Gas prices rising: impact on your wallet

Gas prices rising: impact on your wallet

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - If you're noticing you're paying more when you fill up at the pump, you're not alone, but the annual impact on your wallet may not be as high as you'd think.

In the Panhandle, you'll see regular gas anywhere from $2.45 to $2.52.

AAA said that's 45 cents higher than this time last year but still about 30 cents lower than the nationwide average of $2.82

While the statewide average is about twenty cents lower at $2.60, it's still causing concern.

How much does that really affect your wallet if you're filling up an 18 gallon tank weekly?

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The answer may surprise you.

"It's about $9 a week  which comes out to about $480 or $500," said Stark. "If you equate that, I sit here and think about, 'What did I have for lunch today?' My lunch was about $11, but it only cost $9 or close to $10 for the entire week to fill my car up."

Crude oil is now above $70 a barrel for the first time since November 2014 and is the biggest reflection of the price of gas.

"We were in a very low slump for quite some time. In 2014, when we saw the beginning of the down fall," said Judy Stark, President of the Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association.  "It fell and it fell quickly. So in 2015, we actually reached $26 a barrel. Those prices had not been seen for decades."

Experts predict the biggest hit to your wallet is yet to come.

Rising gas prices is simultaneous with the summer driving season, in part thanks to a federal refinery regulation.

"This thing that happens every spring, that is the refinery changes the way they blend gasoline and start doing a different blend of gasoline for the summer months," said  Karr Ingham, Petroleum Economist, Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. "That typically tends to pinch supplies up a little bit when that happens because they shut down for a while and then re-open. Those blends are a little bit more expensive, which often tends to put prices up on a seasonal basis."

Next time you are filling up, there are some ways you can avoid the pain at the pump.

Many gas stations offer reward systems where you earn points in return for a cheaper price per gallon.

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