How do value the cost of commuting?

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unclescrooge
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How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:34 pm

I'm currently underpaid at my job. Mainly because I have been there for several years.

Base plus bonus is about $110k. I'm currently about $15k-25k below market and probably a title grade below where I should be. (I know that's the range - I also currently have a few interviews lined up and at $25k I'll be just above the top range for the positions).

Megacorp itself is excellent, has awesome benefits, 50% 401k match,HSA,FSA, ESPP and existence of mega back door Roth which I get close to maxing out. Literally 95% of my salary goes towards taxes, health care or savings as we live off other income.

I also work from home 95% of the time, which is something I've carved out for myself over the past 3.5 years. I'm in a unique situation and very few people in the company have this ability.

Working from home allows me to spend a lot of time with family, especially my young kids (2 and 4), and the dog who is by-far the neediest member of the family.

It also allows me to work on my side hustle which pulls in about $35k/year and is growing slowly. I also have about $10k in net rental income each year. And a wife who works incredibly long hours and makes twice what I do.

Getting a new job will probably require adding an hour commute in the morning and 90-110 minutes in the evening. It's a brutal commute, only 20-25 miles but in stop and go traffic. Public transport is 120 mins each way.

Part of me wants to get another job, but my wife is adamantly against it. I'll see a lot less of her and the kids during the week days (the youngest will be asleep most days by the time I get home).

Marginal tax bracket under the new rules is expected to be 41.3% (32% federal, plus 9.30% state tax).

So even a $25k, bump is only $14,675 after taxes. Plus there's gas, wear and tear on the car (assume $250/month), and an additional $6,250/year in doggie day care costs ($29/day).

This leaves me with about $5,750 after tax or $479/month. Factoring in the commute time, that equates to $8/hr to sit in traffic for 3 hrs a day.

What would you do in this situation?

Is it still better to look for a job as the compounding effects of future salary increases/title promotions will eventually push me ahead?

I can and will be broaching this issue with my boss. He already knows I'm underpaid and he also knows I love working from home and is using that as a bargaining tool. He also knows I'm not hurting for money either.

What monetary value do place on the cost of being able to work-from-home? At what point does it become a liability?

bloom2708
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by bloom2708 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:41 pm

You are not making much of a case for getting a job with a 2-3 hour commute for ANY raise. $25k, nope. $30k, nope. $40k nope.

One of the key tenants of stoicism is wanting what you have. Job, house, car, wife, etc. Go with that.

Tenured employees are always underpaid when you compare to new hires. I never got this myself, but the new/unproven people always made more than me. And, they couldn't do what I did. So what. That is the system. The only way to get around it is change companies and be the new person. Sometimes that works and somethings that does not work and the new job is way worse.

If you were talking under 30 minute commute, you may have a discussion. I'm not ever signing up for a 2-3 hour commute. Life is too short. Health concerns alone for that commute would do it. Can't put a price tag on health. As your kids get older, you want to spend MORE time with them. Not less. Maybe just hashing it out here will suffice.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mike Scott
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Mike Scott » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:44 pm

Listen to your wife on this one. Negotiate a pay raise if you can but don't sweat it if you don't.

knightrider
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by knightrider » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:48 pm

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.. Keep in mind you'll possibly have to say good bye to your side hustle and rental properties with a new job. Some new jobs can be very demanding. It is hard to know until you start...

Afty
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Afty » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:48 pm

Why do you want a new job? Are there non-financial reasons, i.e. learning new skills, better opportunities for growth, better career satisfaction? Or is it mostly because you're underpaid?

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Smorgasbord
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Smorgasbord » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:50 pm

So your reward for commuting almost three hours a day would be a measly 3-5% increase in household income. Yeah, that's a terrible idea.

retiringwhen
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by retiringwhen » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:51 pm

Considering your current work life style you would need a lot more than $25k for the commute. I am at a place where I have a regular travel/commute a bit longer than that and I am considering a significant pay cut to get rid of the commute. I used to work from home and now lose a lot of time ( 15-20 hours a week) to the job, I personally value that at more like $50k, YMMV.

