Pawning Possessions To Pay For Gas

College students passing up partying?

It's just one of the unexpected ways Americans are paying the piper — make that, the gas pump, as prices continue to skyrocket.

The Early Show national correspondent Hattie Kauffman spoke with Logan Ross on the campus of Cal State - Northridge. He told her, "It kinda hurts. It's like, 'Wow, I spent almost as much on gas as I did on tuition!' "

Students who commute to the school are finding they have to pass up opportunities for fun because the money has to go into their gas tanks.

"Gas is expensive and my friends always say, 'Hey, you've got the big truck. Let's all pile in there and go somewhere,'" Ross continued. "I'm like, 'No, let's not.' I'm the one paying for the gas."

Student Madlen Pashinian told Kauffman gas is costing her about $46 a week, and that money "could buy me books, it could buy me paper, a lot of things. Clothing –. $46 could buy me a shirt!"

In Passaic, N.J., the owner of Aries Jewelers & Pawnbrokers says people are pawning their possessions for gas money: "They come in on Monday and Tuesday, saying, 'I need the money to put gas in my tank so I can get to work and get my check by Friday.' "

Michael Caruso, vice president of Washington, D.C. florist Caruso Florists, saw his gas bills double in the last year. So instead of loading up the truck for flower deliveries, "We use three people just walking deliveries within a five-block area. That's helping us out a little bit, by walking deliveries."

It's not just students or workers feeling the pinch, Kauffman observed. Vacationers hitting the road are seeing feeling it as gas prices accelerate.

Camping enthusiast Pete Donaldson remarked that he calls his RV "The Beast," adding it costs at least $200 to feed that beast, twice as much as last year.

To the prospect of driving, say, to Yellowstone National Park, or the Oregon coast, Donaldson says, "Forget it. Fly, it's cheaper!"

This spring, Donaldson is camping just 30 miles from home. He and his family drove from La Canada, near Pasadena, to Malibu, to camp at the Malibu Creek State Park.

But at least one driver, in Boston, thinks this is all a matter of perspective, saying, "For all the people who complain about $3 for gas, those of us going (to Dunkin' Donuts) or Starbucks are paying a heck of a lot more for this, and don't complain about it."