Should I find a different job with a better commute?

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miamivice
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Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by miamivice » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:37 pm

Quick version:

Last year, I earned $160,000 with a mechanical enginerering degree and 10 years experience. This is likely considered well compensated for my educational background and career choice. In addition to the compensation, I am accuring a pension, healthy retirement benefits, and healthy educational benefits (which I am taking advantage of currently).

I also commute (round trip) 2 1/2 hours a day to my job. Supposedly, my job site will move closer to me in a few weeks, but this has been promised for over a year with no end in sight. Maybe it will happen maybe not.

My question - would it be worthwhile to pursue an engineering job in a different company, that has a closer commute? I might be able to get the commute down to 1 hour round trip per day in my city, or maybe 35 minutes per day in the rural area. The pay would decline to maybe $100,000 a year in my current city, maybe $80,000 in the rural area.

Pros
- Shorter commute

Cons
- No educational benefit
- Less pension
- Less pay
- worse working conditions (micromanagers, public servant positions, less job security, etc)

I know this is more of a qualitative rather than quantitative decision, but curious what comments others would have to offer.

mortfree
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by mortfree » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:40 pm

With your current job is an alternative work schedule (four 10-hr days) or a work from home day possible?

I’ve been commuting 2.5 hrs round trip for 20 years. Able to work from home 1 day per week for the last 7 years. It made a difference

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:43 pm

- worse working conditions (micromanagers, public servant positions, less job security, etc)
Nope. Personally, I'd rather commute an hour and 15 minutes one way (and have) for the better working conditions. I had a job working out of my home office with a company CEO who was a micro manager and an immediate supervisor who was also. I quit as soon as I could and commuted.
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The Broz
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by The Broz » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:45 pm

FWIW I was laid off from a job where I commuted about an hr round trip every day, and picked up a job for more money (a 25% increase or so) with a 2.5 hour round trip commute. Now to be fair, the job for less money also had a lot less stress as well. But in my case, the smaller commute and smaller stress level was worth way more to me than the extra money. If I could have gone back (the office closed) and gotten my old life back, I would have done it in a heartbeat. The new job just felt like it sapped the life/confidence from me completely, and brought me a certain level of what I would consider to be depression.
Not a true apples to apples comparison, but I hope it helps a little.

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CyclingDuo
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by CyclingDuo » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:49 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:37 pm
Quick version:

Last year, I earned $160,000 with a mechanical enginerering degree and 10 years experience. This is likely considered well compensated for my educational background and career choice. In addition to the compensation, I am accuring a pension, healthy retirement benefits, and healthy educational benefits (which I am taking advantage of currently).

I also commute (round trip) 2 1/2 hours a day to my job. Supposedly, my job site will move closer to me in a few weeks, but this has been promised for over a year with no end in sight. Maybe it will happen maybe not.

My question - would it be worthwhile to pursue an engineering job in a different company, that has a closer commute? I might be able to get the commute down to 1 hour round trip per day in my city, or maybe 35 minutes per day in the rural area. The pay would decline to maybe $100,000 a year in my current city, maybe $80,000 in the rural area.

Pros
- Shorter commute

Cons
- No educational benefit
- Less pension
- Less pay
- worse working conditions (micromanagers, public servant positions, less job security, etc)

I know this is more of a qualitative rather than quantitative decision, but curious what comments others would have to offer.
Why not move to the town where your job is located?
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TheEternalVortex
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by TheEternalVortex » Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:49 pm

If it was only a matter of pay it might be worth it. But worse working conditions is a tough pill to swallow. That’s going to be 8 hours a day of feeling bad instead of the extra 2 hours you have now.

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Watty
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Watty » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:37 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:37 pm
Supposedly, my job site will move closer to me in a few weeks, but this has been promised for over a year with no end in sight. Maybe it will happen maybe not.
It would be good to push for more information on this.

miamivice wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:37 pm
Last year, I earned $160,000

.......

The pay would decline to maybe $100,000 a year in my current city, maybe $80,000 in the rural area.
It would be good to do dummy tax returns and set up a budget for each of these situations.

A big issue is that you will have a number of fixed expenses do most of the reduction will come your disposable income so your disposable income may be cut dramatically.
CyclingDuo wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:49 pm
Why not move to the town where your job is located?
That is the big question.

