Here’s how Americans are using savings at the pump

More than half of American motorists say they’re using savings at the gas pump to pay down debt or put toward savings, according to a survey by the National Association of Convenience Stores.

Thirty-three percent of motorists say they saving the money they would have devoted to high gas prices a few years ago while 21 percent say they are paying on debt, the survey found.

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The majority of drivers — 38 percent or nearly four in 10 — said they are using the money on day-to-day essentials.

Despite an uptick of 40 cents or more over the past few months, gas prices are substantially lower than their historic highs, which reached near $4 a gallon in spring 2011, according to figures. The average price right now in Atlanta is about $2.10 a gallon (metro gas prices peaked at $2.80 last year).

About 6 percent of motorists were spending the savings from the lower gas prices on “special things I wouldn’t otherwise buy,” the NACS study found. Another 2 percent said they were spending the savings on “something else.”


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