Author Topic: Help Calculating Commuting Cost  (Read 1848 times)

MoneySkull

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Help Calculating Commuting Cost
« on: February 23, 2014, 03:40:05 AM »
I will be in a position very soon to move closer to my job and start biking.  The down side is that rent is higher in that area.  I've been running the numbers trying to figure my true cost of commuting so I can factor that into potentially paying higher rent.  I could live within 3 miles of work but have to pay $200-$300 more a month in rent.

I've read the article the true cost of commuting (http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2011/10/06/the-true-cost-of-commuting) a few times and I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around the math.

"So each mile you live from work steals $795 per year from you in commuting costs." MMM's numbers seem way higher then anything I come up with.

My commute is 32miles round trip and it takes a total of 1 hour per day.  I use mint.com so I know exactly how much I spent in car related expenses last year.  I drive a 2006 Scion XB.  I bought it used and just paid it off so I will be dropping my insurance cost down considerably. 

Car Expenses 2013
Gas          $1,373.46
Insurance $1,185.08 (new insurance estimate $420 a year)
Service        $471.77
Parking          $18.00                       

Total           $3,048.31

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!!

warfreak2

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Re: Help Calculating Commuting Cost
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2014, 04:34:02 AM »
The rest of the benefits aren't direct money savings, but getting most of that hour back every day, and the exercise from walking/cycling to work, are benefits which you can put some value on. $200 more per month is already about par with your total cost of using the car next year, so we're now comparing two things that are monetarily neutral: would you rather

a) own an insured car, or
b) have another 40-50 minutes free time per day and be healthier?

highwayskies

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Re: Help Calculating Commuting Cost
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2014, 05:58:26 AM »
I just traded my financed Forester for an outright-owned 06 Scion xB yesterday! 

Have you considered other places you drive?  We just worked out our car costs based on moves to 3 potential locations.  I listed everywhere we drive (work, groceries, classes, etc), mapped each on Google for distance, counted the number of times we make those trips per week on average, and it was very informative.  To the point of my question, trips other than commutes made a significant difference.  In one location, I could bike to work, but my wife's regular class would have been so much further away as to make it actually more expensive. 

My spreadsheet column headings (with costs figured from having calculated our $/mi in another table):

Destination A   Destination B   Distance   Round Trip   Cost/Trip   Trips/Wk   Miles/Wk   Cost/Wk   Cost/Yr

MoneySkull

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Re: Help Calculating Commuting Cost
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2014, 11:49:29 AM »
Thanks for the responses! 

@warfreak2- I was thinking the same thing, the the extra rent was going to cancel out any financial saving from riding a bike.  The choice seems to be life style.

@Highwayskies- Yeah Scion XB!  I think the 2006 Scions look so much better than the newer smoothed out models.  I'm going to start tracking everywhere I drive.  I think this will help immensely when cutting back on unneeded miles. 

Thanks guys for the input and extra eyes!

warfreak2

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Re: Help Calculating Commuting Cost
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2014, 12:40:32 PM »
I guess I should add one financial cost you missed off, which is depreciation. What could you sell the car for today, divide by how many more years you'll be able to drive it for, and you'll have a rough guess as to how much money that costs you per year. The choices aren't entirely financially neutral because the bike option comes with a lump sum from selling the car.