CHICKASHA — With two commuters in their household, Matt and Tosha Halsted have cut out the "extras” to afford gas to get to and from their jobs.
"We used to be able to go to the movies or head to Oklahoma City, but now our entertainment has been reduced to Redbox (video rentals),” Tosha Halsted said. "We don't eat out as much anymore.”
From their Chickasha home, Tosha Halsted drives to and from her job at the University of Oklahoma in Norman in her 2002 Nissan Pathfinder. Her husband, Matt, works at a publishing company in Mustang. He commutes in a 1989 Nissan Sentra. Together they rack up about 140 miles every day.
"We budget $600 a month for gas,” she said. "We keep having to change our budget to make up for the increasing gas prices.”
They are expecting their first child in July and just bought their first home. They chose to remain in Chickasha to live close to family and their church. All the expenses can seem overwhelming, the Halsteds say.
"Gas is our biggest expense,” she said. "It took $29 to fill my tank up when I got my car. Now it takes $60. It's a necessity to get to work, but it's hard. I don't understand why it's going up.”
The couple recently took a road trip to visit relatives, but there won't be many of those in the future. They also think twice before doing everyday errands.
"We're definitely more strategic in planning our trips,” she said. "We think ‘OK. I'm already in the city, so what else do I need to do while I'm here?'”
Staff Writer Jennifer Griswold