WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (7/14/08)--Members of a North Carolina credit union are cutting back on driving and using online banking more as a result of high gas prices, according to a member survey. Truliant FCU conducted a two-question survey of 850 of it members to find out how high gas prices are affecting their use of online banking and their general spending habits (Weekly Update
July 11). The first question was; “Considering high gas prices, do you feel online banking and Easy pay (Truliant’s bill pay service) will allow you to cut bank on your driving?” More than two-thirds of respondents said yes. Responses in three categories were:
* You bet, every dollar counts (68.8%); * Not really, I still need to make those trips anyway (27.9%); and * Depends how high gas prices go (3.3%).
The second question was: “We are interested in hearing about changes you are making to deal with high gas prices. Check all that apply.” The majority changed their driving habits, spent less and used online banking and bill payment. Responses were:
* Cut back on driving (79%); * Drive more conservatively to save gasoline (66.7%); * Spend less money on the essentials (41.9%); * Use online banking and Easy Pay more often (43.5%); * Cut back on summer vacation plans (41%); * Carpool (13%); * Walk or ride my bicycle (10.7%); * Sell my gas guzzler and buying a fuel-efficient vehicle (9.5%); * Use public transportation (5.3%); and * No changes because it’s not a problem for me (4.8%).
Some of the more than 400 suggestions made by survey participants were:
* Cut out all non-essentials; * No longer drive to the local park to walk for exercise; instead walk in the neighborhood and surrounding neighborhood, and reduce dining out expenses; * Bring lunch to work most days instead of driving out to eat; and * Plan better. Rather than going out and coming home several times a day, try to do as many errands as possible in one trip.