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Happy Wednesday, Daily Money readers. Jayme Deerwester back with you. We’re almost halfway to the long weekend.
Driving for Memorial Day weekend?
It’s a Memorial Day weekend unlike any other, as holiday travel will be met with gas prices that continue to shatter national records. Gas prices have been increasing for nearly two weeks, with the national average at $4.59 a gallon, according to AAA, a 42-cent jump from when the national record was initially broken in March.
Yet despite the pain at the pump being felt nationwide, the holiday weekend is expected to result in more travel across the country compared with last year. Travel is expected be 8% heavier than in 2021, with 82% of it by car. All in all, location data company Arrivalist predicts some 38 million Americans will hit the road this weekend.
Need to gas up before you go? Do that “sooner than later,” advises Gas Buddy analyst Patrick De Haan. He expects gas stations to be busier as the weekend approaches, so not only could you be paying for more gas, but you could be spending more time waiting to do so.
A couple of ways to save:
- Check for price differences across state lines. For instance, the average price in Nevada is $5.24, but go east to Utah and it’s $4.59.
- Slow down 5 to10 mph on the highway. “You can generally boost your fuel efficiency by (up to) 10%, if not more, and with a national average of $4.50, even a 10% savings is the equivalent of close to 50 cents a gallon,” DeHaan says.
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Why 2022 is ‘a very expensive year’ for wedding guests
Tall stacks of invitations and high inflation rates are making 2022 an expensive year for wedding guests, according to wedding website Zola. A recent survey from the site found that guests can expect to spend upwards of $1,300 to attend just one out-of-state wedding. Even weddings within driving distance cost an average of $593 to attend.
Zola’s survey found the average guest is invited to seven wedding-related events this year, including engagement parties, wedding showers and bachelor or bachelorette parties.
“2022 is absolutely the year of the wedding,” says Emily Forrest, Zola’s communications director.
Unfortunately, it comes at a time when costs are high. Everything from food to stationery to hotel stays costs at least 10% more than it did last year. Getting to the weddings is also more expensive. Prices for domestic flights in April jumped 27% from the same month in 2019, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index. Gas prices continue to hit records, and car and truck rental prices rose 70% between April 2019 and 2022, according to the BLS.
But the “No. 1 driver” of cost is the sheer number of weddings that guests are attending, Forrest notes.
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