Bobby pic

I’m sure that you have noticed gasoline prices. They are coming down. Geo-political pressures, supply and demand, crude oil prices, refinery capacity, and a myriad of other things cause this. Well, thank goodness. I have one friend who seems to be the happiest guy on earth. I’ve known him since the 70s and he’s been concerned about the price of gasoline ever since I’ve known him.

He always drives a small car. Gas mileage is his main concern. He keeps a little book and tracks his gas mileage and the amount of money that he spends on gasoline. He will do a partial fill-up to get to another station to save money. I kid him that he will drive from Manning to Sumter to save a penny a gallon. His little car has an eight-gallon tank. I’m not sure what he does with the 8 cents he saves. Now he is in Sumter but still has to drive home.

Amazingly, I have seen him pull out a one hundred dollar bill and buy lunch for a group of us. I’m thankful on the days that he does that.

Falling gas prices does cut down on his complaining. If gas prices are going up he has the wildest tales. Gas pumps keep adding dollars after you stop pumping. Conspiracy is rampant with bad fuel pumps, tankers lined up off the coast waiting for ever increasing prices. Thousands of conspirators are taking his money. Saudi princes, US government officials, boat captains, and the gas station owners are making a killing off of his eight gallons of over priced gas. He’s quiet when prices go down.

How much money can he save anyway? Of course things add up. Of course you can save some money by getting a discount. I just wonder if you can really measure all these savings.

I knew one guy that always paid by check. If he paid a bill he would go to the vendor and ask about his bill. “How much do I owe you?” “$624.97” “ How about $600?’ Usually the vendor would take the $600. He would even do that on small purchases. Once we walked into a store and got sodas and candy; $3.15 was the bill but he wrote a check for $3 and we walked out. Not sure how much money he saved over his lifetime.

I’m sure you can save a lot in a lifetime. You just have to wonder what happens to all the savings. One of my friends loves toys, knick-knacks, antiques and anything unusual that he can put on a shelf or hang on a wall. He has all sorts of old tools and worse he buys old farm equipment and repaints and puts it in his yard. He has a great big office-barn with a giant collection of stuff.

He loves to save money too. He travels all over searching for yard sales, antique auctions and if you’re not careful he’ll pull up in your yard and ask if you have anything for sale.

Recently, he was in Tennessee at a big auction. When he left to come home, he spent 30 minutes trying to get to the other side of the interstate to buy gas for his truck. His wife recounts that he was trying to save a penny a gallon. That would make a difference of 23 cents. “We wasted 30 minutes getting the cheaper gas. Meanwhile there was $700 of junk in the back of the truck.”

One day she says she will find out how much money was saved. “When he dies, I’m going to sell all this stuff and buy a condo at the beach.”