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How Much Should a Commute Influence Future Employment?

There are many considerations to take into account when looking for a new job and salary is obviously a major factor since you need to be able to afford to live. Location is definitely another major consideration. When both of these factors are taken together they can cause a “make or break” situation. Surveys by the U.S. Census Bureau have found that even though California is one of the richest states in the country it has the highest poverty level due to its higher cost of living.

In addition to salary and location, another point that many people forget to look at is the commute. This is a major expense many people tend to ignore, that could really end up changing the way you see and do your job. Here are some things to think about when it comes to future employment and the commute.

Vehicles Cost Money

The first major cost that’s related to a commute is the cost of a car, truck, or SUV. These modern-day chariots cost many thousands of dollars initially and are definitely not cheap to maintain either. There is also the need for insurance and maintenance, which adds to the overall cost of operating a vehicle. A 2015 article by AAA says that the average cost of owning a car is just under $9,000 per year. This is one reason some people prefer city life where they can rely on public transportation (you can buy a lot of subway tokens for $9,000). If you live close enough to work you can “Bicycle Commute” and save a ton of money.


Gas Costs Money

Another major expense that arises from driving to and from a job is the cost of gas. While gas has gone down over the past couple of years, it’s still much higher than it was in the 1990s. The type of vehicle that you own will greatly affect the gas mileage that you’re going to get. If your job is some distance from where you actually live, you’ll want to minimize your fuel costs with a fuel-efficient vehicle.

Other Dangers

There are other issues that come with driving a long distance to work. The more mileage that a driver puts on the road, the more likely you are to get into an accident. These wrecks do not even have to be at-fault accidents. They will still cost money and time. Additionally, those who drive long distances are more likely to hit a biker or a pedestrian, which could be personally devastating. Pedestrian accident lawyers Abels and Annes say “Drivers have a duty of care while operating their vehicles that extends not only to other cars on the road, but also to other users of the road: motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists, people in wheelchairs, and so on. This often means being a defensive, rather than aggressive, driver. Drivers need to be especially wary when driving through areas that are likely to have more children present: residential neighborhoods, school zones, shopping areas, and parks. This is critical, since young children are often less aware of their surroundings and of the dangers posed by moving vehicles, and more difficult for drivers to spot because of their small stature.”

Housing Costs May Offset the Commute

Another point that people might use to justify a long commute is the expense of houses in the neighborhood of their work. Many people could actually save money with a job that’s within walking distance, or at least within a shorter commute from home. An hour-long commute is not uncommon in many urban areas, and this will cost several hundred dollars each month when it comes to wear and tear on a car.

There Is a Cost Related to Time

Those who spend a couple of hours a day on the road are actually experiencing a greater cost than just the monetary cost of getting to and from work. There is also the time that’s lost on the road. Every ten hours spent on the road takes away about 6 percent of a person’s week that could be spent doing something else. This is a very real cost that actually brings down the per-hour compensation that you might enjoy from a job.

When it comes to commuting, there are many costs. Some are quite evident in the balance sheet. Others are not. Regardless, these costs might make it more sensible to take less money to work closer to home or to spend a bit more on lodgings near work.

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