Flyer24
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Flyer24 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:56 pm

That would be a fairly significant pay reduction. I fully understand the commute time. It is not fun. I would rather move to your current job, not commute, and keep the same pay.

gator15
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by gator15 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:16 pm

The commute would only be worth it if there was an end in sight. My current commute has me in my car 3.5 hours each day. I’ve been doing it for three years and it wears on you. I hang in there because I see an end in sight. I’m a few years from my pension so it helps keep me motivated. The organization is also great to work for so I stay the course. Since I have this long daily commute I tell myself to make hay while things are going well meaning save as much of my money as I can so i can truly walk away when I’m eligible for my pension. I would feel awful knowing I commuted all those years and have nothing to show for it. That’s my motivation. Pension plus saving between now and then should allow me to reach FIRE. As a result, the commute is worth it.

Nathan Drake
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Nathan Drake » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:32 pm

What industry are you in?

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joe8d
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by joe8d » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:39 pm

CyclingDuo wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:49 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:37 pm
Quick version:

Last year, I earned $160,000 with a mechanical enginerering degree and 10 years experience. This is likely considered well compensated for my educational background and career choice. In addition to the compensation, I am accuring a pension, healthy retirement benefits, and healthy educational benefits (which I am taking advantage of currently).

I also commute (round trip) 2 1/2 hours a day to my job. Supposedly, my job site will move closer to me in a few weeks, but this has been promised for over a year with no end in sight. Maybe it will happen maybe not.

My question - would it be worthwhile to pursue an engineering job in a different company, that has a closer commute? I might be able to get the commute down to 1 hour round trip per day in my city, or maybe 35 minutes per day in the rural area. The pay would decline to maybe $100,000 a year in my current city, maybe $80,000 in the rural area.

Pros
- Shorter commute

Cons
- No educational benefit
- Less pension
- Less pay
- worse working conditions (micromanagers, public servant positions, less job security, etc)

I know this is more of a qualitative rather than quantitative decision, but curious what comments others would have to offer.
Why not move to the town where your job is located?
:thumbsup
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venkman
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by venkman » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:54 pm

Assuming 2.5 hour/day job commute pays $160k, 1 hr/day commute job pays $100k, and you work 230 days/year...

That's an extra 345 hours of commuting each year, for which you earn an extra $60k (before taxes), which equals ~$175/hour for the commute to the higher-paying job.

Factoring in the extra costs for the longer commute, let's call it an extra 90 miles per day and 40 cents per mile for gas and wear on the car. That's $36/day (~$8300/year). After those costs, you're still getting an extra $150/hour for the longer commute.

Obviously, this doesn't account for all the intangible factors; but on the surface, the shorter commute has a pretty steep opportunity cost.

xerxes101
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by xerxes101 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:40 am

Watty wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:37 pm
miamivice wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:37 pm
Supposedly, my job site will move closer to me in a few weeks, but this has been promised for over a year with no end in sight. Maybe it will happen maybe not.
It would be good to push for more information on this.

^ +1 Possibly propose telecommuting one day per week until they make this happen?

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AerialWombat
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by AerialWombat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:08 am

For me, personally, there is no sum of money for which I would commute that far every day. I don’t understand how people can tolerate doing that.

However...

1). Move closer, even temporarily.
2). Four 10’s
3). Telecommute
4). Quit

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Tamarind
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Tamarind » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:27 am

Another vote for moving closer. Best of both worlds.

wilked
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by wilked » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:37 am

You present the problem as binary (status who vs new job closer for less pay). A good negotiator rejects binary solution making and does creative brainstorming. You’ve got good ideas above.

If you are valuable to the company they will work with you to retain your services while also helping improve your work life balance. If I was your manager I would actually be approaching you with solutions as your situation is not sustainable and if I didn’t want to lose you I’d see about a modified work schedule (say 4x10) or 1-2 days WFH or something else.

