Just like everyone else, I’m feeling the pain at the gas pump these days.  Every time I fill up the tank of my SUV I start to reminisce about my old Honda Civic and I wonder how much it would cost to fill up its tank with today’s soaring prices.  I’m sure it would be a lot less than the $75 I spend filling up the SUV.  The Civic was my first car out of college and I drove it for 12 years and 206,000 miles.  The only reason I traded it in was because I had a third child on the way and I just didn’t think it would be roomy enough anymore.  But the kids are older now and one can sit in the front seat, which has me thinking maybe it’s time to downsize.

Lots of folks are ditching their SUVs these days in an attempt to lower their gas bills.  Families are minimizing their summer travels and scheduling vacations closer to home.  I’ve read that some hotels are now offering prepaid fuel cards, some up to $100, in an attempt to entice travelers.  Other than our annual beach vacation on the NC coast, most of my miles are driven to and from work, or taking the kids to soccer practice all over the Triangle.  I figure there’s not much I can do in the way of cutting back my mileage, but I can make a wiser choice when purchasing my next car.  The SUV will be paid off in a year and with a little luck and good maintenance I’ll hang onto it until my oldest can drive in a few years.  I didn’t give much consideration to the MPG when I bought the SUV, it was more of an impulse buy.  I’ll definitely do a little more research next time around.  One useful website I’ve found is the Department of Energy’s http://www.fueleconomy.gov/ .  If you’re in the market for a new or used car, you may want to check out the site for some ratings, comparisons and other money-saving tips.