West Texans Cautiously Spending Their Money

by Roma Vivas
NewsWest 9

PERMIAN BASIN- Many we talked to say our area is blessed by the benefits of the oil business. But many residents of the Permian Basin still have to decide how much they're going to spend on food, gas, and everything in between.

"Gas prices are going up, and nobody's paycheck is going up to reflect the gas prices rising, so you have to adjust to that," Stacie Ahrlet, an Odessa Citizen, said.

And adjusting is precisely what West Texans are doing.  Many say they're budgeting and watching how they spend their cash, something they didn't have to do before.

"Well you buy less and you don't eat as well, before you could afford to eat steaks every couple of weeks now, it's Hamburger Helper just to get through the weeks.  I have good job and make pretty good money, and it's still rough," Ahrlett said.

"We just try to make the most of it; you just manage your money the smart way and you will be alright," Keith Turner, Odessa Citizen, said.

Others who work out in the oil field say they don't feel the struggle.

"The economy is treating me just fine, I have a good job and I think this part of this country is doing better than most," Todd Duley, an Odessa Citizen, said.

But gas prices are still higher this Independence Day than ever before.  Triple AAA reports $3.96 on average per gallon of gas in Texas and some drivers aren't just cutting down on holiday travel.

"We do try to be more careful to where we drive and how far we go, we don't drive to Midland as often as we were before, because of the fact that it cost 70 dollars to fill up and we through a tank of gas in one week, so we kind of," Missy Houts, an Odessa Citizen, said.

Some West Texan say they're even cutting coupons more than they used to even if they're only saving pennies any little bit counts. Others say you just need to watch where you put your money.