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celia
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by celia » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:31 am

miamivice wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:37 pm
Quick version:

Last year, I earned $160,000 with a mechanical enginerering degree and 10 years experience. This is likely considered well compensated for my educational background and career choice. In addition to the compensation, I am accuring a pension, healthy retirement benefits, and healthy educational benefits (which I am taking advantage of currently).
Why would you want to leave a healthy job for one that pays half as much and isn’t as “healthy”? :beer:

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Watty
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Watty » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:43 am

AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:08 am
For me, personally, there is no sum of money for which I would commute that far every day. I don’t understand how people can tolerate doing that.
A prior post did the math on the hourly rate they are getting paid but one other factor to consider is how many hours you have to work at the job.

If the OP has a job where they consistently work set hours and only 40 hours a week(they do exist) then having that job with a long commute could be better than some other job with a short commute but where you have to work a lot more than 40 hours for a lot less pay.

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JoeRetire
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by JoeRetire » Thu Feb 13, 2020 6:56 am

miamivice wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:37 pm
My question - would it be worthwhile to pursue an engineering job in a different company, that has a closer commute? I might be able to get the commute down to 1 hour round trip per day in my city, or maybe 35 minutes per day in the rural area. The pay would decline to maybe $100,000 a year in my current city, maybe $80,000 in the rural area.
So it boils down to a 40-50% pay cut in return for a shorter commute.

It's probably not a cut I'd be willing to take, but we each get to decide how much our commuting time is worth. Perhaps the money isn't as important to you as it would be to me.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.

Olemiss540
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Olemiss540 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:59 am

No chance would I trade a commute for worse working conditions even if it was for even money. I have lived under a micromanager and can promise it's worse than a roadtrip every day IMO. I would spend the 60k on a car with autonomous driving capabilities and try to make the most of my commute as well as discuss shifted hours or changing schedules to lessen the commute each week.
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OogieBoogie
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by OogieBoogie » Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:38 am

Try to negotiate 1x day as a home office day. This would be psychologically a big mitigation step.

Other view on this. You now earn 160k, but would be able to live on 80k? That would mean that you could save 80k yearly to invest? So after 6-7 years you would able to compensate the less salary with your investments and after 10 years you can sell bananas at the beach or do whatever you like to do as a work/job activity. There would be no need for you to work for money anymore.

Make the calculation for yourself (with 8%, S&P average the past 90 years):
https://www.thecalculatorsite.com/finan ... ulator.php

If you are already financially independent - chose something where you grow, is close-by, you can contribute to the teams or community in someway and you would stand up with a smile everyday. Topic salary discussion is then gone for ever.. !

Good luck on your journey.

rich126
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by rich126 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:24 am

Everyone has different tolerances for things. I try to keep my commute to 30 minutes each way with minimal traffic. Of course when weather, accidents, etc. hit those 30 minute commutes can end up as 45 minutes, hour, etc. I could never handle your commute. I took a new job last year which reduced my ~5+ hr weekly commute (pretty good for most) to a pretty constant 2.5 hours. So over a year I'm easily saving 100+ hours. It is nice and I'm much less stressed but giving up what you might give up could add to the stress.

My brother quit his job for a job he could do from home because he didn't want to deal with the traffic and people any longer. He gave up a pension and some money as well. In his case it has worked out because he is much less stressed and can be around for his son when needed (although the son is a teenager now).

Some people are all about money, others have different priorities and really they usually are all related. Mine tend to be a combination of enjoying my job (not too good right now), pace (long hours required?), pay, people, flexible hours, benefits, etc. I had a HR person years ago try to get me to prioritize and rank similar things and I told her "no, I can't do that because they are related". If you offer me enough money maybe that makes some things more tolerable, if the commute is very short but I hate the job, I'm not taking it, etc.

good luck.

Yukon
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Yukon » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:46 am

AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:08 am
For me, personally, there is no sum of money for which I would commute that far every day. I don’t understand how people can tolerate doing that.
I'm always curious why people's circumstances would never let them tolerate a long commute. Is it the every day part? Traffic? Doubling income would at least be worthy the consideration? I'd guess if you made 25k it's more likely you'd be willing to double your income compared to 100k? EVERY day would certainly make it less tolerable but NO sum of money? You wouldn't take a million?
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Reamus294
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Reamus294 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:48 am

It may help to ask to work remotely a day or two a week until the office moves closer, that way it doesn't sound so permanent to your boss. My commute feels soul-draining and it is half of yours, but if I thought about it the way venkman put it, getting paid $150/hr to drive would be worth it to me.

