Clare Saiki pulls into one of the local gas stations and stops at a gas pump. She gets out and searches her wallet for a few seconds, finally she pulls out a green credit card with her initials on it and puts it into the machine to pay for her gasoline.
Like many teenagers Saiki is buying gas with money given to her by her parents. In her case Saiki’s mom pays for a credit card for her to use in order to fill up at the pumps, but as gas prices are beginning to rise parents and kids are having a hard time affording it. “It’s too much for my mom to keep paying,” said Saiki.
Gas prices in California are about $4 per gallon, 50 cents less than the highest record price in 2008, according to the California Energy Commission.
Even though prices have lowered a bit, these prices are still too high for some to pay. “It’s [gas] is too expensive… I’m considering biking,” Saiki, who drives to school from South Davis every day, said.
Junior Carolyn Irving shares a Prius with her dad, and drives to school once a week on average. Even though she does not drive often, she still feels the effects of gas prices, “I try to drive less because it [gas] is so expensive,” Irving said, “Especially because my dad pays.”
As gas prices continue to rise, teens are feeling guilty about their parents buying their gas. Junior Tia Jackson is beginning to have a new respect for her parents more because of the money they are shelling out for her to be able to drive to school every day. “It makes me appreciate my parents more for paying for my gas,” Jackson said.
Some teenagers are trying to conserve gas, so they don’t have to pay as much per month on fuel. Junior Em Cordier is feeling the strain as gas prices begin to increase, “My parents fill up my tank for me, but if gas prices continue to increase they are going to make me pay,” Cordier said.
For Cordier, if gas prices sky rocket she will be obligated to get a job or stop driving because she will not be able to pay for her gas on her own.
In order to save gas, Cordier is coming up with creative approaches to driving less. She plans on carpooling whenever she can, like when she goes out to lunch with her friends or if she hangs out at someone’s house. “I have some money from babysitting that I could use,” Cordier said, “But if things get really bad I could carpool or take the bus a few day.”
Unlike Cordier, Jordan Apodaca, 19, is in college and has to pay for her own gas. Driving back and forth from school each week and other commitments that she must drive to require her to fill up once a week at the gas station.
“It comes out of my own pocket,” Apodaca said about funds for her gasoline. “Since I quit my job I’ve been using my savings account.”
As a college student, Apodaca has a multitude of other expenses, and the price of gasoline is making paying for them increasingly more difficult. “I pay for my own school, gas, insurance, etc… with gas prices rising it makes it harder to pay for everything else,” Apodaca said.