Unless I’m reading “Gas Buddy.com” wrong, about a year into the Great Recession (January 2009), St. Louis gas prices were somewhere around $1.34 per gallon. This was a “WOW” moment for me. Along with everything else that has pained us over the past few years, to find out that gas cost us as little as $1.34 per gallon in January 2009 just added to the frustration of our times.
Humans have a relatively short memory for things like commodity prices, so we tend to forget where we’ve been. Heck, as far as I’m concerned it seems like we’ve been paying $3.49 per gallon forever. I don’t remember prices of groceries in 2009, but my guess is that those bad boys are up as well. How about utilities? Cost of day care? Education? Health care? You get the idea…everything is up. Well, most everything…being a member of St. Louis Community Credit Union is still one of the best values you can get.
I frame the price of gas for you as a means by which to understand the value related to St. Louis Community Credit Union. Common sense would tell you that dollars and cents are more strained. If that’s the case (think price of gas), then all consumers should be looking to save elsewhere – don’t you think? Why would anyone pay more for fees, earn less in dividends and have higher loan rates – especially when we’re falling behind in our real purchasing power. The old saying “find more bang for your buck” comes to mind.
Add to the increased price of gas (by my estimation, around 160%), your salary has increased (if you’re lucky) about 10% during the same 32-month period. So by calculation, if your net salary was about $1,500 per month in January of 2009, you’re now netting about $1650 (all things being equal). Watch this. Without concern for anything other than gas prices, if you need more than 70 gallons of gas per month, you have less money in your pocket today than you did at the beginning of this economic nightmare. At 20 miles per gallon, if you drive more than 1,400 miles per month, you’re losing money compared to January 2009. OUCH!!!!
Common sense needs to align with dollars and cents. If everything is costing you more (that’s called inflation) and your salary is not keeping pace (that’s called real earnings/purchasing power), then you have to make some lifestyle changes. Too many times, the last place people look at is their banking relationship. We change grocery stores; pay greater attention to coupons; go to the movies less; drive less; buy fewer clothes; put off home repairs; etc., etc. But few of us think to look at our bank or credit union as a means by which to lower costs.
All kidding aside, you may want to take a peek at what St. Louis Community Credit Union has to offer. We provide value in financial services that allows you to increase your purchasing power elsewhere. According to a Washington University study, we put an average of $400 per year back in peoples’ pockets compared to other financial institutions. Let’s see…that’s about 115 gallons of “free” gas per year. Yes, common sense equals dollars and cents.