he is for his parents with gas prices climbing to new heights. Even with his 2016 Honda Civic getting 45 mpg combined, he acknowledged how bad he feels for his parents who pay for the gas.  

“I’m broke again because of gas,” said junior Nicole Gunter. “I get paid every other week. So I put $60 in my gas tank, and then I’m making like $250/$300 so I still have some spending money.” 

“I used to have a BMW, I had to fill it up every week with premium gas,” said Gunter. “It was $50 to fill and that was before the gas prices rose.” 

Gunter is grateful to her mom for advising her to sell her car last year. 

Biweekly paychecks as a student can make it even tougher to pay for gas and other expenses, depending on how people choose to budget. Nicole currently works at Lions Pride and is so grateful her mom made the decision to sell her old car and get her a new one that has a much better fuel economy. 

She also explained how she drove to Westminster and back and still had a full tank. She now drives a 2013 Ford Fusion. 

Some students are being majorly affected and have to limit their spending habits just to fill up their tanks. While for others, it’s only a mere inconvenience.

By Payje Davis

Staff Writer

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