High gasoline prices have a great way of slowing down the amount of travel you do.  Here in Montana, there's a LOT of space between places.  The question is whether gasoline prices, now averaging $3.61 a gallon are slowing you down.

Gasoline now accounts for 9% of an average yearly household budget in many parts of the country.  Every thing is affected by gas prices.  The food you buy at the grocery, the products you buy at the department store, all have built in price increases.

Economic Effects?

If prices continue to rise, as are expected, Montana's economy may be in for it come later in the Spring and Summer.  That's because a significant amount of money comes to the state by tourism.  Those same dollars may stay closer to home if gasoline prices continue their climb.

In July 2008, prices hit an average of $4.11 a gallon across the country.  Remembering back to that period, the economy slowed dramatically and the term "staycation" was coined and put in the dictionary.   The current national average of gas prices are $3.96 per gallon.

Follow the Increases

Here's how prices have increased in the past year from GasBuddy.com

In Billings prices range from $3.54 a gallon at the membership clubs, to $3.74 for regular.  The highest recorded price in the state is in far eastern Montana where Plentywood has plenty high gasoline at $4.09.

Have you changed the way you drive or spend based on gasoline prices?  Tell us in the comments.