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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: danzabar on June 20, 2013, 03:36:03 PM

Title: Cost of commuting vs. unemployment
Post by: danzabar on June 20, 2013, 03:36:03 PM
Hi everyone, hoping for some feedback on an upcoming move for a job. I am moving to Toronto and will be living along the subway line (edit* we already found a place, its west-end - 2 min walk from subway), I own a car debt free and I'm moving to a reasonably priced place in toronto along the subway line. I originally had planned to sell my car (worth roughly 3-4,000$)My fiance will work downtown and will not need a car (moving august 1st). I'm currently job searching, I'm pretty employable (work in social services as a therapist in a city with lots of this type of service) and have had 2 interviews so far, but they were in locations that are not that great. My original plan had been to work  along a transit line/ reachable by bike to avoid the horrible cost of commuting and increased cost of living. However, the most promising jobs I've looked at are north of the 401 or near scarborough and would require an incredible long train ride or long/stressful car ride. Am I better to be picky and wait out for a job within the city that is easy to reach or take these jobs.
I estimate that I would need to make roughly 20,000k more a year to own a car and commute so that is worth considering as well. Help me stay mustachian!
Title: Re: Cost of commuting vs. unemployment
Post by: Joet on June 20, 2013, 03:40:41 PM
theres really no way to answer this question. I will answer your question(s) with a question though. Why isn't focusing on opportunities that most rapidly advance your skills/income/enjoyment rule #1? Your fiance's job is another factor. Will she be moving on/up at some point? always in the same area?

I have no idea how to answer your question of course. Long commutes suck, people deal with them for a reason. Hopefully it's for the 'right' reason(s) [career, advancement, etc] and not the 'wrong' reasons [big suburban house, yard, mcmansionism]
Title: Re: Cost of commuting vs. unemployment
Post by: pop pop! on June 20, 2013, 04:24:19 PM
Why do you need to make $20k/year more to commute by car?  That seems like a really high estimation.  I estimate that my wife, who commutes 36 miles/day, incurs (based on the cost/mile) something like $2200/year in commuting costs.  Even accounting for higher costs of gasoline in Canada, it seems like you might be off by a factor of 10.
Title: Re: Cost of commuting vs. unemployment
Post by: shelfins on June 20, 2013, 04:30:36 PM
This really all depends on your sense of the market. If you think these are the best/closest jobs you'll be able to find, you'll still come out ahead of unemployment by taking them if your salary is more than $20k a year. On the other hand, if you think that another month or two of job searching will yield an equally good job with a far better commute, then I'd say keep looking, since that month or two of lost wages will (presumably) be less than the tens of thousands of dollars in extra commuting you'll save over the course of your time in the job.

One other thought, although it may be too late now: when you're moving to a new city to look for work, it's often useful to sublet at first and only rent a place once you've found a job, so that you can choose where you live based on where you work, rather than having to choose where you work based on where you live. Obviously, you're going to be somewhat constrained by where your fiance works, since you want your jobs close enough to each other that you can both have reasonable commutes, but you'll still have a far larger radius to work with than if you're locked into a particular home location, too.
Title: Re: Cost of commuting vs. unemployment
Post by: danzabar on June 21, 2013, 08:44:47 AM
Thanks everyone for your thoughts, with insurance / parking costs my car would cost 300$ per month before any gas or maintenance, as well as the huge amount of time spent on the road. I figure I could use to productively relax or make money doing almost anything else.
On reflection, I feel I have to hold out for a job within the city. We picked a place as my fiance is interning at a hospital on the subway line and we both wanted to live in the city and not in a subburb.