When is a long commute worth it? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself ever since I took a job in Annapolis, 33 miles from home. That’s 24 miles more (one way) than my previous job in Baltimore.
I received a bump in pay, but was it enough to justify more time in the car, and the additional cost? Let’s run the numbers:
- 48 – Daily additional miles driven to and from work
- $25.68 – Daily cost of additional miles, using 53.5 cents/mile IRS reimbursement rate (designed to cover gas, maintenance, depreciation, and insurance)
- $2.80 – Daily commuter toll rate (both directions) for Baltimore Harbor Tunnel
- $6,863.68 – Total Additional Annual Cost (over my previous commute). Total is derived from: ($25.68+$2.80)*241, where 241 is the estimated number of commuter days in a year
My new salary covers the cost difference, but what about intangibles?
What is the cost of an additional hour in the car every day? That’s less time with my family, but more time to listen to books or news, or to think about blog posts 🙂 .
What is the cost of being further away from home? It’s harder for me to drop off and pick up Pippa and Grey from school and other activities, leaving more for Nora to do. And meeting home repairmen and contractors during the day became more difficult.
What is the value of a new job opportunity that I really wanted? It was time for me to move on from my old job, and my current position seems like a good next career step.
How to calculate intangibles? You can’t really. You discuss, pray and meditate on all these variables, then make a decision. Like many things in life, these aren’t considerations you can input into a calculator and receive a tidy sum. You have to take a leap of faith, and hopefully land on your feet.
Do you have a really long or short commute? What does it mean for you?