How Much do You Spend on Gas Each Month?

Over the last couple of years, many of us have had to spend more and more of our hard earned money in order to fill up our car’s gas tank. Even if we were smart enough to have purchased a fuel efficient vehicle, we’re still going to feel a pinch at the pump.

So, how much do you actually spend on fuel each month? If you’re like a majority of the respondents of a recent poll, you spend at least $101 each month in order to fill up your car. For most of us, that doesn’t seem like a whole heck of a lot, but for people who are just making it by, that’s a whole lot of money.

I’m not here for a political commentary, I’m just saying…

Regardless, here’s the monthly cost breakdown from GasBuddy’s poll:

  • 6% of respondents spend less than $50
  • 20% of respondents spend between $51 and $100
  • 33% of respondents spend between $101 and $200
  • 21% of respondents spend between $201 and $300
  • 11% of respondents spend between $301 and $400
  • 9% of respondents spend more than $400

It really blows my mind that 20% of people spend over $300 a month to fill up their cars. I don’t care who you are, what kind of job you have, whatever, $3,600 is a lot of money to blow on gas each year.

Unfortunately, it appears that things will only get worse in the future (here comes the political commentary) as we haven’t built a new refinery in this country in the last 30 years. Considering demand is going going to increase while supply will more than likely remain stagnant, it looks like we’ve got a pretty good chance of seeing continued increases in gasoline prices.


  1. We budget $200 per month for gasoline. Sometimes we go over, sometimes we spend less. We live out in the country miles from anywhere.

    We are going to be looking into the local ordinances concerning donkey pulled buggies for next spring. Especially since to get to town, we have to go down a busy state road where police officers on bicycles have been killed.

  2. Since the purchase of a new vehicle (Land Rover LR3 HSE) in November 2006, I’m averaging 3.7 gallons of fuel per day on a seven day per week basis. This is about 113 gallons per month. AT my most recent fill-up (my vehicle demands premium) the cost per gallon was $3.199. So the monthly estimate is about $360 per month.

    This is to drive an estimated 72.8 miles per day (again, on a seven day per week basis). When I drive my LR3 “normally” I get a combined cycle 16.2 m.p.g. When I use the most extreme gas saving methods I can implement, I get about 19.8 m.p.g and it costs me about 8 minutes per day.

    At $3.199/gallon, the savings of about .81 gallons equates to $2.61. I usually only lose time on workdays, so I lose about 40 minutes per week. This is 2080 minutes per year to save $953 per year. That means that “fuel economy maximizing driving style” is paying me about $27.50/hour. I make more than that, so is it worth it to drive that way other than as a hobby?

    I don’t know.

  3. Interesting question. In looking at just the dollars, the answer would have to be it’s only worth it to drive that way as a hobby. However, in the grand scheme of things, the benefits of getting better gas mileage (less pollution, peak oil, etc.) I would say any it’s in your best interest to get the best gas mileage possible, regardless of the opportunity cost.

  4. I’ve run some calculations based on modeling of my previous (a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited) vehicle’s fuel economy as a function of speed and my salary. It turns out that what I called my “MTES” (minimum total expenditure speed), the combination of paying for fuel and paying myself (doesn’t count speeding tickets, insurance increases, vehicle wear, etc.) is approximately 110 m.p.h. Even at fuel prices as high as $8.00/hour, the MTES is still 87 m.p.h.

    Obviously, the lower the salary a person makes, the lower is his or her MTES. The tradeoffs are (obviously) fascinating to me.

  5. Sorry, that should have read “Even at fuel prices as high as $8.00/gallon, the MTES is still 87 m.p.h.

  6. Two and a half years ago, I was spending roughly $360 a month in gasoline in my Jeep Cherokee (102 mile commute each day). It didn’t take a brain surgeon to see that gas prices were going to continue going up, $360 was pretty much a car payment, so I traded in for a Honda Civic.

    I now commute 71.5 miles each day and right now am averaging $136 per month.

    I love the mileage I’m getting. But I miss my Jeep.

  7. I would have to put myself in the $200+ range. That’s between two cars. I’m impressed by Erica’s change in how much she was spending. I drive a protege around and get pretty good mileage. I can’t imaging how much the guys that have to drive trucks every where are paying!

  8. Do americans have it bad??? No. I live in the UK, and the price of petrol here is $2 per litre, approx $8 per gallon, imagine that on your huge, unnessesary SUV. Yet STILL we are taxed on our little uses of fuel. Here everyone can only afford to drive around in small, slow, womanly hatchbacks. For a recent 1.6 litre engine car (peugeot 206) year tax is STILL $400. Yet you can still end up spending way less than me at the pumps. I welcome and tax rise…not that 50C/gallon will make ANY difference, besides… why should you get to ruin our world AND have more fun for less cost than us???? Altogether it isnt fair.

    (also i am young and fit, so i dont benefit from hospital and doctors taxes for which i waste 17.6% of my income on, probably because i have to walk everywhere) What with insurance being $4,000 a year.

    This country sucks

    • David just be glad you don’t have to spend around $10,000 a year paying health bills though, I do (live in the US and medicine, doctor’s visits, ER visits, even with insurance are insanely expensive), which is well over half my income. Debt is tons of fun to have, but it’s either debt or death, and I’m still just a young adult so not exactly ready to give in.
      Health insurance alone is over $300 a month now, and it’s not even very good insurance. I’d take having to spend twice as much on gas any day over that. Even with my nearly 100 mile a day commute (which because there are so few jobs has been inescapable) I bet that I’d still save money if I traded more expensive gas for the nice health benefits I hear people get in the UK. Or do people in the US severely exaggerate how good the health system in the UK is?

    • Every country has its issues. My country (USA) has a few idiots who don’t realize how great they have it. Some of them even think that acting like a 2 year old and throwing a fit will make things better for them. (example: some idiot at a fast food restaurant got all upset and started yelling because they didn’t know strawberries were 10¢ extra) Sadly, many of these people have internet access and they make the rest of America look like a bunch of idiots.

  9. never spand more than 20% of your rent or mortgage on gas.

  10. im with yeah brian. but at the same time, come on, does it really surprise you that much?

  11. I only spend about 200 dollars a month on gas and that is supposedly lower but it is still alot more than it was a year ago

  12. I’m usually between 150 to 200 which is ok I suppose. I drive A 96 Saab SE turbo. It’s a 2 litter, 4 cyl so as long as you hyper mile the absolute hell out of the thing I can get about 30 highway. 50 miles of traveling a day, 6 days a week. If I crunch the numbers that way and throw in some city driving I get about $129.8 bucks a month, with fuel at 2.95 per gallon.

    Still a ton of money to be losing along with taxes. Oh well, cost of living in a free country I suppose. It’s keeping me from owning 70 percent of the cars I like though just because of fuel economy. Either suck it up and buy a Geo Metro and tint the windows to save myself the embarrassment of being seen in one, or buy my Subaru WRX and hypermile the rest of my life but atleast have a little bit of fun with my gas.

  13. empty pockets says

    well, its been a few years since bush has been out of office, gas is at 4.25 a gallon, damn those republicans.


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