What’s a Short Commute Worth?

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When you're looking for a place to live, real estate agents like to remind you that it's all about location, location, location. The problem is that great minds think alike, so when you find a great location, it's likely going to cost a little more than commuting from farther away. Luckily, this small extra cost can easily pay for itself. Here's how.

Figure Out What Your Time is Worth

Take your hourly pay and multiply it by the extra commuting time. Even if you wouldn't be working during that time, your time is still worth money. You wouldn't be happy with a 10% pay cut, would you? If you commute an extra 4 hours per week in a 40 hour week, you've effectively given yourself a 10% pay cut.

Add in Commuting Costs

Even if you're willing to drive a little extra for a lower rent, you could end up spending more than the difference in gas, tolls, and car maintenance. The IRS allows business owners to deduct around 55 cents per mile (it adjusts each year) as the cost of using their car for business purposes — that includes both obvious costs like gas and less obvious costs like wearing your car out faster.

Multiply that 55 cents per mile times the extra number of miles you'll need to drive times the number of working days in a month to see how much extra you'll spend on a longer commute.

Think About Other Ways Your Spending Could Increase

Think about other expenses you could add on because you're away from home more. Will you be too tired to cook and spend more on takeout? Will you need to spend more for daycare? Do you have a paying side job that you enjoy that you could end up cutting? Go through your budget line by line to see if there are other possible financial impacts.

Don't Forget the Priceless

A longer commute means more time away from your family, and you can't put a price on that. You could also find yourself more drained and not wanting to do things on the weekends.

Our Woodlands apartments are located close to everything. Call our office to learn more about what's nearby.

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