Braxton Citizens' News, Opinion

Rising costs…

Jeanine and I are very proud of the fact that we have been able to help two of our grandchildren graduate college without any student debt. I have wondered many times how young people manage starting their professional lives with a six-figure debt. This world is hard enough, let alone taking it on when you are at such a huge financial burdon.

I also recently received a news release from AAA what talked about the cost of owning a car today. We all know that costs have steadily went up. This article puts those increases in prospective. Here are a few exerts from that article.

“For more than 70 years, AAA’s Your Driving Costs has provided members, consumers and the media with information on the average costs of owning and operating a new automobile. According to the latest research from AAA, the average yearly cost to own and operate a new vehicle in 2022 is $10,728, or $894 per month. This is a considerable increase from 2021, when the average yearly cost was $9,666 or $805.50 per month. Fuel prices are the most significant factor pushing this year’s average annual price tag.

 “Just about everything costs more now and consumers are paying attention to every dollar they spend, especially on major purchases like a new vehicle,” said Mike Hoshaw, vice president of automotive services, AAA East Central. “Our research shows higher gas prices are causing more people to investigate the true cost of owning a vehicle beyond just the monthly payment.

“In the most recent Your Driving Costs analysis, AAA evaluated nine categories of vehicles – consisting of 45 models – to determine a new vehicle’s average annual operating and ownership costs. AAA selected top-selling, mid-priced models and compared them across six categories: fuel, maintenance/repair/tire costs, insurance, license/registration/taxes, depreciation, and finance charges. The study assumed a five-year ownership period, with the vehicle being driven 15,000 miles/annually (or a total of 75,000 miles).

“For this year’s study, fuel costs were projected based on a weighted average of the first five months of 2022. During that time, fuel prices averaged 17.99 cents per mile or $3.999 per gallon. Gas prices have seen a dramatic climb since early March, and, as a result, the cost of vehicle ownership has increased accordingly since the Your Driving Costs evaluation was completed.”

I have complained about high gasoline prices particularly in our area in this space on numerous occasions. As I was preparing this column, I received a picture from a reader just before noon Monday. It was of the Flatwoods BP station when it lowered it pump price to $3.79 per gallon. I guess late is better than never. I received a weekly report last week that said the average price in WV was $3.99. Over the weekend, social media was a buzz with reports of much lower gas prices than Braxton’s $4.29. Some reported paying as little as $3.39 in the Mountain State. Well, we didn’t get that low, but it is a start and my wallet is glad to see it!