Rising gas prices squeeze budgets
As gas prices keep rising, many Mississippians are struggling to find the money to keep both the car and the family budget running smoothly.
According to the tracking service Mississippigasprices.com, fuel cost between $3.32 and $3.55 a gallon as of March 16, with a state average of $3.45 a gallon. Gas prices three months ago were about $2.81 a gallon.
Bobbie Shaffett, family resource management specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said conventional wisdom limits transportation spending to 15 percent of the family’s total budget. Last year, Americans spent more than 17 percent of their budgets on transportation.
Shaffett said housing should be 30 percent or less of the budget. When transportation is added in, nearly half the budget is spent before any money goes to food, consumer debt, utilities, clothing or charitable giving.