You have your ‘gas price’ app on your phone, and you spot a deal a few miles away.
Depending on how much you are Worth, Cost of Gas, and your Tank Size, will decide if that is a deal.
Download the excel sheet and change the givens to see your data extra personalized.
Table of ‘givens’
Gallons To Fill * Gas Station Price Difference = Total Profit
Total Profit is the actual dollars you would be holding.
Using Miles Traveled and Average Miles Per Hour, we can calculate the extra time it takes to get gas.
If you value your time at 10$/hr you get $ Lost In Time.
Life Profit = Total Profit$ – $ Lost In Time.
Life Profit is a conversion of your Time Value ($/hr) into dollars. I’m not certain this the most significant value in this study. I personally find the Total Profit and Lifetime Vacation Days Lost
Vacation Days is the lifetime cost if you did this weekly, in units of 8 hours(A vacation day). Skip this to save 26 vacation days worth of time in your lifetime.
Takeaways, savings are pretty minimal, a 100$ dollars a year if you are lucky. At a very lucky extreme you are saving $10,000 in your lifetime. I personally think its too much effort.
Anything beyond 1 mile away is almost always a waste of a minimum wage worker’s time.
Should wait until the next gas station on your way home to get gas?
You don’t know future prices, and after you pass a gas station, you cannot turn around. Previous are Eliminated.
This is a common mathematical problem, and Numberphile did a great video on selecting ‘The Best Toilet At A Music Festival’ or “The Secretary Problem”.
Probability can be used in real life. Optimization with math, and easy to use.