Seniors Fund Their Own Fill-Ups


Rayner Reinhardt, Staff

Gas isn’t cheap. That’s something we all know, regardless of whether we drive or not. But the average high school driver can see the firsthand effects of high gas prices. As most seniors are flooded with their class schedules, college applications, and other commitments, their sources of income for gas vary.  

As prices are currently fluctuating between $2 and $3 per gallon, the price of one tank can range anywhere from $25 to $65.  

Senior Jonah Pahel fills his tank with the money he makes from working two jobs. 

“I have a pretty steady income, so I can fill up whenever I really need to. Before I had a job though, I couldn’t drive as much,” he shared. 

Other students rely solely on their own income for gas as well.  

“I pay for my gas with my own money. I use cash, usually, so I can monitor exactly how much I’m paying for at a time,” senior Drew Stone explained. 

For many high schoolers, gas becomes one of the first items that they consistently buy. Paying for gas can involve budgeting, as many people can’t just afford to fill up whenever they please. Factors like a car’s mileage, tank capacity, and average miles driven per week can all influence how much gas a student should put into his or her gas budget.  

“I limit how much gas I use for personal time because I try to budget pretty close to the gas I need for school, work, and other commitments,” Stone said.  

This strategy is also important for drivers who get their income other ways as well. Working a job aside from school isn’t part of everyone’s high school career, and some students receive gas money from their families.  

“My parents give me an allowance every month that includes money for gas. I work out beforehand how much I am able to spend on different things throughout the month, including gas,” senior Riley Sherwin says.  

Although she says she drives a good amount recreationally, Sherwin also limits some of her driving: “I try to only fill up every other week, or preferably, every three weeks,” she said.  

Senior Astrid Jensen uses a combination of her own income and a monthly allowance from her parents to fill up her tank.  

“My parents pay for the miles I spend driving to school or other mandatory activities. My recreational driving, I cover with my own money,” she said. 

For many high schoolers, there is a lot more to driving than just pushing the pedals whenever. Budgeting and keeping some idea of gas mileage can be very beneficial when trying to spend an appropriate amount on gas. However, the 2014 Teens and Personal Finance Survey from Junior Achievement and Allstate Insurance found that 77 percent of teen boys and 63 percent of teen girls aged 16 to 18 are not keeping track of where their money goes on a regular basis.