The downside of working from home is that it can limit long term career growth in many careers though. That should be factored in.

I am late in my career and looking seriously to balance work vs. personal / family time.

Atgard
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Atgard » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:54 pm

Agree it's not even remotely worth it for $15-$25K to add on 2.5 hrs+ commute per day. In your situation, with wife bringing in great money and you bringing in good money but able to be there for the kids, I wouldn't do it for almost any increase in pay, certainly nothing like $25K or $50K or even $100K. Just not worth it when you factor in the added stress leading to health issues or shorter lifespan. Make more money to retire earlier, but miss out on being with your kids as they grow up and maybe you die before you retire? No thanks.

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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by MotoTrojan » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:55 pm

I am blown away that you would consider this given all the details. Does your $110K after-bonus salary include the 50% 401k match? What does the new job with the $25K raise offer? With that factored in, it is a NO-brainer.

Enjoy your unique opportunity and your family time.

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hand
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by hand » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:56 pm

I'm struggling to see how the best case $25k gross increase (<$20k net increase after taxes / commute etc.), is worth hours of your life away from family every day, however two additional items to consider:
1) A salary increase likely isn't just for this year, but rather an increase that you realize for every subsequent year you work
2) Being relatively underpaid likely confers some level of job security which has some inherent value that you lose if you price yourself so you are easily replacable.

ponyboy
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by ponyboy » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:58 pm

Like others said...a $20k pay bump isnt worth it for having to deal with a 2.5/hr commute everyday. Also, like someone else said...if you're going to work remote almost all the time, do realize that upward mobility in the company is pretty much out the window. If you're ok with that, keep the job and keep working from home. There's more to life than money. Not having to sit in traffic everyday like the rest of us sheep is something you never want to give up...unless you retire.

Silk McCue
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Silk McCue » Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:59 pm

I'm pretty certain that if someone had the job and the commute that you are considering they would be posting - "Should I take a $25k pay cut to have an amazing work from job home with extra time to spend with my wife and kids and I will also be able to do a side hustle along with ...".

The responses from many would be - wow that would be my dream. I'm so tired of ...

Cheers

Thegame14
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Thegame14 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:06 pm

you have a great thing going, don't ruin it...

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RickBoglehead
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:08 pm

I used to commute. 15 minutes to the train station. 45 - 50 minute train ride. 10 minute walk. Total of 1:15 each way IF there were no delays.

You've got it great.
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Elena » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:18 pm

"This leaves me with about $5,750 after tax". Divide the amount by commuting hours. That is how much you will be paying to commute. Unless the new position is superexciting, or a ladder for something way better, I would not do it. I also work from home and my office is 15 min. away. I would rather have a salary decrease than commute. No way.

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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:24 pm

Work with your mgmt to get a title bump. That should put you in a new salary range. My megacorp would use your review score plus your position in the salary range to bump up your salary.

Look for more ways to improve your work skills and performance. Ask your current mgr what you need to improve. To get more money you need to stand out.

Realize getting a bump in current company can take a year or more. Managers are often graded on how they manage promotions. They have a set amount in the budget for raises. So NARS need to work the process.

A 2.5 hr commute is ridiculous to consisder. Don’t do it. Your whole family will regret it.

dsmil
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by dsmil » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:25 pm

Don't do it. Enjoy your time with the family. There is a lot more to a job than a salary.

Patzer
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Patzer » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:27 pm

For me, the best solution is to work from home 2 days a week. I still have an office presence to remind people that I am awesome (for promotions and raises), but I still get a couple days that are commute free.
I don't think I would ever take a job again that required me to work from the office 100% of the time, unless the pay was something crazy, like a 50% raise.
It sounds like you are in a good situation and you could negotiation a small raise pretty easily, and keep going there.