If you are currently driving, is there any shuttle service/train/bus in your area? At least you would be able to use that time more effectively. Would shifting your hours reduce the commute time significantly? Personally, I would also need some sort of reward (plan to retire earlier, more comfortable car, fun weekend car, etc.) for that longer commute.

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Ramjet
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Ramjet » Thu Feb 13, 2020 11:01 am

That's too big of a pay cut to quit IMO

I'd try to do one or a combination of the following

1) move closer
2) work from home
3) adjust working hours to start/leave earlier

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AerialWombat
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by AerialWombat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:32 pm

Yukon wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:46 am
AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:08 am
For me, personally, there is no sum of money for which I would commute that far every day. I don’t understand how people can tolerate doing that.
I'm always curious why people's circumstances would never let them tolerate a long commute. Is it the every day part? Traffic? Doubling income would at least be worthy the consideration? I'd guess if you made 25k it's more likely you'd be willing to double your income compared to 100k? EVERY day would certainly make it less tolerable but NO sum of money? You wouldn't take a million?
Traffic infuriates me to no end (I’m from the sticks, where a traffic jam is one car stopping for an elk to cross the road).

Early in my career, after leaving the military, I turned down a job that would have paid me 3X my then pay, because I didn’t want to deal with a 1-hour commute and had no desire to move (because of a girl...). This was back when I was making significantly less than $25k a year.

And no, $1 million would not entice me to suffer a long commute. It might entice me to MOVE, but not commute.

Edit: There are reasons that I chose to be self-employed for the past ten years. A big one is the commute. I prefer my commute to be 30 feet or less, and prefer to work in my underwear. :P
Last edited by AerialWombat on Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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willthrill81
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:34 pm

Would I increase my commute from 60 minutes to 150 minutes per day in order to earn $150k instead of $80k? Yes, most definitely.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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AerialWombat
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by AerialWombat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:40 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:34 pm
Would I increase my commute from 60 minutes to 150 minutes per day in order to earn $150k instead of $80k? Yes, most definitely.
Why?

onourway
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by onourway » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:43 pm

As others have asked, why not simply move closer? Even if that costs you a fair bit of what you are making in increased COL, overall you will continue to increase your net worth faster with the higher income, presumably more valuable home, etc.

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:43 pm

AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:40 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:34 pm
Would I increase my commute from 60 minutes to 150 minutes per day in order to earn $150k instead of $80k? Yes, most definitely.
Why?
Assuming a 2,000 hour work year, if you're making $80k, that's $40/hr. If you add 375 hours for additional commuting and make $150k, that's $63.16/hr., a significantly higher pay rate.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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AerialWombat
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by AerialWombat » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:49 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:43 pm
AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:40 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:34 pm
Would I increase my commute from 60 minutes to 150 minutes per day in order to earn $150k instead of $80k? Yes, most definitely.
Why?
Assuming a 2,000 hour work year, if you're making $80k, that's $40/hr. If you add 375 hours for additional commuting and make $150k, that's $63.16/hr., a significantly higher pay rate.
Isn’t your sanity and family time worth more than that?

My point is that this is not a purely financial exercise.

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Quirkz
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Quirkz » Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:50 pm

I realize you said the office move has been in the works for over a year, but given that it's now supposed to occur "in the next few weeks" at the very least it seems worth waiting that out. Unless it's been in the next few weeks this entire time?

Though I love the suggestion that you propose the work-from-home day "until the office move happens," because it gives them some incentive to go through with it, or admit it if it's not going to happen.

JBTX
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by JBTX » Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:17 pm

While long cummutes are a drag, I'd much rather commute to a job I liked vs one I didn't across the street. It's not even close. Id rather listen to music or podcasts for 2 hrs a day in traffic vs putting up with 8+ hrs a day being somewhere I don't want to be.

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by TheOscarGuy » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:17 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:37 pm
Quick version:

Last year, I earned $160,000 with a mechanical enginerering degree and 10 years experience. This is likely considered well compensated for my educational background and career choice. In addition to the compensation, I am accuring a pension, healthy retirement benefits, and healthy educational benefits (which I am taking advantage of currently).

I also commute (round trip) 2 1/2 hours a day to my job. Supposedly, my job site will move closer to me in a few weeks, but this has been promised for over a year with no end in sight. Maybe it will happen maybe not.

