The True Cost of Commuting

Commuting can be expensive - more expensive than most people realize.

Thanks to this handy infographic from Streamline Refinance (put together with data from Y Combinator and Mr. Money Mustache) we can now get a better idea of how much it actually costs to go back and forth to work every day.

It seems to me that the costs associated with commuting come from 3 sources:

  1. Cost of owning a car (finance payments, insurance, maintenance, etc.)
  2. Cost of driving a car (gas, tolls, etc.)
  3. Cost in time

The infographic assumes a certain length of commute, a certain hourly wage, and it also assumes that you are married, and that both you and your spouse commute. However, all of the calculations used still seem sound, and any or all of these assumptions can be easily changed to apply to your specific circumstances…

Click image to enlarge
Cost of Commuting Infographic

Those are some pretty shocking numbers! For example, assuming a driving cost of 34 cents per mile and factoring time lost with a salary of $25 per hour, each mile you live from work costs $795 in commuting expenses per year (!)

While the infograph suggests living closer to where you work (a perfectly valid idea) I don’t see why people can’t go with a more “extreme” solution: telecommuting. We’ve talked about the benefits of telecommuting before, and I really feel this information drives the point home. Considering how easy it is to work online, and that services like FilesDIRECT let you send large files with ease, there’s no reason to brave the gridlock, and every reason to save yourself hundreds of dollars a year.

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