Gas prices put fragile economy at risk

A jump at the pump is fueling frustrations, and experts say that frustration is trickling down putting the nation's fragile economy at risk.

A gallon of regular is above $4.00 a gallon across northern Michigan, a psychological and economic barrier that could change consumer behavior.

Suzy Buttleman and her four young children decided to ride their bikes to the park Wednesday afternoon. With gas prices in Michigan higher than the national average it's a choice Suzy says her family has been making a lot.

Suzy Buttleman says, "We definitely have to be smart so we've cut down to one car."

They're not the only ones cutting back; many families are being forced to make similar decisions. For Suzy it means only buying grocery items and other necessities for the kids when they're on sale.

"They're used to hearing the word no." says Buttleman

Jason Tank with Front Street Investment Management says when prices go up; consumers absorb the extra cost at first. When it lasts several weeks, they're forced to make big changes.

Jason Tank says, "They might even switch what type of store they go to. Instead of buying groceries at a local store where prices are higher they may go to Meijer or Walmart. That switching, substitute starts to happen."

Are you and your family making any changes because of the gas prices? Leave your comments below.