My question - would it be worthwhile to pursue an engineering job in a different company, that has a closer commute? I might be able to get the commute down to 1 hour round trip per day in my city, or maybe 35 minutes per day in the rural area. The pay would decline to maybe $100,000 a year in my current city, maybe $80,000 in the rural area.

Pros
- Shorter commute

Cons
- No educational benefit
- Less pension
- Less pay
- worse working conditions (micromanagers, public servant positions, less job security, etc)

I know this is more of a qualitative rather than quantitative decision, but curious what comments others would have to offer.
For current job your hourly pay is roughly $76.
Reducing 1.5 hrs in commute per day is that much "extra" time you get for yourself. How much is that at your current rate?
1.5 hrs per day * 76 * 5*52 = $30K.

100K is too much of a jump down. 130K is more comparable. You can do your own calculation for 35 mins commute per day :D

As a general comment, I would leave such a job. I think that is too much commute for me personally. Not at the current alternatives you have, but I would look harder, and try to leave at close to what I am making, adjusted to additional time I gain (which can be equated to money!).

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willthrill81
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:22 pm

AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:49 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:43 pm
AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:40 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:34 pm
Would I increase my commute from 60 minutes to 150 minutes per day in order to earn $150k instead of $80k? Yes, most definitely.
Why?
Assuming a 2,000 hour work year, if you're making $80k, that's $40/hr. If you add 375 hours for additional commuting and make $150k, that's $63.16/hr., a significantly higher pay rate.
Isn’t your sanity and family time worth more than that?

My point is that this is not a purely financial exercise.
Yes, it's not a purely financial exercise, but less than 20% more time for nearly double the money would be a worthy trade-off IMHO. You could reach FI much faster at $150k than $80k and then spend a lot more time with your family.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

Arlington2019
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Arlington2019 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 4:07 pm

Here is something I wrote a few months back when people were talking about commutes:

My wife and I built our retirement home 4.5 years ago on a rural acre in the Cascade foothills north of Seattle. At the time, my commute to the office was 18 miles each way, and my wife's was 20. It took approximately 30 minutes for the commute. Then my healthcare system underwent a restructuring due to low patient census two years ago and my job was eliminated. I work in a narrowly-specialized area of healthcare administration, and at any given time, there may be five jobs in my field in my half of the state, and virtually none at my executive level. So I found a job considerably underneath my level in downtown Seattle. This is a 90 mile and four hour round trip commute on the 3-5 days a week that I am in my office in Seattle. I drive 17 miles to the transit station and take the bus or train to and from Seattle. It is actually quicker and cheaper for me to commute this way as opposed to driving to Seattle. My wife still has the same commute.

I suck it up because I am too young to retire, although we are both looking at pulling the plug in a couple of years. We were not going to go to the trouble and expense of selling our paid-off custom home and paying more to get a lesser home solely for a more convenient commute for me for only a couple of years, and it would have made my wife's commute longer. Unless you live in Seattle, you cannot comprehend the traffic and the housing prices and how they drive your decision on where to live. The first house (1500 sq. foot daylight basement rambler built in 1952) that we bought for $68,000 in 1984 10 miles north of downtown Seattle now lists for $ 570,000.

MichCPA
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by MichCPA » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:11 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:22 pm
AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:49 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:43 pm
AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:40 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:34 pm
Would I increase my commute from 60 minutes to 150 minutes per day in order to earn $150k instead of $80k? Yes, most definitely.
Why?
Assuming a 2,000 hour work year, if you're making $80k, that's $40/hr. If you add 375 hours for additional commuting and make $150k, that's $63.16/hr., a significantly higher pay rate.
Isn’t your sanity and family time worth more than that?

My point is that this is not a purely financial exercise.
Yes, it's not a purely financial exercise, but less than 20% more time for nearly double the money would be a worthy trade-off IMHO. You could reach FI much faster at $150k than $80k and then spend a lot more time with your family.
First, for a 70k+ raise, you can probably find a way to shorten the commute.

Second, the increase in your actual happiness and well being going from 80 to 150k, assuming an average cost of living, isn't really double.

