Author Topic: When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care  (Read 2118 times)

Jennifury

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When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care
« on: February 25, 2016, 09:52:46 AM »
I have recently set a goal to retire in 8-9 years and have a decent job that is about 12 miles away from my house. I also 3 kids - one school aged and two under 5.  I'd really like to bike to work but I have a few issues and I was looking for advice.

1. The commute would take 45-60 minutes each way which significantly reduces my precious family time (contrasted with 17 minutes in a car one way)
2. I have to transport the younger kids to their grandparents in the morning (yay! free childcare) and all 3 of them home from the grandparents in the evening. The grandparents live about 2 miles away from our house but there is a horrible mile stretch of 55 mph narrow road with blind curves, no shoulder, and a deep ditch. I biked exclusively for 4 years in college but I am truly terrified of biking on that stretch of road by myself let alone with kids and there is no way around it.
3. There are no closer employers in my field.

Should I move closer to my work and lose the free childcare/aftercare? My husband is a home based instrument technician and is out of town AT LEAST 30% of the time, but his location doesn't effect anything as long as he's in the region. His schedule is very unpredictable and can change withing a few hours so I tend to just operate on single mom mode and any help getting people where they need to go from him as a unexpected bonus. We've looked into a more family friendly job for him but so far no luck without taking at 20% pay cut.

I want to bike to get exercise, help the environment, and save a little money. Does anybody have any ideas? I wish I had gotten on the FI train before I had all these babies. They are my precious snowflakes and I am so jealous of all you out there able to stay home with your kiddos, having already gained your independence!
 

Elliot

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Re: When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016, 10:32:49 AM »
Childcare is so expensive that I think the car commute is worth it. For multiple kids you might be spending 1k a month.

Gin1984

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Re: When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2016, 10:35:39 AM »
Childcare is so expensive that I think the car commute is worth it. For multiple kids you might be spending 1k a month.
I'm paying $1000/month for one kid.

Erma

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Re: When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2016, 10:52:06 AM »
I would keep the free child care. I don't know how much child care costs where you live, but here it is so horribly expensive that most women with more than one child stay at home because child care costs more than they would earn.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 10:56:11 AM »
I would bet your kids get much more personal and involved care from their grandparents than they would at a institution you selected by price-shopping. And I expect your parents and the kids would seriously miss the time together each day.

Travelling Biologist

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Re: When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2016, 10:57:11 AM »
Definitely keep the free child care! Childcare would be way more expensive than your commuting costs. And, assuming this is true for you, I would much prefer my kids to spend quality time with people I know and trust, especially when they are very young. Ours are in daycare because we don't have family in town, but I would prefer that option.

Elliot

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Re: When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2016, 11:13:36 AM »
Childcare is so expensive that I think the car commute is worth it. For multiple kids you might be spending 1k a month.
I'm paying $1000/month for one kid.

So are most I know, but some areas cost less and older kids are cheaper (at least here).

NoraLenderbee

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Re: When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2016, 11:42:33 AM »
You could split the commute--drive part of the way, ride the rest. What if you drove to the grandparents with the kids, and biked from there? If 10 miles each way is too much or too time-consuming, you could drive further and park, say 6 miles from work. It's a bit more effort (and you need room in the car or a rack to carry the bike), but it's a great way to get the benefits of bike-commuting without disrupting other parts of your life.

Gin1984

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Re: When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2016, 12:51:59 PM »
Childcare is so expensive that I think the car commute is worth it. For multiple kids you might be spending 1k a month.
I'm paying $1000/month for one kid.

So are most I know, but some areas cost less and older kids are cheaper (at least here).
I'm in a LCOL area and it is still very high but yes I have a young one.  I think the average though in the US is closer to $1000/child vs $1000 for multiple. 

Theobat

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Re: When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2016, 01:43:41 PM »
I also wish I had started on the road to FI much earlier!  I had grandparent childcare for only 2 months before I had to begin paying $1200/month for 1 kid.  If it is working out with he grandparents and there are no conflicts, I would definitely stick with that option.  I'm actually quite jealous!  I have a long (public transportation) commute and daycare :-(

honeybbq

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Re: When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2016, 02:33:56 PM »
Childcare is so expensive that I think the car commute is worth it. For multiple kids you might be spending 1k a month.
I'm paying $1000/month for one kid.

Infant care in Seattle is $2500/month. Just for some perspective all around, my friends in NY pay $2800!!

MerryMcQ

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Re: When to move: Commute vs Free Child Care
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2016, 02:35:57 PM »
How about moving walking distance to the Grandparents (like within a few blocks of them)? Would that make you only 10 miles from work? Same school district? It may also make it much easier to depend on them when your DH is out of town.