Americans are more likely to choose free gas over free cash, study finds

Posted at 8:45 AM, Feb 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-12 09:32:06-05

(WXYZ) — Americans would rather receive a free fill-up on gas than find $20 bucks on the street or get their dinner bill paid for, according to a new study.

GasBuddy released its 2019 Consumer Sentiment study Tuesday and found Americans categorize gas as a more important household budget consideration than healthcare and even savings/emergency funds.

“Gas prices are extremely volatile and hard to predict, making it difficult to budget for. Yet, it is a major necessity for millions of Americans,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analyst at GasBuddy. “In 2018 we collectively spent $49 billion more on gasoline than 2017. People, no matter their age, gender or socioeconomic background, are not only frustrated by how much they pay but the options they have in how to pay.”

Here are few key findings from the study:

  • More than half of respondents (57%) believe gas is frustrating to budget for
  • Nearly two-thirds (65%) say gas prices impact their ability to spend money on other items and services. This impact is especially felt by young people age 18-24 (70%)
  • Nearly 40 percent of people say that gas prices affect their mood
  • Half of the respondents say that gas prices help them assess the health of the economy
  • 63 percent of respondents believe gas prices are too high, even though gas prices are some of the lowest since July 2017

Read the full report here.