Houstonians limit luxuries and borrow money to survive high gas prices

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- As gas approaches record-high prices, Houstonians are already having to make tough decisions.

The sticker shock is real for some Houstonians when they get gas right now.

"That is crazy just to ask somebody to borrow $50 just so I can get to work for the week," Florence Tyler said. "Sometimes it's like, do I pay rent, or do I get gas?"

It's a reality some of our neighbors face. As gas approaches $4 a gallon, it's making an impact. People are struggling to afford gas money to get to work.

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"I limit where I can go in my free time," said Candace Hargrave. "Sometimes, I have to ask to borrow money just to afford gas to get to and from work."

But it's not just work, some say they are missing out on activities with their kids.

"We were planning to go to the rodeo with my family, but we decided not to because prices are really high," Houstonian Mario Lopez said.

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An expert with the University of Houston expects gas for most Texans to cost between $4.50 and $5 a gallon for most of the summer.



People are also limiting activities they should be able to enjoy when they're retired.

"I'm a retired teacher, and I have a fixed income," Awny Gabriel said. "It is definitely affecting the luxury things that I used to get, like playing tennis now. It's limited to two times a week instead of four times a week."

Neighbors fear the pain at the pump will extend into other items at the grocery store and retail locations.

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"It's ridiculous," Tamika Stewart said. "It really is. I understand it because of the war, but for a lot of Americans, it's not going to be good for us."

With the U.S. moving from Russian oil, neighbors wonder how high they'll see the sticker shock because it's already changing their daily lives.

"Those little extra times where we can stop and get donuts and cupcakes, we can't really do that right now because I'm trying to use that money to pay for gas, and it's kind of getting crazy," Tyler said.

The price at the pump is also impacting some gas store owners. Muhammad Ishaq said his profits are down 25% compared to last week. It's gotten tough for his employees, who he said are getting abusive language from customers.

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"They think that we are jumping the price, but we are hand-tied," Ishaq explained. "We have to listen from where we're getting the price. Actually, the price is $3.79. That is my cost."

It's a tough time for both owners and customers that's not expected to end anytime soon.

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