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beyou
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by beyou » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:36 pm

I have turned away opportunities for better title and higher pay, to keep the total flexibility I now have, and to avoid relocation. LBYM and don’t let pride make decisions for you.

That said, if your company values you enough to give you accommodations to wfh, use that to negotiate for raises, promotions. But don’t threaten to leave, makes no sense.

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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Shallowpockets » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:42 pm

With the commute, would that affect your side hustle? If it does, then subtract that 35k you make in the new job.
No one has mentions the commute possibility of an accident, with either car damage and repairs and/or bodily harm. You don't even have that possibility now.
Listen to your wife. Happy wife, happy life.

You should rephrase your question.
How do you value the cost of not commuting?

Beach
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Beach » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:46 pm

I work for Megacorp, trying to get a new position where I am a grade lower and just hoping to make the same amount I make now.

I commute 30 minutes each way, the new job is 5 minutes. Commuting sucks, I will take a small pay cut for more time with the family.

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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:58 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:34 pm
I also work from home 95% of the time
My anecdote, I spent most of my 20's and early 30's commuting in some of the most congested metro areas in the country (Los Angeles, Houston, and Phoenix areas). 3yrs ago when I decided to become a homeowner, I limited my search to residences which were within walking distance of my employer. I gladly paid a $40k-$60k premium to live within walking distance of my office, as opposed to comparable homes just 10 miles away. I work in a very niche industry, for a company with over 30% market share. 3 of our 4 primary competitors have their global headquarters within 15 miles of my office and two of them have attempted to poach me numerous times in the past 4yrs. The last offer was for a ~35% raise...I thought about it for all of about a second.

I am underpaid, but make enough (low 6-figures in a director level role for a ~4,000 employee company). I have a great work environment, but maybe the biggest influence on my quality of life is having a lot of flexibility to work from home and the ability to walk to my office in ~7min. For me to seriously consider commuting again and give up the flexibility I have to work remotely, it would take well over a 50 percent raise.

McCharley
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by McCharley » Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:59 pm

DON'T DO IT! :D

Your time is worth more than this. You have it great. Relax.

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Elsebet
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Elsebet » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:02 pm

Patzer wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:27 pm
For me, the best solution is to work from home 2 days a week. I still have an office presence to remind people that I am awesome (for promotions and raises), but I still get a couple days that are commute free.
I don't think I would ever take a job again that required me to work from the office 100% of the time, unless the pay was something crazy, like a 50% raise.
It sounds like you are in a good situation and you could negotiation a small raise pretty easily, and keep going there.
I started at my new job in June of this year and they also have a 2-day per week telecommuting policy. This is my first job with an actual telecommute schedule, my other jobs allowed telecommuting only on an adhoc basis. At the time I was more excited about the pay/level increase but I now find I am enamored with only having to go in 3 days per week. My commute is short but the horrible Seattle area drivers make it miserable nonetheless, I can tolerate only doing it 3 days a week though. I have to agree that between the amazing 401k match at this company and the telecommuting I'd be hard pressed to move elsewhere without similar perks regardless of salary increase.
"...the man who adapts himself to his slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, is the truly rich man..." ~Seneca

Texanbybirth
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:09 pm

To even entertain that kind of commute, I'd have to see at least a 50% to 75% raise. And even then, as soon as I brought it up to my wife there would be some serious friction.

I can't imagine giving up that kind of time and flexibility that allows you to be with family (I have 2 kids close to your's ages, and another due in March) for such a relatively small raise and an awful commute. Yuck and yuck. Sounds like you've got a good gig, congrats! Now stop worrying about whether you're "underpaid" and your "title grade". :beer
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THY4373
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by THY4373 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:15 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 3:42 pm
You should rephrase your question.
How do you value the cost of not commuting?
+1 I telework 3-4 days a week and go into office (10 mins easy mins each way) 1-2 days. I decided years ago it would take $25-35k (all else being equal) to take a job with a normal commute (i.e., 5 days a week 30-40/mins each way). It would take far more to get me to consider the commutes you mention. Unless there are some non-financial factors at play here my answer would be heck no (actually it would be stronger than that but this is a family site).

