The Money Mustache Community
Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Glenstache on November 16, 2015, 06:52:41 PM

How much would you spend every month to reduce your daily roundtrip commute time from 1:45 to 30 minutes (1:15 reduction)?
For the purposes of this question, all other costs are equal/neutral including any extra mileage, wear and tear, gas, donuts, rideshare, tolls, tires for your bicycle, etc. Mode of transport is not specified because the question is about the time opportunity cost. This is strictly a $$ vs time question. How much is that lost time worth to you?
The time values I put in are a range of awful to normal Seattlearea commute times and are intended to provide something concrete to use as a discussion point. YMMV (of course). I'm sure many of us would prefer less than 30 minutes as well.

I would have to actually experience a 1:45 commute to answer, but it certainly sounds awful. I'd just like to say that I think method of transport CAN make a difference if one way results in time not actually being lost  I have some coworkers who take the train in from the suburbs for close to that amount of time, and they either do some of their actual work on the train or do homework/reading for courses they're taking. So commuting can actually be an extremely efficient use of time depending on the situation.

It really depends on a persons income. I'd be much more willing to pay $1000/mo if I made 150k/yr vs 50k/yr.

To put things in perspective, in Melbourne, the purchase price for the same 2000 sqf house would be:
2hrs 20 min round commute  700K
1hr 40 min round commute  1.1M
1hr 10 min round commute  1.4M
50 min round commute  1.8M
30 min round commute  2.5M (on a tiny land)
the commute is drive/walk  train  walk to work

Depends how you value your time really...assuming 20 working days per month, you are saving 25hrs/month with the shorter commute.
So if you value your time at various amounts, the lessened commute is worth:
$20/hr ::: $500
$40/hr ::: $1000
$80/hr ::: $2000
Also you will just in general be less stressed with more free time, so factor that in. Personally, although I am actually paid more like $25/hr, I would absolutely give up at least $1000/month for that shorter commute.

To put things in perspective, in Melbourne, the purchase price for the same 2000 sqf house would be:
2hrs 20 min round commute  700K
1hr 40 min round commute  1.1M
1hr 10 min round commute  1.4M
50 min round commute  1.8M
30 min round commute  2.5M (on a tiny land)
the commute is drive/walk  train  walk to work
Sounds like a good town to rent and not buy. But seriously, that is insane.
So, if the average person has 20 round trip commutes a month and are willing to spend $500 extra a month to reduce that, that breaks down to $12.50 per commute leg ($25 per RT commute).

I would have to actually experience a 1:45 commute to answer, but it certainly sounds awful. I'd just like to say that I think method of transport CAN make a difference if one way results in time not actually being lost  I have some coworkers who take the train in from the suburbs for close to that amount of time, and they either do some of their actual work on the train or do homework/reading for courses they're taking. So commuting can actually be an extremely efficient use of time depending on the situation.
I presume he means roundtrip at 1:45?
I commute 3 hours a day roundtrip. Hence why I am moving to a centrally located city soon.

Bike commuting FTW!
I voted "Commuting is my happy place" because biking really is fun. If I had to choose another method of transport, I'd probably vote $500/mo. In fact, that was almost the exact tradeoff I made when I moved into the city to begin with (I've since moved back out/started biking in, saves a TON on rent and other structural costs).

I enjoy bike commuting for a round trip of an hour and twenty minutes to an hour and a half. Unfortunately, I have to give up some bike commuting time each week to have extra family time at home.

I voted $500 because I actually did a bit more than that.
I used to have a commute of an hour and 15 minutes after a job change. When I moved, preMMM, I bough a more expensive house, although the same square footage, closer to work. This brought my commute down to 30 minutes total. So I only save 45 minutes for $500, not an hour and 15 minutes. The new mortgage is about $400 more/month and the HOA is about $100 more per month. So not mustachian, I wrapped all of this expensive change up about a month before I found MMM. Oh well, at least I bought a shorter commute.