Gas prices causing consumers to make tough choices - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Gas prices causing consumers to make tough choices

Rising gas prices are affecting more than the family budget.

According to Florida State University researcher Wayne Hochwarter, who surveyed 800 people in the southeast, recent increases in gas prices are causing consumers to think twice.

"On the extremes, it's causing people to choose between gas and medicine, and gas and food," he saidsaid.  
People are also canceling vacations. More than half those polled said they do not know if they can afford to get away.

The Florida tourist board recognizes gas prices will hurt tourism this summer.

"People will probably pare down- maybe how many nights they are away or take shorter trips or stay closer to home- but we do believe people will still travel," spokeswoman Dia Kuykendall said.
Debbie Johnson said she is not worried because it is out of her control.
"I'm going to drive no matter what, and it's only an extra 40 cents from last year," Johnson said. 
She fills up twice a week at a cost of $70 each time.
"It's very expensive. Not affordable. You've got to be very careful where you drive, how much you drive. So it's affecting the budget," Johnson said.

A reality that hits some a little harder than others in the pocketbook.

The survey also found 52 percent of those surveyed have reconsidered taking a vacation this summer.

Click here to e-mail Ben Watson.

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