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AerialWombat
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by AerialWombat » Tue Nov 27, 2018 4:53 pm

It seems to me like you've kinda answered your own question.

Personally, there is no amount of money that would ever convince me to commute any further than I currently do, which is about 5m down the hallway.
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Cycle
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Cycle » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:26 pm

I always put a dollar per hour time saved, or in this case lost. I used this to justify buying a folding bike... Saving 10 minutes per day.

I keep in touch with one head Hunter and recently informed him I would only consider jobs within a 6 mile radius from home (biking distance). He hasn't contacted me since. Nearly all of our megacorp r&d jobs are in the suburbs here. There are two within my circle and I would happily take a job there, even if for slightly less.

One thing I do now is I bike to where the express bus gets on the highway, then it's a non-stop 15 minute ride to work. Workout done. Not too bad of a commute.

I think you can probably get some sort of a raise from your current employer. I wouldn't waste your time interviewing at these other places that will negativity affect your work-life balance.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way

4th and Inches
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by 4th and Inches » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:34 pm

I don't see anyway that it is a good idea to pursue this new job. Don't do it!

Broken Man 1999
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 6:43 pm

I have to believe there would be a crowd of folks lining up to have your job if you left. It sounds like a very sweet gig to me.

When our little ones were around, I was working full time and going to college during the day. I missed out on so many things, but I didn't have the opportunity to work from home.

Enjoy your family, the children will grow up so quickly.

Broken Man 1999
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michaeljc70
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by michaeljc70 » Tue Nov 27, 2018 7:31 pm

If you were trying to make a case for taking a new job, you failed. Maybe you want to get away from the wife and kids with working from home? :shock:

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unclescrooge
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:04 pm

OP here.

Thanks everyone for your responses.

Writing out this post helped distill my thoughts, and made me calculate the actual value of the raise. And all your posts solidified the fact that it's a terrible idea.

If anything, I've realized I have a pretty sweet gig and I should be grateful for what I have.

In hindsight I have won the lottery.

Not an actual lottery, but I am in an extremely rare and fortunate position. I have enough work to keep me busy and stimulated, but not stressed out. Enough time to work on my side hustle during the day (which is only a couple hrs/wk), great benefits, and unlimited vacation which I'm exploiting quite well. Took a week off to go to NYC for a wedding, 2 weeks to visit family in abroad, taking the entire week of Christmas off, plus several vacation days throughout the year.

And yet I was unsatisfied :oops:

I was thinking that maybe the next to next job would lead to the big $50k jump from where I am, and this was just a stepping stone. But now I realize I'm maxed out on happiness. It can only go down from here, and anything less than a $100k bump in salary is not going to make any difference.

Even a $50k bump in salary will be $30k after taxes, and will probably lead me to buying a ridiculously expensive car to make my commute more tolerable. :shock:

I'm very grateful for all of your responses. My eyes have been opened and disaster has been averted! :D

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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by s8r » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:04 am

I like my long-ish commute. 45 minutes by bus.

Only 20 minutes by car, but then I feel really tired at the office. I also get slight back pain.

The extra walking and fresh air really does wonders.

jminv
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by jminv » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:48 am

I would instead frame the question this way:

"How do you value the benefit of working from home?" or "how much of a salary cut would I pay to do that job from home".
It's not just the time spent commuting, but the extra free time you can have at home during work hours, being less involved in office politics, having extra work dumped on your because you're around, etc. It sounds like the company has already put a value on it and at least part of it is reflected in your below market pay.

Downsides to working from home can revolve around lack of promotions and job security ('what does Bob even do at home, while Shirley is always busy here at the office and besides she's such a pleasant person' - regardless of whether appearing to be busy translates into productivity.

