Atlanta Drivers Search for Cheap Gas Prices as Oil Costs Increase

Spring brings April showers and then May flowers, but it also brings something a lot less pleasant: pain at the pump.

When the temperatures slowly start to go up, so do gas prices. So far this month, the average cost of gas is up 9 cents and is edging ever closer to $3 a gallon - that's 81 cents more than last year, according to AAA.

But there's a silver lining - and it's not just warmer weather. As it turns out, the same economy that is causing Atlanta residents and others to struggle financially is also lowering demand for gas, say Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys.

With unemployment soaring - the Georgia unemployment rate is 10.3 percent as of January - less people are driving a car to work, meaning less people are buying oil. Economists say gas prices might level off at not much over $3 a gallon this summer. But even if they don't, there's more good news. You can minimize the effects of higher gas prices on your own.

The easy answer is simply to drive less, even if you do have a job. Carpool with co-workers, take the bus or ride your bike if you can. And if you do have to hit the road, do it at the speed limit. Driving more slowly saves gas, not to mention the health of your car.

Of course, not everyone can - or wants to - give up driving. That's when you're going to have to take a look at your budget. See what you can do without - or with less of - whether it's manicures, trips to the dry cleaner, visits to Starbucks, what have you. File and polish your own nails, use the gentle cycle on your washer and brew your own coffee to free up more money every month - more money that can go towards rising costs like gas. Or even better, towards paying down your debt.

See, when you lower debt, you'll end up with even more cash for gas - or any other costs, for that matter. That's because lowering your balance means not only paying less today, but also paying less tomorrow since you're now paying interest on a smaller balance. Reducing debt is one of the fastest ways to increase your income.

Sure, it's not as easy as it sounds. But it's not as hard as you might make it out to be, either. At least not with bankruptcy. If penny pinching isn't doing enough to make your debt manageable, bankruptcy might be your most practical alternative. Filing for bankruptcy means different things for different people. Maybe it will get you a payment plan that takes your individual financial needs into account. Maybe it will mean some of your debt is discharged. Maybe it will mean providing a legal way to stop foreclosure. To find out how bankruptcy can help your own unique situation, why not set up a free personal debt analysis with an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney? Gas prices might be out of your hands, but financial freedom is within your reach.

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