How much gasoline do you use?
In one of their frequent reports about the rising price of gasoline, ABC's "World News Tonight" recently cited a survey claiming that the average American family used $4000 worth of gasoline last year. I'm one of those people who writes down every gasoline purchase in a little notebook, to keep track of gas mileage, so I added up everything for my car (a 12-year old Chevy Prizm, basically a Toyota Corolla in disguise) last year:
Total cost $876.47
About a third of that was during a road trip last summer from South Carolina to New England and back. We live within walking distance of where we work, so I seldom drive to work. I do many of my local errands by walking from home or work; occasionally I drive in town (a few miles). About 4-5 times per month, I drive to the next town (about 20 miles round trip) or to the nearest cities (usually 70-100 miles round trip, occasionally as much as 200 miles).
My wife uses her tiny car only for local grocery shopping etc. Whenever we go anywhere together (usually out of town), we use my car. She probably buys gas no more than once every two months, for a total of maybe 60 gallons a year, about $200-$210 last year.
So we spent about $1000 total on gasoline last year. Omitting the New England trip brings it down to about $650.