Author Topic: The classic commuting conundrum - is there another option I'm missing?  (Read 2910 times)

Home Stretch

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My wife and I work in different cities and live in between them. My commute is 15-20 minutes and hers is about 45.

She's starting to get understandably tired of the commute, whereas I've actually been able to occasionally bike to work because it's just close enough.

Easy problem to solve, right? She should just quit her job and find employment close to home! Well.... she's at her dream job, they pay her very well, and she can't imagine switching to anywhere else now or in the near future. I'm basically in the same boat - not interested in leaving my job.

So far, here's what she's done to lessen the suckiness of this situation:

1. Switched to a cheap, used hybrid to minimize fuel costs. This was a no-brainer. She wouldn't even own a car if she didn't have to do this commute.

2. Negotiated one day a week of WFH, to avoid the commute altogether. No chance of any more days per week for the foreseeable future.

3. Adjusted working hours to avoid rush hour in mornings and evenings.

Public transportation would lengthen her commuting time to 90 minutes each way and cost $4.50 a day. Operating cost of car is about $7/day (using my own numbers, because this car costs nothing near the 56c/mile that is frequently used for reimbursement). So.... maybe I'm being a complainypants but I don't think saving $2.50/day is worth the extra 1.5 hours a day of time spent commuting and having to walk to the bus stop in all weather conditions.

Any thoughts on the situation? I'm really just looking to see if I'm missing some magical mustachian solution to this classicly stupid American problem.

GuitarStv

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Re: The classic commuting conundrum - is there another option I'm missing?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2015, 10:17:08 AM »
Quit your job and stay at home (or find work closer to where she works), move closer to her job.

Home Stretch

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Re: The classic commuting conundrum - is there another option I'm missing?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2015, 11:35:01 AM »
Quit your job and stay at home (or find work closer to where she works), move closer to her job.

Well, I fully recognize that this is quickly turning into a dumb question, but neither of us are willing to quit our jobs and we can't exactly move since we bought a house. The financial repercussions of selling the house and moving elsewhere would be far worse than just continuing to commute.

I was more wondering if anyone else has managed to improve their situation in novel ways, like ride-sharing successfully or something along those lines.

cchrissyy

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Re: The classic commuting conundrum - is there another option I'm missing?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2015, 12:00:12 PM »
rent out your house and use the $ to rent close to her job

NorCal

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Re: The classic commuting conundrum - is there another option I'm missing?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2015, 12:27:53 PM »
Is carpooling with co-workers an option?

CanuckExpat

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Re: The classic commuting conundrum - is there another option I'm missing?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2015, 12:41:23 PM »
For clarity, what is the distance (in miles/kilometres) from home to each of your jobs? You only listed it in time.
Are your public transit options only bad bus connections?

neo von retorch

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Re: The classic commuting conundrum - is there another option I'm missing?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2015, 01:55:57 PM »
My wife has a ~20 minute commute, and mine is 40-60 minutes (and 23-30 miles depending on route; the 30 mile route is mostly toll road.)

1. I drive a Honda Fit
2. I also WFH one day per week
3. I also work "later" than everyone else, plus visit the gym MWF to avoid rush hour

Same situation, except I don't like my job any more... so I'm hoping the job offer I just got ends up being a job that's 8 miles from home! I can't imagine a better solution. In your situation, I suppose I'd wonder if it's truly a "dream job" and if there's something else like it. Otherwise, you simply would have to pick up and move, which is obviously a huge hassle with big costs associated with it.

Do you have a rough F.I.R.E. target date when the commuting would come to an end?

MaggieD

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Re: The classic commuting conundrum - is there another option I'm missing?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2015, 02:45:22 PM »
Has she tried the public transit option?  I hear you saying the transit route doesn't make sense, but what's her opinion?  Lots of people prefer the additional time over driving.  It could at least help to mix things up when she's extra sick of the drive in addition to giving an option if a car is out of commission.  Can you make the transit commute any easier/shorter by dropping her off or picking her up at a stop or transfer?  Also, if there is an option to pay for the transit costs with pre-tax money, there could be additional savings.  Could you take anything off her plate at home so when she gets home after either the annoying car commute or long transit commute, she can decompress a bit?

Goldielocks

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Re: The classic commuting conundrum - is there another option I'm missing?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2015, 03:48:36 PM »
She could rent a room walking distance to work and stay there 3 nights a week. 

Not a great option, but you were looking for novel solutions.   
 Heck, this may give her time to finally take that Yoga/Spanish/spin class she may have been wanting...but had no time for due to the commute.

OR, she could start working 4 x 10 hour days, including 1 day from home...