Ally Bank Looks at What Americans Spend on Gas

At Ally Bank, we’re all about helping our customers make good financial decisions. One key to making those decisions is knowing exactly where your money goes. This week, we’re looking at consumer spending to see what the average American spends on everyday expenses like coffee, dining out and clothing — and where in the U.S. these expenses cost the most and the least.

We kick things off by looking at gasoline. Household gas costs have jumped in recent years, from an estimated $173.80 a month nationwide in 2009 to $368.09 in 2011, according to CNN. In April of last year, CNN reported, the average U.S. household spent 9 percent of its income on gasoline, more than double what it spent two years prior.

Mississippians have it particularly rough. According to CNN’s report, gasoline in Mississippi cost its citizens $434.52 in April – just over 14 percent of their average monthly household income. Compare that with what citizens spent in Colorado, Arizona and Nevada — accounting for slightly more than 7 percent of the average citizen’s monthly income, well below the national average.

The report’s numbers from last April show that while New York State doesn’t boast the nation’s lowest gas prices, New York City’s reliance on public transportation helps Empire State citizens spend relatively little of their monthly incomes – an average of 5.5 percent – on gas.

If you’re looking for a way to save on gas and other great car tips, take a look at our recent blog post on mobile apps that can help you save money on your vehicle. Apps like iGasUp and Car Care help you save at the pump. And since money saved is money earned, you might consider putting it in a savings product to let it grow, and benefit you down the road.

How much do you spend on gasoline each month? Have gas prices influenced the way you live your life?
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  1. 1

    I’ve been using the aCar app for Android since last May, and over that time I’ve averaged $4.71/day on gasoline (or about $143 a month) for my car.

    I wouldn’t say gas prices drastically change my life – I don’t think, “We shouldn’t go out to eat with gas prices what they are.” But when my car finally bites the dust, fuel efficiency (possibly even hybrid or electric vehicles) is going to be at the top of my list of considerations.

    I’ve always thought that it’d be a good idea to include something like “Estimated 10 Year Fuel Cost” into the sticker on the window of a new car. Might make people think twice.

  2. 3

    We have just completed our 2012 household budget. We have a Ford pickup 4×4 and a Scion XB, with fuel expenses of $150 per month. BTW, that regular daily driving.

  3. 5
    victor yanes

    my averaged now is $94/ week on gasoline (or about $376 a month) for my car.
    This was what most daily pay toll is $9.75 = $48.75/week =195/a month
    and only got $ 17 an hour regular no over time no nathing haaaaa!!
    have nice day to all

  4. 7

    As a household we use about $100 a month. It would be much higher if I couldn’t walk to work. Both of our cars are older than 13 years and thier efficiency is far from nominal.

    Having said that, why do we not have a stimulus replacing old gasoline engines with biodiesel engines? The corn begin growen for ethenol could be converted to this alternative fuel source. In additon, fuel oil is very close to diesel and converting older furnaces to a bio fuel would help to restore some of our economy.

    The metals from the older engines would be recycled, adding jobs and helping to reduce the stress on the commodity markets speculative practices.

  5. 11

    I drive 300 miles a week to work and back, but my biggest gripe is a really ridiculous city ordinance we have in our town that states you must move your car to the odd or even side of the street depending on the date, regardless of whether it snows or not!!! This you must do from Dec.1st to April 1st or you could get ticketed. Starting 2 vehicles to move back and forth each day must use a fair amount of gas. Imagine the whole city having to do this daily for 4 months of the year…..

  6. 13

    I live in a rural area so have to drive everywhere I go. I spend about $240 a month in gas and my husband spends more because his truck uses diesel. I try not to make too many unnecessary trips.

  7. 15

    I fill my car up at least every 3 days. Conservatively, that is over $320 per month for one vehicle at current Southern CA prices. My commute is just over 100 miles per day for work. I know gas is cheaper near work so if possible that’s where I buy it. My car is 6 years old and gets about 26mph highway,which is 99% of my drive. When I absolutely have to get a new car I’m looking at hybrids although some non-hybrids like the Hyundai’s seem worth looking at because they seem to have all the bells and whistles I want, plus great gas mileage and much lower cost.

  8. 17

    Alternately, my husband and I spend $541/mo. on gas. Traffic in the DFW area adds to our usage, since the commute times are much longer than the actual miles we drive. Also, public transportation is nearly non-existent in the suburbs. When gas prices rise, we feel the pinch immediately. Using an extra $40/week in gas really adds up for a small family. That $173/mo. could be put into savings, but instead, it’s going into the tank.

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