- The U.S. plans to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from its reserves.
- The goal is to help lower gas prices at a time when they're out of control.
Gas prices have been soaring. Is relief in store?
For months, Americans have faced sky-high living costs as inflation has reared its ugly head. But more recently, there's one expense whose cost has soared exponentially -- gas.
Although gas prices were higher than usual before the start of the Ukraine conflict, the situation overseas has caused a severe spike. Now, drivers across the country are paying well over $4 a gallon for gas at a time when many can't afford it. In some parts of the country, drivers are paying a whopping $6 per gallon.
Also, from a usage perspective, the timing of rising gas costs couldn't be worse. Due to a decline in COVID-19 cases, many companies have been calling workers back into the office -- right when gas prices are at a high.
Thankfully, the Biden administration is taking steps to ease the burden of record-high gas prices on consumers. And soon, drivers could get some relief.
Some much-needed intervention
On March 31, the Biden administration announced plans to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the country's reserves. The goal is to increase supply and push down the price of gas.
Once those reserves are tapped, the cost of gas could fall back down to less than $4 a gallon. But the extent to which this move helps solve the problem will hinge on how long the daily releases last.
How to save money on gas
Even if gas prices come down in the coming weeks, it might still be very expensive to fill up your car. So you may need to adopt a few strategies to keep your costs manageable.
One option to look at? Set up a carpool if that's possible, whether to school, social events, or your job. The less you drive, the less you'll spend on gas.
Next, make sure to research gas prices if you have a number of choices nearby for filling up your car. Apps like GasBuddy allow you to compare prices locally. That said, don't make the mistake of driving too far out of your way to save money on gas. You might find a station that's $0.10 cheaper per gallon. But if it costs you $2 to get there, it may not be worth it.
Next, see if any stations nearby offer a cash discount. You might spend less per gallon by virtue of not using a credit card at the pump.
And if you are going to use a credit card, aim for one that rewards you generously for fill-ups. Some cards offer 3% cash back at the pump or more, so if none of yours do, it may be worth applying for a new one -- especially if you drive often.
Thankfully, lawmakers are taking steps to address the ultra-high gas prices consumers have been facing. But it still pays to do what you can to spend less at the pump. This especially holds true as we head toward summer, because once the weather warms, gas prices might rise again, as they tend to do every year.
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