Third, you also need to realize how expensive commuting is. That is around 23k per year at a normal mileage rate (keep in mind commuting is not reimbursed). If you buy a new car every 2 years, you are spending post tax money to buy a pre tax asset. So 70k of extra income produces only about $47,382 of extra spending power (24% fed+ 4.25% state and 6% sales tax). At the end of the year, you have only bought 24k more stuff for 395 hrs of extra commuting. IF you only work weekdays.

Fourth, the amount of 160k (which is more like 200k if you move from average COL to HCOL) jobs at 40/wk every week is pretty small. If you go from a 2,000 hr job to a 50hr wk job and then add commuting, you have added 895 hrs to your year and you are now spending 2,895 out of 5,840 available hours (all time in the year - 8 hrs/day sleep) at work. That is 50% of every waking moment (incl weekends) and 70% of the work week. It would get worse when you consider any possibility commuting to work on Saturdays and the fact that your lunch hour is kind of worthless as personal time. In addition, some base level of time needs to be spent getting food, doing laundry, etc. so your marginal free time is suddenly down by 75-95%. You wouldn't have a family left to "FIRE" to. They would have fired you.

The need for some type of compromise is clear. Telecommute (at least some days), and moving closer would be preferred options.

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:19 pm

MichCPA wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:11 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 3:22 pm
AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:49 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:43 pm
AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 12:40 pm


Why?
Assuming a 2,000 hour work year, if you're making $80k, that's $40/hr. If you add 375 hours for additional commuting and make $150k, that's $63.16/hr., a significantly higher pay rate.
Isn’t your sanity and family time worth more than that?

My point is that this is not a purely financial exercise.
Yes, it's not a purely financial exercise, but less than 20% more time for nearly double the money would be a worthy trade-off IMHO. You could reach FI much faster at $150k than $80k and then spend a lot more time with your family.
First, for a 70k+ raise, you can probably find a way to shorten the commute.

Second, the increase in your actual happiness and well being going from 80 to 150k, assuming an average cost of living, isn't really double.

Third, you also need to realize how expensive commuting is. That is around 23k per year at a normal mileage rate (keep in mind commuting is not reimbursed). If you buy a new car every 2 years, you are spending post tax money to buy a pre tax asset. So 70k of extra income produces only about $47,382 of extra spending power (24% fed+ 4.25% state and 6% sales tax). At the end of the year, you have only bought 24k more stuff for 395 hrs of extra commuting. IF you only work weekdays.

Fourth, the amount of 160k (which is more like 200k if you move from average COL to HCOL) jobs at 40/wk every week is pretty small. If you go from a 2,000 hr job to a 50hr wk job and then add commuting, you have added 895 hrs to your year and you are now spending 2,895 out of 5,840 available hours (all time in the year - 8 hrs/day sleep) at work. That is 50% of every waking moment (incl weekends) and 70% of the work week. It would get worse when you consider any possibility commuting to work on Saturdays and the fact that your lunch hour is kind of worthless as personal time. In addition, some base level of time needs to be spent getting food, doing laundry, etc. so your marginal free time is suddenly down by 75-95%. You wouldn't have a family left to "FIRE" to. They would have fired you.

The need for some type of compromise is clear. Telecommute (at least some days), and moving closer would be preferred options.
1. I 100% agree that shortening the commute is the easiest and likely most effective course of action.
2. I never said anything about happiness. The OP can maintain a significantly higher saving rate with with $150k, even taking into account the cost of commuting (your #3).
3. An additional 90 minutes on the road over the course of 250 days (5 days x 50 weeks) is 375 hrs, not 895.
4. The family, if there is one, would certainly need to be on board with this, recognizing that it would be a short-term action.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by MichCPA » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:24 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:19 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:11 pm

Fourth, the amount of 160k (which is more like 200k if you move from average COL to HCOL) jobs at 40/wk every week is pretty small. If you go from a 2,000 hr job to a 50hr wk job and then add commuting, you have added 895 hrs to your year and you are now spending 2,895 out of 5,840 available hours (all time in the year - 8 hrs/day sleep) at work. That is 50% of every waking moment (incl weekends) and 70% of the work week. It would get worse when you consider any possibility commuting to work on Saturdays and the fact that your lunch hour is kind of worthless as personal time. In addition, some base level of time needs to be spent getting food, doing laundry, etc. so your marginal free time is suddenly down by 75-95%. You wouldn't have a family left to "FIRE" to. They would have fired you.

