General Question

livingchoice's avatar

How much is my monthly commute going to cost?

Asked by livingchoice (538 points ) April 11th, 2011

My car gives me about 18 miles per gallon. My daily commute is 190 miles round trip from Pike County, PA to NYC. Gas in my area will average about $3.60 per gallon. How much will I spend, just on driving to and from my destination each day, not including tolls or parking.

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19 Answers

optimisticpessimist's avatar

Approximately $760. Assuming 20 work days a month.

livingchoice's avatar

@optimisticpessimist how did you get that number?

nikipedia's avatar

190 miles per day x 20 working days = 3800 miles per month
3800 miles/18mpg = 211 gallons of gas
211 gallons x $3.60 per gallon = $760

If gas goes up to $4.60, you’re looking at $971.

Can you move closer to work?

livingchoice's avatar

I better if I want to eat. LOL. Wow I didn’t know it was going to cost so much. And that’s just gas. Not to mention the tolls to enter New Jersey and New York. WOW. Thanks Nikipedia!

optimisticpessimist's avatar

Same way nikipedia did

nikipedia's avatar

No problemo. Consider also that happiness research suggests commuting is one of the worst things you can do for yourself.

tedd's avatar

That is a god awful commute.

I wouldn’t forget to factor in wear and tear on your car. You’ll be doing mostly highway miles I’d assume, but that’s still probably an oil change every two months (roughly), new tires 4–10 months (pending the quality you get), the likelihood that something on your car breaks will go way up too…. not to mention if you’re thinking of reselling it you’re going to depreciate the bejesus out of it real fast.

bolwerk's avatar

This is why New York City isn’t as expensive a place to live as people think. Find an affordable apartment and dump your car, and the cost of living is about average for an American metropolitan area. If you use the Subway a lot, it’s $104/month for unlimited rides (for now).

math_nerd's avatar

And that is around 6 hours a day driving. I would just get a cheap apartment in Jersey.

Pandora's avatar

Assuming the price stays approximately the same for a year, you would spend 9,499 a year.
I did it slightly different.
190 miles / 18 miles. = 10.55 gallons a day
10.55 gallons x 3.60 per gallon = 37.999998 daily for gas
x5 days=189.999999 weekly
x 50 weeks (assuming 2 weeks vacation) = 9,499 dollars for a year
If you throw in tolls, wasting gas when traffic is slow, wear and tear on your car engine and tires you will be better off moving to Jersey or NYC itself.
Isn’t there a commuter train from Phili? At least you won’t have to do the driving. Or join a group that will commute and each week you all take turns getting the gas and doing the driving so you only pay for 1 week out of a month.
Or you can get a hybrid and get better gas mileage.
I’m assuming the job you really want is in NYC so getting a job locally will not do.

blueiiznh's avatar

That is one hell of a commute. My longest was 125 Round Trip in the Boston area for 7 years. uggg just remembering it
To help you also realize how much this is per day add all the things related to your commute:
At your RT miles and mpg you will use about 10.5 gallons of fueld per round trip = $38.00
Parking = ????
Tolls = ?????

A close rule of thumb for depretiation and wear and tear is to know what the Corporate mileage reimbursement rate is. Currently it is $0.51 per mile. So this taken into account says about $97 per day goes to gas and wear and tear in general. Annually a $23K hit
Some of the hiddedn costs to concern yourself with is:
Increased Insurance cost due to annual mileage increase to about 45K miles per year.
Coffee, etc
intangibles: aggrivation, double the time during snow storms, increased risk and exposure to accidents.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Is there any way you can telecommute 2 or 3 days per week? Or stay overnight in a hotel one or two nights per week?
If your company will reimburse you at the corporate rate (most likely going to 55 cents per mile after June) you can actually make out if you have a car that gets good highway mileage.

livingchoice's avatar

To tell the truth. I think if my company finds out I’ll loose my job because they want someone living in New York. I live in NY now but want to move out to PA to raise my 2 little ones. I was hoping to still keep my job and live in PA but that is obviously not an option now and I don’t want to raise my kids in NY. I will just have to start looking for a new job closer to my new home. :O)

john65pennington's avatar

Do they allow horses in NYC?

Would you have to pay a parking meter for parking a horse? Hay is cheap.

blueiiznh's avatar

@livingchoice If you aer already with the company, they can’t let you go because you choose to move. I do not know of any cases where it is a condition of continued employment. It certainly can be a condition for hiring you. Was home location conditional upon your hire?

Pandora's avatar

Why not move to Jersey or Long Island, or Connecticut. Or Queens? Not all of NYC is bad. There are some nicer neighborhoods than others. Sure you can get more for your money in PA but there are bad neighborhoods there as well. If you don’t like the area you are living you should just look around and see if there are better places. I don’t see how having a long commute daily. Probably a total of 4 to 5 hours extra daily is going to enhance your kids lives. They will just know you as the money guy. You’ll only make it in time to go to bed and leave before they get up in the morning. On weekends when you look forward to spending time with them they will be itching to go hang out with their pals. It all goes by quickly, so think about it. Of course you can apply for jobs where you want to live and then move when you land a job.

livingchoice's avatar

@blueiiznh nope. I joined this company when I was still in high school.

@Pandora I will definetly find a job once the move is complete or I could take the train in which will be about $450/month. At least I would worry about driving, traffic and toll.

livingchoice's avatar

@john65pennington I wish that was an option. LOL

kaciepaxton's avatar

Blueiiznh makes a great point. There are hidden costs you should consider, too. One of the factors auto insurance companies use to factor your premiums is your driving distance to work. Many auto insurance companies offer a low-mileage discount for those whose mileage is between 5,000 to 8,000 miles a year. Not to mention the impact these long commutes may have on your health, family and expenses. Taking the train is definitely worth considering.
All the best in finding a new job that would give you less time on the road!

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