Gas Prices Influence Job Search - Quicken LoansI recall the emotions like it was just yesterday. In July of 2008 while standing at the pump filling the 19 gallon tank of my Chevrolet Camaro with  a record high $4.49 per gallon unleaded fuel, I felt like it was a legal “shakedown.”  It was the first time I felt emotions at the gas pump. As the fuel nozzle clicked and my eyes read $85.31 for my tank of gas, the only thing that kept me from falling into a melancholic depression was the sight of a Ford Excursion at the pump next to me which just knocked back 44 gallons of unleaded fuel to the tune of $196. Did I mention the Excursion only travels 8 miles per gallon?

With fuel prices averaging $3.76 across the state, I no longer fear melancholic depression at the pump. However as many Americans currently seek employment, when you add up how much money is spent each week and month in gas, should gas prices influence the location of your job search?

My current commute to work from Livonia to downtown Detroit is approximately 31 miles each way. After five days of work I travel 310 miles each week (1240 miles per month). I need approximately 4.5 full tanks of gas per month for work alone. With gas at $3.76 ($71.44 per fill-up) I spend around $321.48 per month in work-related gas.

I recently considered working in Troy, Mich., which would add 10 miles to my work commute each way, daily.  Accordingly, I would have to travel 82 miles each day, 410 miles a week (1640 miles per month).  Adding an extra 10 miles each way to my work commute would mean I have to fill up 5.75 times per month.  This would increase my monthly gas total to $410 per month, the same price as a small studio apartment.

“With the $410 per month you will spend on gas, I could pay off my credit card debt,” said Quicken Loans team member Kristen Curzytek. “I could pay the note on a new car with $410 extra per month,” said Ryan Matthey, a team member at Quicken Loans.

But instead of just focusing on the pain at the pump, it’s important to note that proper car maintenance can help you conserve fuel.  Some tips to help you improve your gas mileage include:

  • Plan and combine trips
  • Change your air filter
  • Drive more efficiently
  • Make sure your tires are properly inflated
  • Use cruise control whenever possible
  • Don’t use air conditioner unless you really need it
  • Keep your engine tuned up

Expenses are as an important figure as your salary because these figures paired together will help you conclude your profit each month.  An added 10 miles each way to your work commute could cost nearly $100 extra dollars each month.  Keep your vehicle’s service requirements up-to-date to maximize your fuel.  To avoid melancholic depression symptoms at the pump, conduct job searches with location in mind or the only winners from your new job will be execs at the oil and gas corporations.

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