Glad you went with what made you the happiest. You have a point about moving up though. If that's something you want to do at a later point, you'll likely have to work in an office but maybe you can find something closer.

onourway
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by onourway » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:51 am

What if, as a sort of middle ground, you did like several people have suggested here and instead work from home just 2-3 days per week, then use that as leverage to get yourself a promotion and a raise in your current position? I agree that for most people it’s probably difficult to get ahead working full time remote.

Mr.BB
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Mr.BB » Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:23 am

When you get ready to retire and you look back on your life, working career and home life. Would you have wished you have spent more time with your kids and family, or in traffic?
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

coupleofcents
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by coupleofcents » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:19 am

I've read every response so far and your follow-up just struck me. I think it's very human to want more. But I really don't think you will be happier even if you got 50K more. What would get? More stuff, nicer stuff.

If it helps, I also have a pretty sweet set-up with work life balance, not quite as good salary as you but I do sometimes want something different. I work from home 2 days a week and a 20 minute commute. My current job is a little boring. I like new. I've written about this before on this forum. Yet, I haven't moved because the set-up is great for my wife and child and one more on the way. I don't have a strong enough case to make to my family why I should change jobs and give up what we have. I don't think you do either.

With regards to missing out on a stepping stone, I get the feeling you will be fine. If you are already able to generate 35K in side income with a full-time job, it sounds like you are pretty resourceful. Please do share as I haven't figured out how to earn a side income like that.

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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by barnaclebob » Wed Nov 28, 2018 10:38 am

No way in heck would I trade working at home for a job that requires 2+ hours in the car every day for just 25k a year. I'm not sure i would do that for any price unless it would allow me to retire in 5 years or less.

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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Wed Nov 28, 2018 1:54 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:34 pm
I'm currently underpaid at my job. Mainly because I have been there for several years.

Base plus bonus is about $110k. I'm currently about $15k-25k below market and probably a title grade below where I should be. (I know that's the range - I also currently have a few interviews lined up and at $25k I'll be just above the top range for the positions).

Megacorp itself is excellent, has awesome benefits, 50% 401k match,HSA,FSA, ESPP and existence of mega back door Roth which I get close to maxing out. Literally 95% of my salary goes towards taxes, health care or savings as we live off other income.

I also work from home 95% of the time, which is something I've carved out for myself over the past 3.5 years. I'm in a unique situation and very few people in the company have this ability.

Working from home allows me to spend a lot of time with family, especially my young kids (2 and 4), and the dog who is by-far the neediest member of the family.

It also allows me to work on my side hustle which pulls in about $35k/year and is growing slowly. I also have about $10k in net rental income each year. And a wife who works incredibly long hours and makes twice what I do.

Getting a new job will probably require adding an hour commute in the morning and 90-110 minutes in the evening. It's a brutal commute, only 20-25 miles but in stop and go traffic. Public transport is 120 mins each way.

Part of me wants to get another job, but my wife is adamantly against it. I'll see a lot less of her and the kids during the week days (the youngest will be asleep most days by the time I get home).

Marginal tax bracket under the new rules is expected to be 41.3% (32% federal, plus 9.30% state tax).

So even a $25k, bump is only $14,675 after taxes. Plus there's gas, wear and tear on the car (assume $250/month), and an additional $6,250/year in doggie day care costs ($29/day).

This leaves me with about $5,750 after tax or $479/month. Factoring in the commute time, that equates to $8/hr to sit in traffic for 3 hrs a day.

What would you do in this situation?

Is it still better to look for a job as the compounding effects of future salary increases/title promotions will eventually push me ahead?

I can and will be broaching this issue with my boss. He already knows I'm underpaid and he also knows I love working from home and is using that as a bargaining tool. He also knows I'm not hurting for money either.

