corrvin: text "may contain math" over a field of sunflowers (math)
Minimum wage in 1998$5.15
Gasoline cost in 1998$1.24
Minutes:seconds worked per gallon gas in 199814:27
Minimum wage in 2008$5.85
Gasoline cost in 2008$4.00
Minutes:seconds worked per gallon gas in 200841:02

Even though I make more than minimum wage, that kid working at McD's back in 1998 still has me beat on purchasing power*, as far as gasoline goes.

Thoughts? Anyone interested in the "bread and circuses" model that compares the cost of food and movie tickets? Or what would be the appropriate circus equivalent?

*If you would like to figure out your own costs, but are math-impaired, here's what I did:

Question: How long must you work at a certain wage to earn a gallon of gas at a certain cost?

This is only tricky because it involves minutes and seconds, which aren't regular decimal fractions of an hour.

Cost of gas divided by wages
1.24 / 5.15
answer: 0.24077...

x 60 to get minutes
answer: 14.44660...
14 is the minutes here (and the seconds are still after the decimal); write down 14 somewhere and subtract it.

answer: 0.44660 (same as above without the 14)
x 60 to get seconds
answer: 26.79611
26, rounded up to 27, is the seconds.

Answer: 14 minutes, 27 seconds at 5.15 an hour equals one gallon of gas at 1.24 a gallon.
corrvin: "this space intentionally not left blank" (Default)
The talented and brilliant [ profile] ziactrice posted recently the question, "What would you change if gasoline was $5-6 a gallon?"

I use 20-25 gallons a month of gasoline, so a $1.50-2.50 increase would mean $30-63 extra. That's quite workable in my budget.

So, the scary thought I had was this-- $6 a gallon gasoline is no longer scary and unrealistic to me. ($10, now, that's the stuff of nightmares.)

I also had the fun thought experiment of figuring out (a)how few hours a week I could keep up my current standard of living on, and (b)whether I could reduce those by one or more days per week if I could save that on the grocery bill by spending those days making my own food instead (which is fun for me anyways).

The sad answers are (a) not more than a couple hours less than I have now;
(b) probably not, even considering that it takes me about 3/4 of a gallon of gas to make a round trip to work, so if I skipped a day of work I could skip $3 or so in costs.

About 25% of my current budget is food costs. I may at some point start spreadsheeting the cost of groceries by food group and figure out if there's somewhere I can switch to a cheaper healthy alternative, but other than that, I think I'm about stuck.

I am also seeking suggestions on a nice descriptive tag for this kind of "I'ma go buy me some property and bake my own bread and raise my own food and threaten to shoot trespassing Southern-hating Yankees for meat* and distill corn for liquor and tractor fuel" maundering, in case the tag below doesn't quite fit.

*I wouldn't really shoot any Yankees. I'd just inform them that the center of the country was not really a sucking black hole, but in fact they had been eating the good food grown and raised there for much of their coastal lives, and watch them fall over in shock**.

**Unlike cow-tipping, this probably does actually work.


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