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Gas prices and inflation | Consumers spending less, small businesses feeling the impact

High gas prices and rising inflation continue to affect our wallets. Now San Diego businesses say it's affecting them too, as fewer customers are showing up to shop.

SAN DIEGO — Inflation and gas prices continue to affect the wallet of shoppers and now San Diego businesses say it's affecting them too. 

As inflation is at an all time high and gas prices continue to rise, some businesses are starting to feel the economic pressure, while customers are feeling the pressure in their pocket book.

With shoppers spending close to a hundred dollars at the gas pump, many have become cautious with their money and are thinking twice before spending 

“I wanted to take a trip to New Mexico, but now I'm thinking I probably shouldn’t,” said Siegfried Rogy. Rogy was filling up his gas tank at a Shell and left spending $80.  

These costly prices are also bringing concern for rising household debts.

“When you look at other people, other families, they are taking their discretionary income out. all because gas prices are going higher and higher. and everything starts with gas,” said Kevin Swank, who also filled up his tank and spent $100.

According to the most recent report from Wells Fargo, household debt increased by $333 million dollars in the fourth quarter, marking the most significant quarterly uptick in almost 15 years.

Although, it's not just consumers feeling the pressure, small businesses are feeling the inflationary pressure too.

Senor Mangos, a smoothie shop in North Park, explained that, while they still have clientele, they fear that less people will stop at their shop and buy from their menu.

“Hopefully as the summer comes, we start to pick up,” said Michelle Martinez, who is a worker at the smoothie shop.

However, economists say that having fewer customers brings a problem for workers.

“When business slows, companies may respond by laying off workers. If they are not selling enough they may have to start letting people go. If restaurants are not seeing many customers they will respond by letting their workers go,” said Alan Gin, who is an economics professor at UC San Diego. 

Adding that there’s no telling when prices will level down. In fact, prices may even double in price because of how expensive gas is right now.

“That could be built into higher prices for everything, because most products need to be shipped and if there’s higher gas prices everything will be more expensive,” said Gin.

Which is why they also recommend that you hold off on spending and plan on budgeting. 

Money saving tips

From San Diego Credit Union

  • Keep track of your spending
  • Separate wants from needs
  • Avoid using credit to pay your bills
  • Save regularly
  • Check your insurance policies. 
  • Be careful about spending a significant amount of money on periodic purchases
  • Cut or downgrade your services
  • Try lowering your energy bill
  • Consider signing up for online bill payment
  • Cut down on take-out ordering

WATCH RELATED: Gas theft rises as gas prices soar (March 2022).

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