What monetary value do place on the cost of being able to work-from-home? At what point does it become a liability?
I calculate any potential job offer by considering how much more or less I would be commuting. I calculate how much my current 'rate' is. For someone who is salaried, that means calculating total compensation received per hour. This is what I used to find out by how much I should be paid more at a bare minimum to make it worthwhile. So if my rate is $100 per hour, and I am spending 1 hour additional per day in commute compared to my current job, at a minimum, to compensate me for the lost time, I should be paid 100*1*5days*26weeks = $13,000 per year. Obviously the next company need not know about this, and you wouldn't ask them to pay you simply because you have a longer commute, but any offer that is higher by 13K in this example, would be in my mind equal to what I am getting now. And I would gladly pass.

Life is too short to be commuting 3 hrs. a day, and even if someone pays me the 'premium' on commuting, and some more, I would likely pass.

oilrig
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by oilrig » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:00 pm

OP, I was basically in your shoes earlier in the year. I left a a really good and stress free megacorp job (with a 1/2 mile commute), for a higher paying job and much longer commute (about an hour). The pay raise was about $25-30k more and the job seemed like a really good fit for me at the time.

It turned out to be a big mistake, the job was horrible and about 10x as much stress/work as the last job. The stress was affecting my health, and not to mention the hour commute was grueling. Sometimes it would take an hour and a half to two hours to get home, depending on traffic. By the time I got home I was too tired and stressed out to do anything. Also, having to wake up an hour earlier each day, getting home an hour later etc. meant that I was spending an additional 3-4 UNPAID hours per day getting ready and commuting to/from work. The pay raise wasn't worth the additional stress/hours and commute.

Theres alot of little expenses you dont consider that add up here and there. For example, I would eat out more just to get away from the stressful office. My health and quality of life suffered. I got two speeding tickets because the cops were ridiculously tough in this small town. The gas, mileage, maintenance on my car was an obvious additional expense.

I only lasted at that new company for a few months before I jumped ship. I found a new job where I work 100% from home, higher base salary but no bonus potential, and much less stress and workload. I could have made more money at the last job with the bonus potential but I dont care, Im much happier working from home and no stress. My advice to you is to STAY PUT!

Freefun
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Freefun » Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:46 pm

I think many folks would kill for more time with family / kiddos / wife / Doggo.
Many would kill for your job.

Sounds like your current situation is wonderful.
Remember when you wanted what you currently have?

SmallSaver
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by SmallSaver » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:05 pm

3 hours of commuting is crushing. I can't imagine doing it with kids. Financially don't forget to factor in the true cost of the additional commute (much more than just gas!). Health-wise, sitting for those three additional hours and probably knocking back some road food is going to build up and it's harder to find time to exercise when you're spending three hours getting to and from work. Mentally, after a 12-13 hour workday including three hours of driving, how much are you going to have left for your family/friends/non-work activities?

People do what they have to do, and I respect that, but if I had the option (e.g. I already made "enough") I'd never even consider it.

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greg24
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by greg24 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:11 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:04 pm
I'm very grateful for all of your responses. My eyes have been opened and disaster has been averted! :D
Great to hear! You have "enough", so you should enjoy your life. :sharebeer

Glockenspiel
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Glockenspiel » Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:24 pm

I would need at least double the pay to even remotely consider it, and I still wouldn't do it, unless I didn't have kids or a wife. There is no amount of money that will make me want to spend more time at work and less time with my kids. They are only young once. I'm trying to keep that in perspective in my own career and would gladly take a job working 32 hours a week instead of full-time, and the respective pay cut that would go along with it.

