Author Topic: Should we move closer to work, change cars or move to a different city?  (Read 2946 times)

mbfrugal

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Hi Mustachians!

I'm a new reader and have found my financial guru at last!  My husband and I have applied some of his principal teachings and have cut down expenses by following some of his advice. I wished I discovered this website before we bought our new construction $315K house less than a year ago. We probably would not have bought this house. So now, 6 months after moving, we're considering either moving closer to my work, or changing my (paid off) car to more fuel efficient car. 

First off, lets get the facts out there:

My husband and I live in Bakersfield, CA, one of the cities with the worst air quality (http://www.weather.com/health/worst-cities-air-pollution-20140430).  So I really don't want to be biking to work, just because of the pollution aspect of it.  I'm not opposed to biking at all.  In fact I've talk to my husband about doing it a few times but because of health and safety reasons (I don't know how to ride a bike and lack of bike friendly routes in town), he doesn't think that it's a good idea for me to bike to work.  (Have I isolated myself in the MMM community just by saying that??)

My husband works from home (yay!) but usually goes to his work in Los Angeles about once a month (usually less).  I work about 6.5 miles from home 15 minutes each way, four days  week. 

Cheapest houses closer to my work probably cost $270k (about <1-4 miles).  Inventory at this price is almost non existent.  I'm basing it on zestimate, rather than selling price since there isn't any.  Low end of average is about the cost of my house and a lot of them are north of what we're willing to pay for. A lot of these houses are 10+ years older than ours and smaller than ours.  Ours, as we've discovered is a bit more energy efficient than these 'older' houses. Our electric bill is lower now than it was a year ago when we were renting a <1000 sq ft apartment.

Besides being farther from work, our house is also about 8 miles away from our grocery store (cheaper and preferred products than closer grocery store) and about 10 miles away from Costco, which we visit at least every other week for our other grocery stuff). The closer, but more expensive grocery stores are about 2.5 - 3 miles away.  In general, our house is in a new construction area, where there's not a lot of other establishments, only houses and the schools.

I drive a 2007 V6 Honda Accord. At the estimated 18mpg on city, it had sucky fuel efficiency to begin with.  After reading MMM, I changed my way of driving.  After the first tank of gas on my improved driving, I was excited to calculate my mpg only to be disappointed that it is in fact still 18 mpg (it was mostly city driving).  Since then, we have been considering trading in my car for a more fuel efficient model.  According to cars.com, the estimated resell value of my car is $8-12K, I would probably put it in around $9K.  We have not decided what car yet, but we're hoping not to spend more $9K (for an even exchange).

Lastly, regarding work, I like where I currently work, because it allows me to work 4 days a week and gives me weekends off, which is rare in my profession.  I have a matched 401k account plus a pension plan.  Like any other job, there are good days and bad days, but generally, I like the people I work with and the benefits the company offers me.  Don't get me wrong, we're all here because we want early financial independence, so as soon as I don't need to, I will eventually join the likes of MMM.

So there you have it! Comments, constructive criticisms and advices (on anything!) welcome!  Caps on actual monetary amounts would be especially helpful.

Thanks Mustachians! 

Update: I'm adding the following information:
Gross Income: $134K; no other source of income besides current job
Current Mortgage payment: $2200/month x 15 years on 3.625% conventional interest rate
Other Debts: no current debts (no credit card, student loan, car loans)
Move/Car related expenses: Gas:$150-200/month plus other maintenance (don't know how much per year yet since we just started tracking our expenses, probably $1000/yr???)
I'm mainly curious whether or not we should move, change cars or leave town altogether.
Thanks for reading!








« Last Edit: September 02, 2014, 10:13:43 AM by mbfrugal »

frugaliknowit

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1671
Re: Should we move closer to work, change cars or move to a different city?
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2014, 01:43:26 PM »
Not enough information.  All we know is:

1.  Distance from work (not much).
2.  Mortgage balance.
3.  Square footage for 2 persons.
4.  You just bought the house.

mbfrugal

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Should we move closer to work, change cars or move to a different city?
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 03:07:23 PM »
Thanks for the reply. I just thought I'd provide the basic information. What other info do you think I need to provide/ consider?


mbfrugal

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Should we move closer to work, change cars or move to a different city?
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 05:41:17 PM »
What a timely post.  I've updated my original post.  I apologize if it's not specific or complete enough.  I'm a bit new at this.  Please don't hesitate to ask me if you have any follow up questions. Thanks!