Rise of gas prices drains teen bank accounts


Photo by Savannah McMichael

The Dillons gas station has few customers filling up during the high price demand for gas. The gas price went down .01 cent compared to the previous week.

Being a teenager, money is a very important aspect of life. Having a job and money to buy personal items can give a teen a sense of maturity and responsibility.

Even with jobs, high school students do not get paid well and with the recent spike in gas prices, senior Kohl Hogan has been irritated with having to spend more on gas.

“I have paid for my gas since I’ve had a car, which is about two years now,” Hogan said. “Compared to other people, I get gas at Jump Start on the edge of town and only have to pay $1.98 a gallon. Even with that, I feel that gas prices won’t be decreasing until Biden and his … followers are out of office.”

Hogan recently was handed down his father’s truck and pays insurance on top of paying for gas. Although he fills up at Jump Start, Hogan still pays around $42 worth to fill up the tank. Hogan has a job at Atwood’s in Andover and believes if he did not have to pay for his gas, the money would go into a savings account. 

“I’m saving up for college, so I want to have as much money as I can, and paying for gas really does put a toll on your bank account,” Hogan said. 

Along with Hogan, junior Zoë Sullivan saves her money up for going to medical school in her near future to become a veterinarian. Sullivan has to fill up her tank every two to three weeks and almost always chooses to fill up at the local Dillons. She prefers to go to the Dillons because she works in Augusta and also has a Dillons Plus Card to use on gas, which helps save a few cents. 

“Using my plus card has its advantages,” Sullivan said. “Even with gas being $2.19 a gallon, I tend to get .03 cents off a gallon because of my card. I know it doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but after a while, it does save some money, and I sometimes can get .10 cents off a gallon the more I save.” 

Sullivan feels when she pays for her gas, it gives her a form of maturity that she had not had before. 

“Paying for my gas makes me feel more mature because freshman year I did not have to do that,” Sullivan said. “It’s a little thing to pay for but the price does rank up but it doesn’t bother me personally. At the end of the day, I know I will have more to pay for that is way more expensive when I move out.” 

Although paying for her gas does make Sullivan feel independent, the prices bother her as well. Sullivan has similar beliefs to Hogan that gas prices will be back to normal once Biden is out of office. For now though, teens will have to face paying current prices for gas on a small income. 

“It’s really annoying but then again there is nothing we can do,” Sullivan said. “I know there are many teens only making minimum wage and having to pay the prices so I am lucky that I get paid a little more than that. Gas is important for all of us to get around for our well-being so for now, I will just do what I can to pay the high prices.”

Unlike Sullivan, sophomore Trinity McMichael sometimes has a rough time paying for gas. 

“Gas is honestly a very annoying thing to have to worry about at my age,” McMichael said. “Luckily for me, I work at the Prairie House in Leon, so I get my gas at the mill, and it’s around $2.05 per gallon. Still, even though it is a few cents cheaper, it costs around $40 to fill up my tank, and I make a profit off of tips, so if rarely anyone comes in, I don’t have a whole lot.”

In early 2020, gas prices ranged from $1.80 to $1.95 per gallon. Depending on where teens go to fill up gas, prices currently range anywhere from $2.05 to $2.20 per gallon. The price has caused concern for McMichael since she has been quarantined. 

“Although I currently am not having to worry about filling up my gas, I’m not able to go to work, which means I’m not getting paid,” McMichael said. 

Along with paying for her gas, McMichael also pays for her phone bill as well. According to McMichael, if she did not have to pay for her gas, she would be able to put the money saved into her savings account to better her future. 

“At the end of the day we all have to pay for it,” McMichael said. “Yes, it sucks not being able to put that money towards something else that I may want or need but it’s just what I have to do. I’m really looking forward to them decreasing again though.”