Mr.BB
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Mr.BB » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:08 pm

greg24 wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:11 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:04 pm
I'm very grateful for all of your responses. My eyes have been opened and disaster has been averted! :D
Great to hear! You have "enough", so you should enjoy your life. :sharebeer
Excellent! Now go take your wife and kids out to dinner to celebrate! :sharebeer
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

pdavi21
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by pdavi21 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:18 pm

(20-60 cents per mile (car size, insurance risk, tax/fee area)) x (additional mileage) + (lowest acceptable hourly pay) x (addl hours spent driving) + (discounted future medical bills) x (percent increase due to stress) - (discounted expenses from years of life you never live because you died early) + (discounted income you never made because you died very early in a car wreck) x (0.0002) + (tolls) - (travel expense reimbursements / tax credits)
"We spend a great deal of time studying history, which, let's face it, is mostly the history of stupidity." -Stephen Hawking

blinx77
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by blinx77 » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:19 pm

Seems like part of your compensation is almost full time WFH and time to spend on a side hustle (is that during working hours)? No way I'd leave with those facts.

AlphaLess
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by AlphaLess » Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:42 pm

Option A: commute time 60 minutes,
Option B: commute time 20 minutes.
Say, those are each way.

We do: 240 (days) * 2 (directions) * 40 (minutes) = 320 hours per year.

So, Option A results in 320 hours per year of additional commute time.

If that commute time is completely dead-weight (i.e., can't do anything), then:
- assign a value to 1 hour (it can be your after-tax, and then discounted hourly rate): X,
- simply take the product: 320 * X.
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Luke Duke
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Luke Duke » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:09 am

You would be a fool for taking the other job that you described.

Valuethinker
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Re: How do value the cost of commuting?

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:29 am

unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Nov 27, 2018 2:34 pm
I'm currently underpaid at my job. Mainly because I have been there for several years.

Base plus bonus is about $110k. I'm currently about $15k-25k below market and probably a title grade below where I should be. (I know that's the range - I also currently have a few interviews lined up and at $25k I'll be just above the top range for the positions).

Megacorp itself is excellent, has awesome benefits, 50% 401k match,HSA,FSA, ESPP and existence of mega back door Roth which I get close to maxing out. Literally 95% of my salary goes towards taxes, health care or savings as we live off other income.

I also work from home 95% of the time, which is something I've carved out for myself over the past 3.5 years. I'm in a unique situation and very few people in the company have this ability.

Working from home allows me to spend a lot of time with family, especially my young kids (2 and 4), and the dog who is by-far the neediest member of the family.

It also allows me to work on my side hustle which pulls in about $35k/year and is growing slowly. I also have about $10k in net rental income each year. And a wife who works incredibly long hours and makes twice what I do.

Getting a new job will probably require adding an hour commute in the morning and 90-110 minutes in the evening. It's a brutal commute, only 20-25 miles but in stop and go traffic. Public transport is 120 mins each way.

Part of me wants to get another job, but my wife is adamantly against it. I'll see a lot less of her and the kids during the week days (the youngest will be asleep most days by the time I get home).

Marginal tax bracket under the new rules is expected to be 41.3% (32% federal, plus 9.30% state tax).

So even a $25k, bump is only $14,675 after taxes. Plus there's gas, wear and tear on the car (assume $250/month), and an additional $6,250/year in doggie day care costs ($29/day).

This leaves me with about $5,750 after tax or $479/month. Factoring in the commute time, that equates to $8/hr to sit in traffic for 3 hrs a day.

What would you do in this situation?

Is it still better to look for a job as the compounding effects of future salary increases/title promotions will eventually push me ahead?

I can and will be broaching this issue with my boss. He already knows I'm underpaid and he also knows I love working from home and is using that as a bargaining tool. He also knows I'm not hurting for money either.

What monetary value do place on the cost of being able to work-from-home? At what point does it become a liability?
As you write it down it sounds like a bad idea.

What is your time worth? If you work 50 hours a week, the extra 15 hours a week would be huge ... there are 168 hours in a week, you spend roughly 56 of them in bed. So 15/112 is 10% of your *life*. And of the best, most productive time in your life. The marginal cost of that time is very big.

If you raise your salary by 50-100% it's at least worth considering. Otherwise, not.

Hope that you keep good deal at current megacorp and don't get made redundant and have to do this out of necessity.

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