View Full Version : I work 20 hrs/week,$13.50/hour and travel 15 miles each way.Cost of commute question

11-4-11, 8:33am
The question I have is that I have a SUV (it's paid for and it is ideal for our family of 5 so DH doesn't want to sell) and drive it to work.

How do I get over the cost of the commute? It seems like if you pay for your gas it eats into the wages fast. I just took the job about one month ago.

Its in a rural place so there is no bus system. Do I go and work longer days so I'm not going out everyday?

I can pretty much make up my schedule but they do want me in office on Mondays and Thursdays.

Thanks for any tips!

11-4-11, 9:46am
Is there any way that you can carpool or rideshare? Depending on the weather where you live and the dress code/ability to shower, could you bike to work? Or maybe bike to work during decent weather and drive the remainder? If you're like me, you'd have to gear up to biking that far and build in the time factor, but 15 miles in pleasant weather can be a relaxing way to de-stress after work.

If none of those appeal and it's an option, I would ask my boss if I could go to a longer workday and commute fewer days. It can make for long, grueling days (depending on what you do for a living) but it would decrease your commute costs. If your job is one that could be telecommuted, I would inquire into that, too. Good luck.

11-4-11, 3:07pm
Are you looking at the cost to commute to a part time job because you are thinking it might not be worth it financially to have that job? If so, then he "real" cost to commute is very much like YMOYL's "Real Hourly Wage" in that what you actually spend to commute may be way more than just fuel costs. Just like when calculating your "real" hourly wage where you need to deduct things like taxes and other work related costs, you need to do the same to come up with the "real" cost to commute. You have to consider the costs in terms of wear & tear on your vehicle, how much more often do you have to replace the tires? Get the oil changed? Possibly replace the vehicle? How long does it take you to get to work and back? That is time (i.e. money based on your real hourly wage) that you spend doing a work-related task. So calcultae your real hourly wage first (I'll assume you don't have any benefits since you are working P/T) and see how much of iit you acually earn, then calculate ALL the commuting cost involved (not just fuel) and see where you stand. Your overall costs to commute might be alot greater then you think, while your hourly wage might be alot less then you think.

As far as how to reduce commuting cost i would say to try work a longer day if possible. If you can swing two 10 hour days per week rather then five 4 hour days you'll be much further ahead financially. Of course you'll probably have to add an unpaid hour extra for lunch each day to that so it would really be an 11 hour day plus your commute time (another hour/day?).

11-4-11, 5:57pm
Along the lines of Spartana's comment, AAA publishes annual figures called "Your Driving Cost." (http://www.aaaexchange.com/main/Default.asp?CategoryID=16&SubCategoryID=76&ContentID=353)

I vote for longer days as an initial solution, especially because the vehicle is paid for. I don't know much about your family, but perhaps depending on your kids' ages, you are not always all in the car at the same time? Perhaps selling, if you can get enough for it and not take on a loan for another vehicle, might be a solution . . .

11-4-11, 6:12pm
Can you work 10 hours each on those 2 days?

11-4-11, 7:56pm
The 10-hour day may be one solution, but can be difficult depending on the ages of your kids.

Combine all appointments and errands into the days you drive to work so that you aren't making extra trips into town for other things. That could include fun things as well as the daily grind stuff.


11-4-11, 10:45pm
i agree with ride sharing. Is it possible for you to drop everyone off on your way to work, do errands and pick everyone up?

Float On
11-6-11, 8:30am
Very similar to my situation. I work same hours/pay and drive an SUV (11 years old/13 mpg/4wheeldrive). My commute is similar if I drop the kids off at school. Seems regardless of errand or not I use at least 3 gallons of gas per workday. I try to work 3 and sometimes 4 days a week. The 3 day a week schedule I really notice the savings in gas. If I were to spead it out over 5 days - it would hardly seem worth the effort. I also notice I'm able to get a lot more done in 3 longer days than in 4 shorter days.

11-9-11, 10:28pm
At 30 miles per workday you're looking at spending at least $19/day on commute based on fidgiegirl's link and driving 20k miles/year (the cheapest option on that chart. It'd be closer to $30/day if you only drive 10k miles per year). That's practically 2 hours income per workday just to pay for getting to work since that's post tax money that you're spending on car expenses. The less days you commute the better, so from a purely economical standpoint (and ecological) it makes the most sense to do 2 ten hour days. If your family situation is such that this will work then that's what I would strongly recommend.