Personal finance

Hold onto your wallets, gas prices are heading to an all-time record high. Here are a few ways to protect yourself

With gasoline prices at a 14-year high, it’s hard to imagine paying even more at the pump. Yet prices are only heading higher.

On Sunday, the national average for a gallon of gas hit $4.009, the highest since July 2008, according to data from AAA. 

An increase in demand along with a reduction in supply is quickly driving up prices at gas stations, the automotive group said.

With the recent rise, consumers are now paying 40 cents more than just a week ago.

“There are few words to describe the unprecedented rise in gasoline prices over the last week, with massive spikes coast to coast in both gasoline and diesel prices, as oil prices jump to their highest since 2008,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy.

“Forget the $4 per gallon mark, the nation will soon set new all-time record highs and we could push closer to a national average of $4.50,” he said. According to GasBuddy, the average price of gasoline will likely set a new all-time record within a day.  

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The worst may be yet to come, AAA also said, as Russia’s war on Ukraine prompts fears of severe supply shortages.

More than 50% of the cost of gasoline is based on the price of oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Depending on where you live, there may already be wild upswings in prices. In Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, gas prices jumped 30 cents or more in about a week, according to AAA.

In California, the average was $5.343 as of Monday morning but some stations are charging $6 and beyond, according to De Haan.  

“We’ve never been in this situation before, with this level of uncertainty,” he said.

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