Author Topic: Does a clown car commute ever make sense?  (Read 3822 times)

phxguy23

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Does a clown car commute ever make sense?
« on: May 22, 2014, 10:39:01 PM »
Hi all!

If ever there were a time where a clown car commute *might* make sense, I may have just hit it. Curious to hear your opinions.

My live-in girlfriend is a surgical resident and a year away from graduating. As a stretch she applied for a 2-year fellowship in a really competitive specialty. We found out this week that she matched into a program... 300 miles away. It could have been worse -- some were across the country! Initially when she applied I had figured that I would just find a new job wherever she landed. I'm really close to FI as things stand with the recent run-up in stocks; 4% of my net worth not including the house is pretty darn close to what I spent last year including my relatively low mortgage ($34k, for anyone curious).

Here's the kicker: Over the last several months, things have changed fairly rapidly with my employer, and it seems that we're barreling toward IPO. Of course you never know how these things will go, but all indications are that it will happen this year. I'm 2 years into a 5 year vesting cycle on some stock options, and I can't help but wonder if it would be worth doing something crazy like commuting back and forth -- 3 days here, 4 days with her across state lines. My salary is about on par with what I'd expect elsewhere, but the stock options could do anything between doubling and tripling my salary over the remaining 3 years (or, of course, do nothing!)

What do you think? Is this one of those rare times where a crazy drive (or Southwest flights) makes sense to take me safely over that FI finish line?

gimp

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2348
Re: Does a clown car commute ever make sense?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 11:21:16 PM »
Yes.

Here's my opinion. A 'clown car commute' is a part time job, where you earn money, and your job is to get to and from work. For example, living farther away for cheaper rent: you have now picked up a part time job.

The supremely important question is not one of ideology but one of finances. Are you being paid well for that part time job?

Barreling towards an IPO can certainly, absolutely put you into the well paid category.

St4n

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 12
Re: Does a clown car commute ever make sense?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2014, 01:03:56 AM »
+1 on the yes!

My experience with employer share options was via a Save as You Earn scheme in the UK.  I signed up to invest 15,000 pounds (about $25,000) over 5 years in Feb 2007 at 54 pence/share.  Later that same year, the company went public.  Two years later, I could have chosen to walk away with what I had put in up to that point, so about 6,000 pounds, but I held on until maturity.

On 1st May 2012, I collected my 33,000 share.  With the shares trading at around 6 pounds, my total holding was worth just shy of 200,000 pounds (around $300,000 at that point!).  I've since sold out between 9 and 10 pounds a share and paid for a shiny new fancypants house (arguably this deserves a face-punch), but we signed the contracts before I found MMM!

Obviously what you get back depends on how your company's share perform but, unsurprisingly, I'm very keen on stock options and if I were you I would seriously consider doing whatever it takes to hang on to them!

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4250
  • Location: Avalon
Re: Does a clown car commute ever make sense?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2014, 02:20:36 AM »
From what I've seen/experienced, that sort of commute is wearing on a weekly basis and perfectly do-able on a fortnightly one.  It helps if you can do compressed hours (longer days but fewer of them - eg a 4 1/2 day week or a 9 day fortnight) as well as some working from home.  Talk to your employer about the options.

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3023
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: Does a clown car commute ever make sense?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2014, 04:50:19 AM »
Can you and are you willing to live separately for a period of time?  I had to do that for six and four months while my wife was finishing her doctorate.... I'm at the point in life now where I wouldn't do it now, but was okay then based on the financial upside.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

deborah

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8556
  • Location: Australia or another awesome area
Re: Does a clown car commute ever make sense?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2014, 05:49:34 AM »
We spent 8 years apart - he drove 7.5 hours every second weekend to be with me for all that time. He got both Friday and Monday off each time (was working 4 day weeks). We are still together - I think he showed real dedication.

phxguy23

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
Re: Does a clown car commute ever make sense?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2014, 08:32:09 AM »
Thanks for the replies so far, all! One way in which I'm pretty fortunate is that it's looking very likely that the IPO will happen far enough in advance of the move that I'll be able to know with certainty the financial impact. The fellowship doesn't start until July 2015, and the IPO should clear some time in 2014 if all goes according to plan.

I haven't spoken in depth with my employer yet, partially because this is a year away. There is plenty of precedent for people working from home a couple of days per week, though. My thought is to do something like Tues-Thurs in the office and Mondays & Fridays at home. This would allow me to travel on lighter travel days (particularly important if I'm flying). I could see how this could still wear on me after a while, but given that I'm being well compensated for the hassle perhaps I could find ways to make it a bit more comfortable (anti-mustachian or not). chasesfish brings up a very good question about how the two of us will handle being apart -- this is probably the biggest unknown.

norabird

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7826
  • Location: Brooklyn NY
Re: Does a clown car commute ever make sense?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2014, 08:52:06 AM »
No harm in trying the long commute and hanging in for the IPO. If you can't get a schedule of visits that works, or if the IPO doesn't pay off, you can move out to where your GF will be at that point. Staying in place for six months or so after her move date and seeing how workable it is makes more sense to me than picking up stakes immediately. You can always choose to move in the end if the distance doesn't seem worth it.

plantingourpennies

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 441
  • None.
    • Money, Kittens, Happiness
Re: Does a clown car commute ever make sense?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2014, 10:44:38 AM »
The other thing you might consider is dialing down the frequency of your visits to your girlfriend.  Depending on the intensity of her fellowship, she might have a lot on her plate.  Not to mention it's harder to make new friends when you've got a boyfriend visiting every weekend.  She might end up being left out of spontaneous nights out or weekend plans because it'll be assumed she's got a visitor that takes priority. 

When Mr PoP and I lived apart but in the same state (~6 hrs apart for 1 year, 2.5 for another 2.5 years), we made an effort to see each other twice/month taking turns as to who would make the trip.  It was a good balance of seeing each other and staying connected, but not feeling like the visits took over our lives and we were probably both better off in our new locations being "forced" to meet new people and not have each other as a constant crutch.  (But we're also pretty introverted, this might not be a problem for extroverts who make friends at the drop of a hat.)

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Does a clown car commute ever make sense?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2014, 10:50:41 AM »
From what I've seen/experienced, that sort of commute is wearing on a weekly basis and perfectly do-able on a fortnightly one.  It helps if you can do compressed hours (longer days but fewer of them - eg a 4 1/2 day week or a 9 day fortnight) as well as some working from home.  Talk to your employer about the options.

Yes.  I've done it.  It does get old, but it's doable for a couple of years.  Also figure that as a resident, the GF is probably not going to have a whole lot of free time anyway...