The need for some type of compromise is clear. Telecommute (at least some days), and moving closer would be preferred options.
1. I 100% agree that shortening the commute is the easiest and likely most effective course of action.
2. I never said anything about happiness. The OP can maintain a significantly higher saving rate with with $150k, even taking into account the cost of commuting (your #3).
3. An additional 90 minutes on the road over the course of 250 days (5 days x 50 weeks) is 375 hrs, not 895.
4. The family, if there is one, would certainly need to be on board with this, recognizing that it would be a short-term action.
Dude, read the post before you bag on my math skills, you totally missed that point. If you want to contend that working 40hr/ wk is actually realistic then that would have been fine.

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by willthrill81 » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:32 pm

MichCPA wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:24 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:19 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:11 pm

Fourth, the amount of 160k (which is more like 200k if you move from average COL to HCOL) jobs at 40/wk every week is pretty small. If you go from a 2,000 hr job to a 50hr wk job and then add commuting, you have added 895 hrs to your year and you are now spending 2,895 out of 5,840 available hours (all time in the year - 8 hrs/day sleep) at work. That is 50% of every waking moment (incl weekends) and 70% of the work week. It would get worse when you consider any possibility commuting to work on Saturdays and the fact that your lunch hour is kind of worthless as personal time. In addition, some base level of time needs to be spent getting food, doing laundry, etc. so your marginal free time is suddenly down by 75-95%. You wouldn't have a family left to "FIRE" to. They would have fired you.

The need for some type of compromise is clear. Telecommute (at least some days), and moving closer would be preferred options.
1. I 100% agree that shortening the commute is the easiest and likely most effective course of action.
2. I never said anything about happiness. The OP can maintain a significantly higher saving rate with with $150k, even taking into account the cost of commuting (your #3).
3. An additional 90 minutes on the road over the course of 250 days (5 days x 50 weeks) is 375 hrs, not 895.
4. The family, if there is one, would certainly need to be on board with this, recognizing that it would be a short-term action.
Dude, read the post before you bag on my math skills, you totally missed that point. If you want to contend that working 40hr/ wk is actually realistic then that would have been fine.
Given the statement below, it seems that the assumption of a 40 hour week is valid unless the OP says otherwise.
Mechanical engineers typically work 40 hours a week, but some work 60 hours or more each week.
https://www.careerprofiles.info/mechani ... areer.html
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings

MichCPA
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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by MichCPA » Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:53 pm

willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:32 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:24 pm
willthrill81 wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:19 pm
MichCPA wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:11 pm

Fourth, the amount of 160k (which is more like 200k if you move from average COL to HCOL) jobs at 40/wk every week is pretty small. If you go from a 2,000 hr job to a 50hr wk job and then add commuting, you have added 895 hrs to your year and you are now spending 2,895 out of 5,840 available hours (all time in the year - 8 hrs/day sleep) at work. That is 50% of every waking moment (incl weekends) and 70% of the work week. It would get worse when you consider any possibility commuting to work on Saturdays and the fact that your lunch hour is kind of worthless as personal time. In addition, some base level of time needs to be spent getting food, doing laundry, etc. so your marginal free time is suddenly down by 75-95%. You wouldn't have a family left to "FIRE" to. They would have fired you.

The need for some type of compromise is clear. Telecommute (at least some days), and moving closer would be preferred options.
1. I 100% agree that shortening the commute is the easiest and likely most effective course of action.
2. I never said anything about happiness. The OP can maintain a significantly higher saving rate with with $150k, even taking into account the cost of commuting (your #3).
3. An additional 90 minutes on the road over the course of 250 days (5 days x 50 weeks) is 375 hrs, not 895.
4. The family, if there is one, would certainly need to be on board with this, recognizing that it would be a short-term action.
Dude, read the post before you bag on my math skills, you totally missed that point. If you want to contend that working 40hr/ wk is actually realistic then that would have been fine.
Given the statement below, it seems that the assumption of a 40 hour week is valid unless the OP says otherwise.
Mechanical engineers typically work 40 hours a week, but some work 60 hours or more each week.
https://www.careerprofiles.info/mechani ... areer.html
You challenged my math not my assumption. Since 50 sits pretty nicely between 40 and 60, I don't think its totally off base, but that isn't what you challenged.

