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California gas prices seep into others kinds of spending

Paying for gas leaves some with less money to spend at other businesses

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-When California gas prices soar drivers on a limited budget are forced to cut back on extra spending.

Drivers at a gas station on Milpas St. in Santa Barbara said sticker shock has put the breaks on some non-essential things they enjoy.

Some people spend more on gas are canceling restaurant reservations.

"Chucks is my favorite place and I can't bring my lady out to Chuck's as much as I'd like to because it is so expensive," said Will Frederick.

Others are cancelling salon appointments, car washes and weekend getaways.

Kayle Reed said even though she drives a hybrid she is feeling the pinch.

"I would like to go out of town, like up to San Francisco or LA, but the traffic and the prices are crazy," said Reed.

Drivers said something has to give when regular, plus and supreme costs between $6 and $7 a gallon. It's at least a couple dollars more than the rest of the country.

David Pena was putting air in his tires before taking his daughter to a sports practice when he said he won't be going to State Street as much.

"For sure, cut down on every weekend going out, that used to be an every weekend thing now we have to prioritize our money."

Even though Charlie Kennedy is traveling by bicycle while on vacation from the United Kingdom he said fuel prices are digging into his spending.

He plans to camp in Carpinteria tonight and see the town on a budget.

"I think in general it has had a massive impact on other things, food is more expensive, for me fuel for my stove is more as well do it definitely means I have had to reign in my spending a bit and be a bit more conservative as a tourist," said Kennedy.

Many California business owners say they are seeing less foot traffic.

Santos Guzman who owns Taqueria El Bahio on Milpas St. said his restaurant that survived the pandemic, is now dealing with the surge in gas prices.

Guzman said he sees his usual customers less, but will not cut back on workers who have rent and others bills to pay.

He said business has dropped about, "25 percent. It's a lot to keep the employees, gas is high."

John Saliba who works across the street at Crown Liquor said customers are buying less and blaming gas prices.

"They come here and complain about putting only 10 dollars in and I guess I don't have enough money for that."

A gas station attendant who did no want to be named said people are coming in with cash and realizing they don't have enough money to fill up and buy snacks so they have to put items back.

The state's lowest income workers may get some relief when gas rebates checks arrive.

Some will go out next week.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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