Living Below Your Means
How an Afterthought Became a Thought

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By spl241
April 24, 2006

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The other day, gas jumped 20 cents right just as my gas gauge was heading south of "E" (naturally). I paid my $2.89/gal., sighed, and went home. That night, I had a pretzel "need" while watching TV. I headed for the truck to return to the convenience store where I gassed up. It's exactly a 6-mile round trip. I've run to this place too many times in the past for similar dumb impulse purchases. (Someone can pen my LBYM Excommunication reply...LOL!)

I found an old dusty calculator in the glove compartment and started some simple math. Maybe it's because I'm retired and Ben Franklin's "small leaks can sink big ships" popped into my head. And when your ship doesn't rival the Titanic, maybe you've gotta' be a little extra careful at times. It may have been a tad OCD, but suddenly I had to know the cost of driving to get a bag of $1.49 pretzels.

The 1990 4-barrel carb truck gets right at 16 mpg. My 6-mile trip would require about 3/8 of a gallon of gas. 3/8 of $2.89 = $1.08, the price of sudden pretzel buying. For years, buying gas was at least a semi-afterthought, and this convenience store was "just down the road a little." I got out of the truck. An afterthought had morphed into a disturbing revelation.

The cold slice of leftover meatloaf seemed especially good, for some reason.

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