Is Commuting Worth the Gas Price?
When you’re choosing a new job opportunity there’s a lot to consider, including the commute. You don’t want a job where the commute costs you more in time and gas money than you gain by taking a new position.
That’s especially true now, as gas prices are soaring. So before you choose a new job, or perhaps buy a new home further from work, ask yourself if commuting is worth the gas price.
How Much Does Commuting Cost?
There are plenty of factors to consider when calculating commuting costs. Some estimates put the cost of maintenance, oil, gasoline, and tire wear at about $0.34/mile. Of course, that will depend on how much gas costs in your area. The cost of commuting in California is far higher than in Iowa.
Then there are car insurance costs. You can use a company like Freeway Insurance to shop around and get more affordable car insurance, which reduces the cost of using your car.
If you live in areas with bridge fees, tolls, and other costs, make sure to include those as well.
When you get the total, you might be surprised at how much you spend commuting to work!
Do You Have to Commute?
The next question is, do you have to commute at all? Can you choose a job that is fully remote and allows you to work from home? Or, can you talk to your current employer about allowing that type of arrangement?
If your job doesn’t offer a fully remote position and you don’t want to change employers, perhaps you can ask about a partially-remote work arrangement, where you work from home one or more days a week.
If you can eliminate or reduce your commute, you can dramatically reduce the amount of unproductive time you spend on your job. That helps you stay focused and improves your work-life balance.
Making the Most of Your Commute
Maybe you’ve decided that you enjoy your job enough that you’ll endure the commute. If you’ve already considered moving closer to work or setting up a partially-remote work schedule, all that’s left to do is make the most of the commute time.
It’s important not to do anything that distracts you from the road or puts anyone at risk. However, many people enjoy listening to a podcast or an audiobook during commute times. This can allow you to learn and grow, or even practice a foreign language, during times that you would normally be unproductive.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with just relaxing as you commute. Maybe you like listening to music or even enjoying the silence before you get into a busy workplace or return to your family at home. If so, make the most of your commute by unwinding!
Is a Commute Worth It?
Only you know whether your commute is worth the financial and personal cost. Some people would rather save money by looking for a fully remote position or moving closer to their job. Other folks enjoy the commute as a way to learn or listen to books they otherwise wouldn’t have time for.
However, you decide to do it, stay safe, and enjoy the ride.