High Gas Prices Pump Headaches Into Lots Of Budgets

Record high gas prices are forcing many people to take another look at their budgets. This week the mayor of Corinth announced that in just the last five months his city has spent 75 percent of its yearly fuel budget. Now some city employees can no longer drive city vehicles home.

It's not just governments worried about the bottom line. A full tank of gas will get one Trinity Travel tour bus about 1,300 miles. Trinity has nine buses, and with fill ups running between $250 and $300, owners are struggling to keep up with the math.

"It's hard to budget for fuel. I mean we've tried to budget but because of the increases you don't know what to expect," owner Jim Bryant said.

With expenses up more than 30 percent, Bryant is cutting costs by paying close attention to maintenance and asking drivers to conserve gas. He's not raising ticket prices, yet.

"The competition is so stiff in a lot of the areas that we market that we cannot increase our prices to compensate for the fuel," said Bryant. "What a lot of companies are doing, some of the ones that I know of, they're turning in newer buses and getting older buses to reduce their overhead cost."

The tour bus company owner says there is also an indirect impact. The companies that ship parts he needs have started adding a fuel surcharge to the shipping bill.

The high cost of gas has also rerouted the budgets of some travelers. Joann and Howard Holt usually take their RV south of the border.

Joann and Howard Holt said they usually go down to Mexico for a month each year.

"One of the reasons that we didn't go is because of the gas price."

Bryant and the Holts say they'll find a way to make their budgets work. No one wants to let high prices keep them from getting good mileage out of life.