- Rising gas costs have been a burden for many consumers this year, and knowing what to expect in 2023 could help you budget accordingly.
- The Ukraine conflict is still ongoing, but the Energy Information Administration has encouraging news about gas prices.
- Consider planning your driving trips strategically and carpooling to work and school to save money on gas.
Should you expect to pay less at the pump?
There was a point earlier on in 2022 when many consumers were facing out-of-control credit card bills due to a rise in gas prices. The problem got so bad that lawmakers had to get involved by offering up a temporary gas tax holiday.
Thankfully, gas prices seem to be past their peak as far as 2022 is concerned. In recent months, they've dropped from the highs consumers were looking at in the spring and summer.
But that doesn't mean gas prices are guaranteed to keep falling. And if you've been struggling to keep up with higher living costs in general due to inflation, you may be wondering what 2023 has in store as far as gas prices go.
The short answer is that we don't really know. A big reason gas prices surged in 2022 was the eruption of the Ukraine conflict. That conflict is still unresolved.
Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration predicts that a regular gallon of gas is expected to average $3.57 in 2023, compared to $4.05 in 2022. But again, that's just a projection.
That's why your best bet is to hope that gas prices come down in 2023 -- but also prepare yourself in case they don't.
Don't let gas prices bust your budget
Without a crystal ball, we can't predict what it will cost to fuel your vehicle in 2023. So your best bet is to pad your budget to allow for higher costs at the pump. And that may mean having to cut back on discretionary spending.
As you sit down to map out your 2023 budget, think about the expense categories you're looking at that don't constitute essential spending. These might include things like leisure activities and streaming services. If need be, you may have to allocate less money to some of those categories so you can allow for a higher amount of spending on fuel.
There are ways you can save, no matter how gas prices trend
Maybe the cost of gas will come down in 2023. Or maybe it won't. But either way, there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of money you spend to fill your vehicle.
For one thing, time your trips strategically so you're using less fuel in general. You might prefer to come home from work, decompress for a bit, and then go out to do errands. But if the stores you need to visit are on your way home from the office, then it pays to change that order of operations -- especially if it saves you a few dollars on gas every week.
At the same time, try to carpool when you can. That doesn't just mean driving to work with colleagues. It could also mean coordinating with other local parents to get your kids to and from school or activities on a rotational schedule so everyone in your group is driving less individually.
It's hard to say what 2023 will ultimately have in store for gas prices. But it certainly pays to do what you can to keep your spending to a minimum in that regard.
Alert: highest cash back card we've seen now has 0% intro APR until 2025
If you're using the wrong credit or debit card, it could be costing you serious money. Our experts love this top pick, which features a 0% intro APR for 15 months, an insane cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee.
In fact, this card is so good that our experts even use it personally. Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
Our Research Expert
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2023 The Ascent. All rights reserved.