### Author Topic: Cost of commuting  (Read 1071 times)

• Handlebar Stache
• Posts: 1582
##### Cost of commuting
« on: August 01, 2019, 01:22:46 PM »
What dollar amount in salary would you personally place on each added minute of commuting?

If AAA claims a medium sedan that drives <10k miles costs 77.2 cents per mile, and my pay boils down to \$27/hour (excluding benefits), would it be fair to say that a job that requires an extra 30 minutes of commuting each way should pay (at a minimum) \$18k more?

I'm acting as though 1 mile = 1 minute, even though that's seldom true during a commute

60 miles/day * 0.772 * 5 days per week * 50 weeks worked per year = \$11,580
\$27/hour * 60 minutes of driving/day * 5 days * 50 weeks = \$6,750

How would you calculate the pay required to increase (or decrease) your commute?

#### Ponderosa

• Guest
##### Re: Cost of commuting
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2019, 01:37:14 PM »
Looks like your napkin math works out.

Thing is it's hard to put a price tag on that level of commuting. I think unless it:

1. Was a TON more pay
2. What you would be doing makes you much happier

It probably wouldn't be worth it personally.

#### Finances_With_Purpose

• Pencil Stache
• Posts: 736
##### Re: Cost of commuting
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2019, 03:59:58 PM »
Your amount of time is fixed.  Your commute is not.  So your costs increase with each mile/minute.

To put it another way: I would have an *increasing* cost for commuting.  Each extra minute is worth more to me than the one before it.

How much would you take to give up an extra hour each day?  An extra two hours?  Three hours?  At some point, there's virtually no amount of money you can/will accept.

First ten minutes: not as big of a deal.  Twenty: bleh.  Thirty: UGH.  Forty plus: nope, I'm out.

Especially since it's every single weekday, for an indefinite period of time.  That's my highest-value spare time.  So I would adjust accordingly.

#### caleb

• Bristles
• Posts: 313
##### Re: Cost of commuting
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2019, 02:23:58 PM »
My time-value is mostly a function of the stress that a commute will cause me, and in nearly all cases would be higher than my compensation at work since I find driving more stressful than my work.

Cheapest time-value for commuting would be wide open rural road with no traffic in a nice climate.  Driving along listening to the news with a cup of coffee and the cruise control on isn't very hard.

On the other end of the spectrum would be extended urban/suburban freeway-based commuting, which I find highly stressful for all of the reasons I imagine are obvious.  I think I would move before doing that sort of commute regularly.  To put a cash value on it, to do an hour each way in traffic every day, I'd want to be compensated a couple hundred dollars each day, something like \$100/hr, to feel like it was at all worth it.  I still don't think I'd do it, though.

#### gaja

• Handlebar Stache
• Posts: 1395
##### Re: Cost of commuting
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2019, 04:24:44 PM »
My job is going through a merger, and the main office will be moved ~100 km. Most of us will continue to work at the old offices, but for those that have to change locale, the union has negotiated the following compensation, which I think is fair, but still not enough for me:

If your commute has increased with more than 40 km, you will get enough increased pay to cover the cost of public transport (\$1000-6000/year). If your commute has increased with more than 50 km you will also get to work up to 2 hours a day on the train/bus. You have to actually work those hours, but it still makes a difference to only have to be at the office for 5-6 hours/day. In addition, more people will be allowed to work from home.

I'll continue at the current office, but will have a lot of meetings at the main office. Those travels will be covered as ordinary work travels, meaning I can count all hours as work, get all travel costs refunded, and get a per diem.

#### aetheldrea

• Stubble
• Posts: 116
##### Re: Cost of commuting
« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2019, 06:11:51 PM »
Your amount of time is fixed.  Your commute is not.  So your costs increase with each mile/minute.

To put it another way: I would have an *increasing* cost for commuting.  Each extra minute is worth more to me than the one before it.

How much would you take to give up an extra hour each day?  An extra two hours?  Three hours?  At some point, there's virtually no amount of money you can/will accept.

First ten minutes: not as big of a deal.  Twenty: bleh.  Thirty: UGH.  Forty plus: nope, I'm out.

Especially since it's every single weekday, for an indefinite period of time.  That's my highest-value spare time.  So I would adjust accordingly.
This is an important concept. Thanks for articulating it.

#### 2Birds1Stone

• Walrus Stache
• Posts: 6036
• Location: Earth
• K Thnx Bye
##### Re: Cost of commuting
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2019, 06:19:28 PM »
I would agree with your math, but as other have pointed out, after a certain point it gets unacceptable regardless of compensation.

#### Zamboni

• Magnum Stache
• Posts: 2655
##### Re: Cost of commuting
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2019, 08:12:40 PM »
To me, the problem with commuting isn't so much the time of a normal commute day . . . it's that one day a month (or more often, depending upon the commute), where there's a huge wreck or some other problem that makes the 60 minute drive turn into a 90 minute drive. Ugh! Not worth it!

I have a 12 mile, 15 minute commute that takes me an hour about once a month. There is not way to predict this, so it invariably messes up my plans. I end up late to meetings, or late picking up my kids, etc. That is stressful for me! I know every back road, but it doesn't help as those routes also get congested if there is a bad wreck on the main freeway. It is horrible.

Also, I read somewhere that for every mile you move closer to work, you can afford to spend \$10000 extra on a house. No idea where they came up with that math, but it's something to think about.

#### mistymoney

• Pencil Stache
• Posts: 575
##### Re: Cost of commuting
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2019, 08:45:04 AM »
Are you all exclusively discussing driving to and from work here?

Metrics on public transit are more obscure.

I'd rather do 1 hour each way on comfy commuter rails where you always get a generous sized seat than in-metro bus and subway that was 'only' 45 minutes.

• 5 O'Clock Shadow
• Posts: 43
##### Re: Cost of commuting
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2019, 10:31:09 AM »

I would take a pay cut of 30k pretax to have a <10 min drive or 20-25 min walk commute (Urban area so drive is block by block at a crawl pace-idea). I am lazy looking for such a job, getting my financial house in order in other ways first.

I came up with that number this way:

I can walk, have better health. I gained 20 lbs since I moved to this commute high pressure job with my butt in the car to boot!

I can cook with my extra time. This gives me nourishment but is also a PASSIONATE hobby of mine that I had to give up coming home at 8 PM because I wait for traffic to die down when I am done at 6 p or I stay to finish tasks because I can not drop by next day to office like a Saturday to pickup files.

I am not in the car, stressing out mentally, being unhappy, & missing out on hubby time. I can be home in a jiffy to catch up with him since he has "normal hours". = relationship better, we can connect and do our hobbies together.

I am so tempted to keep our COL low by staying put out far but now that we are debt free and on our way to making smart choices I would like to in 24 months go to a better QOL.