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How much would you value a shorter commute?

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gpandy
1/27/13 9:29 PM
Hello all, looking to get some of your input on a situation of mine, as I am considering moving closer to work, and am weighing the pros and cons of making such a move.

The situation: I am currently in my mid-20s. I currently have a 100 round-trip commute to and from work. That's 500 miles a week, which includes the obligatory having to wake up earlier to account for traffic, traffic accidents, etc. to get to work on time. It's a 5AM alarm clock for me, and I often don't get back home until 8PM at night, and I will hit the sack by 10PM to get enough sleep.

The plus side? I have a great deal on rent with this long commute. I live here in CA and pay $700/month total for all utilities, rent, etc. for my own room in a great neighborhood. Downside? I have only about 30-45 minutes to myself every day of the week Monday-Friday because of the long commute.

My dilemma: Moving closer to work would allow me much more personal time, albeit at the cost of much higher rent. At my current cost of rent, I'm able to stock away ~$500/month in liquid savings (in addition to $416/mo to a Roth IRA, the balance of which I'm determined never to touch until true retirement). Making the move would torpedo my liquid savings down to about $150/month (I'd still be maxing out the Roth IRA).

The $350/month in savings would be a pretty steep sacrifice, but it would be nice to have the shorter commute.

Feel free to weigh in, thanks.
WikiPost
1/27/13 9:29 PM
Kanosh
1/27/13 9:41 PM
Personally I wouldn't stand for the situation you're in.
Couldn't you find a smaller place, closer to your work?
Thought about getting a roommate?
Thought about buying a place?
How much would you save by less driving?

There's got to be a better solution to your current commute.
Crazytree
1/27/13 9:43 PM
I don't do traffic and refuse to live more than 15min from my office.

I refuse to waste years of my life in traffic.
UTan87
1/27/13 9:43 PM
What are your commuting costs?
CptSavAHo
1/27/13 9:43 PM
Thats a lean safety net. I would never cut my margin down to $150/mo.
dukerau
1/27/13 9:48 PM
Does the 350 figure include gas savings. Assuming you drop down to 100 miles per week, that's about $250/mo in gas savings based on my back of envelope calculations. Your situation sounds miserable. How long would your commute be if you moved closer?
ChumChurum
1/27/13 9:48 PM
How much per hour is your job paying?

You can count either salary / wages, or {salary / wages + benefits}.

Calculate first using your actual working hours, and then add the commute hours.

According to what you say, at 100 miles round trip per day, that's roughly 2-2.5 hours, maybe more. If you arrive at 8 pm, then you stop working around 6:45, maybe a bit early. Assuming you wake up at 5 am, and are out of the house by 6 am, then you get to work by 7:30 or so. That's about 11-11.5 hour work day. Plus commute, that's 13 hours.

That job better pay very well.
Kanosh
1/27/13 9:53 PM
gpandy said:   

The plus side? I have a great deal on rent with this long commute. I live here in CA and pay $700/month total for all utilities, rent, etc. for my own room in a great neighborhood. Downside? I have only about 30-45 minutes to myself every day of the week Monday-Friday because of the long commute.




Re-read this part. Paying $700/month for A ROOM does not sound like a great deal to me, even including utilities. Can you give us some idea of what area this is in? I have a feeling that you could move 50 miles away from work on a different radius and own your own place for $700 a month. Or pay a lot less in rent.

Heck there is probably a mobile home park somewhere 50 miles from your work or home that you could move to. Or, if you aren't too concerned about entertaining others, buy a conversion van to live in, park it at your work, and join a gym or Y to shower.
yurgreat
1/27/13 10:13 PM
like others have said, $150/month isnt much of a safety margin.
How's your cash reserves?

if you dont have 6 months expenses in the bank then save up then move.
or wait till your payraise then move.

Whichever comes first.

But whichever, I recommend move.
or find a new job closer to your current apt.
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