Before I got married, I co-owned a house with my parents and I had been living with them ever since we bought the house. I always wanted to live on my own so when Ces and I got married, we decided to find our own apartment instead of living with my parents.
Since I was still giving them a ride to work, we chose an apartment that will be closer to them. However, the apartment was at least twenty miles from work and during rush hour, this was a major nightmare for me as it took me at least an hour and a half to get to work. So when my parents retired, that gave me additional options where to live.
One of the advantages of renting is the flexibility of where we can live without having to worry about moving all of a sudden if there is a change in employment. So in our case, we decided to move closer to work that is just less than a mile away. It is only a ten minute drive and I usually just walk to work when it is not summer time.
Photo Credit: James Thompson
Below are the benefits to us by moving closer to work:
1. I can spend more time with my family
If you live in a major city like Los Angeles, traffic is always a major headache during rush hour. A ten-mile distance can turn into an hour commute and every year, it seems that it has gotten worst. As mentioned previously, it took me at least an hour and half to get to work for a twenty mile drive. That’s three hours that I spend on the road that I could be spending with my family or doing other personal stuff.
2. It helps in improving my health
I don’t know about you but for me, driving in heavy traffic can be really stressful. In addition, there is more risk of an accident since I am on the road for quite some time. Moving closer to work not only relieved me from that stress but it gave me more time to rest. The three hours that I used to spend on the road, my wife and I used it doing something else like walking, running or even shopping together.
3. It helps us save money
- the cost of gasoline – the second biggest expenses after house rent are car related especially gasoline. On a monthly basis, I had to fill up my tank weekly and it would normally cost me $400 to do so. Now I had reduced this to just $75 per month and this is usually consumed running errands or weekend travel such as attending gatherings or for pleasure trips. Another reason why I can save on gas as well is sometimes I just walk to work when it is not too hot; It is around 15 to 20 minute walk.
- Cost of maintaining the car – As you know, car maintenance follow a schedule that is based on mileage. Since I no longer drive as much, the upkeep for my car has been extended. On average, I used to drive 25,000 miles per year and this has put a lot of miles on the car, which can shorten the life as well. After we moved, the annual car mileage has been reduced to only 6,000 miles . Less miles driven means less car maintenance cost.
- No need to buy an extra car – Moving closer to work allows us to still share just one car. As for me, I do not need to drive since I can just walk to work. In addition, by driving less, this helps us keep the car much longer and not worry about purchasing new car. This means no car payment for another three or five years. My car has reached the 256,000 milestone already. When we moved close to work, the car was at 226,000 miles and that was six years ago. As you can see, we have been averaging only 5,000 miles annually.
- Low insurance premium – Less miles driving means lower risk of getting into an accident. This helps us maintain a low insurance premium. In addition, since we have an older car, we do not need to buy comprehensive coverage. If we have to purchase a new car, monthly car payments and higher insurance cost can easily add cost.
- Lunch – During lunch time, I am able to eat home cooked meals. Not only that I save money but I also able to eat much healthier food.
4. Going green and helping the environment
The indirect effect of moving closer to work is that we are helping the environment.By spending less time on the road, this contributes to less carbon emission that can contribute to air pollution
What about you? What other cost-cutting moves have you done in order to meet your budget and save more money in the long run?