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AP: Larger chunk of take-home pay going to gas

Posted On Tue, May 31, 2011

A number of polls suggest vacationers aren't letting high gas prices get between them and the open road this summer, but the cost may influence just how much they can spend while on those getaways.

According to the Associated Press, for every $10 the average U.S. homeowner earns in income before taxes, nearly a dollar of that total goes toward gas.

While people may be able to drive less often by consolidating the number of trips they take, James Hamilton, an economics professor at the University of California, told the AP that everyone is affected by gas prices in one way or another.

"These increases are not something consumers can shrug off," said Hamilton. "It's a key part of the family budget."

Based on statistics gathered by the insurance company AAA, the AP reports that approximately 35 million Americans will travel at least 50 miles this summer, which is 100,000 more motorists than last year. AAA is one of several auto insurance companies offering motorists gas-saving tips at the company's website.

The cost of self-serve regular has declined in recent weeks, as the gasoline price tracking website reports the nationwide average is $3.77, 14 cents lower than what it cost to fill up last month.

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