March 20, 2015 – By Eden Shulman
Gas prices have fallen 33 percent in the past year, down to an average of $2.39 last week. What are consumers doing with those savings?
Well, according to a recent poll by American Consumer Credit Counseling, pretty much the same things they always spend money on. No splurging on Caribbean vacations or high-definition TVs — at least none they were willing to share with pollsters. About 29 percent said they used the money for daily expenses, another 29 percent reported using it for paying down debts, and another 11 percent reported putting the money in their savings.
The savings have added up. A full 39 percent of people reported saving between $10 and $20 every time they fill up, while 26 percent say that they save between $20 and $40. For commuters who get behind the wheel every day, the savings were substantial.
The high price of gas over the years has led consumers to be more conscious about the money they spend on fuel. An Edmunds.com study showed that for 79 percent of consumers, fuel efficiency is more important when buying a vehicle than safety, body type, or price.