1. Fuel Costs Lower If You Move Closer to Your New Job
It's no secret that keeping your car tank full is an expensive endeavor. While gas prices fluctuate from one day to the next, the IRS estimates that, on average, employees spend $0.51 per mile on their daily commute to work. That means if you live 20 miles away from the office, you'll spend about $20 per day on gas alone ($10 on the drive to work, and $10 more on the drive home). If you work 250 days each year (about average for a typical office worker), then you're looking at $5,000 worth of fuel costs annually!
Clearly, the closer you are to your workplace, the more you'll save on fuel costs alone. In fact, even a move that brings you 10 miles closer to the office could save you over $2,500 in fuel costs each year!
2. Additional Transportation Costs
Although the fuel you have to put into your vehicle may be the single biggest expense associated with your daily commute, there are other factors to take into account, too. For example, you should ask yourself some questions about miscellaneous expected costs, such as:
- Will you have to pay fares or tolls when driving to or from work? How much are they? Would you be able to avoid them by relocating closer to the office?
- Do you have to pay for parking? Depending on how close to your work you move, could you simply walk or bicycle to your job instead?
- How much is your commute going to cost you in terms of maintenance and repairs on your vehicle? (According to one study, the average cost of maintenance and repairs for a new car is about $0.09 per mile.) What about the price of new tires, if you're quickly wearing out your current set?
Do you have to endure a long commute day after day, week after week? Here are 5 factors you need to consider when making this decision.
3. Time Costs
The time you lose on your daily commute, and its value, may not be as obvious as what you pay in terms of fuel and transportation. However, you should seriously think about the time you could be losing because of a long commute.
Let's say that you spend 1 hour per day in your car (30 minutes roundtrip to work and back). If we multiply that by the number of days you work in a year, then you'll probably end up spending the equivalent of at least 10 days in your car annually!
With that in mind, think about all that you could accomplish with 10 extra days' worth of time. You could spend time developing a "side hustle" to supplement your main source of income. You could focus on boosting your physical health and increasing your stamina. Lastly, you could devote more time to that favorite hobby of yours. The list could go on and on.
The point is, there's a hidden "opportunity cost" in a long commute to work — and it's important to remember that when deciding whether to move closer to your job.
4. Health Costs
It's well-known that sitting for long periods of time can be detrimental to your health. However, driving for long stretches at a time can be even more damaging. Think about it: not only is your body more or less inactive and stuck in a sedentary position for a long time, but you also have to deal with the stress associated with noise, traffic, and prolonged concentration on driving.
Study after study has shown that long commutes to and from work can wreak havoc on a person's physical and mental health. For instance:
- Driving more than 10 miles each way, to and from work, is associated with increased blood sugar and cholesterol levels, according to The American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Of course, high blood glucose levels can ultimately result in diabetes, as well as a range of other ailments.
- Not surprisingly, long commutes have been linked to weight gain and obesity, as well as increased fatigue and irritability.
- Individuals who commute more than 10 miles in each direction are also more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
5. Personal Costs
Finally, it's important to think about the personal costs associated with a long daily commute to your new job. Will you be able to "wind down" after a hard day of work followed by a long drive home? Will you be able to spend quality time with your family? Lastly, will your friendships with others suffer as a result of tiredness or irritability? Will the daily "grind" of driving to and from work cause your overall sense of well-being to suffer? You should think about the answers to these and other personal questions when deciding to move closer to your new job.
Find a Way to Move Closer to Your New Job
For more helpful advice on how to weigh the pros and cons of moving vs. commuting — as well as practical suggestions on how to navigate the financial costs of either option — reach out to our team at PrimeWay today.