Thursday, June 05, 2008

Gasoline and Fast Food Prices - Present, Past and Future

Yesterday, I saw regular unleaded gasoline for $3.799 per gallon. Gasoline has been at $3.999 per gallon for the last few days. So I jumped on the opportunity to fill up the car. While pumping the gas, I noticed an ad for a 5% gas rewards credit card that showed example savings for per gallon prices from $2.50 to $3.15. Boy, the fast rise in gasoline prices has that print advertising obsolete. If I only could buy gas today at $3.15 per gallon.

I still remember the days when my parent bought gasoline for 28.9 cents per gallon in the sixties. They would drive across town to save a penny a gallon. Then there was the gas crisis in 1974 and gasoline rose to 50 cents and then 75 cents a gallon. Adding insult to injury, there were gas lines to buy at these prices.

About the same time as 28.9 cent gas, McDonald's hamburgers were 15 cents. Fries were 10 cents and a drink was 5 cents. I remember my mom, sister and I having a lunch with all three items and getting change back from her dollar. Today, a hamburger is $0.89, french fries and a small drink are $1 each for a total meal cost of $2.89. (By the way, I also remember when an ice cream cone was a nickel a scoop :-)

So the cost of gasoline and a fast food meal is up about 10 times in forty years. If I apply the same factor to 40 years in the future, gasoline will cost $38 per gallon and a fast food meal will cost $29. In 2048, my daughter will likely remember $3.80 gas and a $3.00 fast food meal as the good old days :-)

Disclaimer: The historical prices are based on my childhood memories and may not be completely accurate.

For more on Crossing Generations, check back every Thursday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

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