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by F150HD » Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:07 pm

you have kids/family? (I thought you did from other threads)

For the $$ we're talking, I wouldn't leave for a different job unless there was a very compelling family reason to do it.

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by joe8d » Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:05 pm

To those who do 1-2 hour commutes,what kind of shape are you in to start your workday? twenty minutes is the maximum travel time I can put up with.
All the Best, | Joe

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by H-Town » Fri Feb 14, 2020 11:57 am

AerialWombat wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:08 am
For me, personally, there is no sum of money for which I would commute that far every day. I don’t understand how people can tolerate doing that.

However...

1). Move closer, even temporarily.
2). Four 10’s
3). Telecommute
4). Quit
Everyone mileage is different. You don't tolerate long commute while others, including me, are perfectly fine with it. I live in a big city and the housing cost near downtown is prohibitive. Plus, I enjoy the space, skyline, and nature in the burbs. It's a significant saving that commuting is just a small inconvenience.

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by F150HD » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:53 pm

OP disappeared? probably driving :)

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:58 pm

joe8d wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:05 pm
To those who do 1-2 hour commutes,what kind of shape are you in to start your workday? twenty minutes is the maximum travel time I can put up with.
I commuted 1:30-4hrs/day for almost all the first decade of my career. I hated it so much that I was determined never to commute at all once I found a career I thought I'd stick with. I paid a premium to be within walking distance of my office - completely life changing. That being said, in this case I would very much consider all other options; there has got to be more options than simply trading the commute for half of your salary.

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by almostretired1965 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:25 pm

I have to say, I don't get the 2hr + round trip commutes on a semi-permanent basis. That's a good chunk of your life that you are never getting back. I had a 1.5 hr round trip for about 7 years because I was too lazy to move, but that is my limit. The older I've gotten the less tolerant I've become of long commutes. Most recent job we settled on housing that was less than 1.5 miles away. I can now take a brisk walk to work in around 25 min or a 3-5 minute drive if I need to be there in a hurry. It is heaven!

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:27 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:58 pm
joe8d wrote:
Thu Feb 13, 2020 9:05 pm
To those who do 1-2 hour commutes,what kind of shape are you in to start your workday? twenty minutes is the maximum travel time I can put up with.
I commuted 1:30-4hrs/day for almost all the first decade of my career. I hated it so much that I was determined never to commute at all once I found a career I thought I'd stick with. I paid a premium to be within walking distance of my office - completely life changing. That being said, in this case I would very much consider all other options; there has got to be more options than simply trading the commute for half of your salary.
+1

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by bayview » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:31 pm

F150HD wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:53 pm
OP disappeared? probably driving :)
Yep, I was about to say that this is a whole new spin on drive-by posting. :D
The continuous execution of a sound strategy gives you the benefit of the strategy. That's what it's all about. --Rick Ferri

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Re: Should I find a different job with a better commute?

Post by Trader Joe » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:34 pm

miamivice wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 8:37 pm
Quick version:

Last year, I earned $160,000 with a mechanical enginerering degree and 10 years experience. This is likely considered well compensated for my educational background and career choice. In addition to the compensation, I am accuring a pension, healthy retirement benefits, and healthy educational benefits (which I am taking advantage of currently).

I also commute (round trip) 2 1/2 hours a day to my job. Supposedly, my job site will move closer to me in a few weeks, but this has been promised for over a year with no end in sight. Maybe it will happen maybe not.

My question - would it be worthwhile to pursue an engineering job in a different company, that has a closer commute? I might be able to get the commute down to 1 hour round trip per day in my city, or maybe 35 minutes per day in the rural area. The pay would decline to maybe $100,000 a year in my current city, maybe $80,000 in the rural area.

Pros
- Shorter commute

Cons
- No educational benefit
- Less pension
- Less pay
- worse working conditions (micromanagers, public servant positions, less job security, etc)

I know this is more of a qualitative rather than quantitative decision, but curious what comments others would have to offer.
"Should I find a different job with a better commute?"

Yes, definitely. I would never, every commute 2.5 hours per day for any job.

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