Every week I fill up my car. I know roughly what the cost is going to be and don't give it much thought beyond that. Gas prices are high. They have been higher. I am not complaining. I just never really thought about it.
Yesterday I had an eye opener.
I was at the pump and a young man came up to me and asked if I could spare a dollar so he could buy some gas. I didn't have any cash on me and said sorry I just have my card. After asking someone else he went back and sat in his car.
Wait a minute, I thought. I have my card.
I went to the young man and told him I could slide my card. Would $5.00 be okay?
He told me he had forgotten his wallet at home and $5.00 would be wonderful.
Standing at the pump I realized just how very little $5.00 buys. Just to be safe I had him add a few dollars more. I didn't want him stranded at another gas station a few miles down the road.
When I got my first car my dad gave me a $2.00 bill to keep in my purse. It was emergency money. If I got too low on gas I didn't need to be stranded. I'm dating myself, but back then you could get a gallon of gas... wait for it.... for 60 cents.
He figured a two dollar bill was novel enough that I'd think twice about spending it on something frivolous. It is a lovely tradition but I don't know how you'd manage to do it these days. A roll of Susan B. Anthony's in the glove box perhaps?