We woke up to a Snow Day today. We have about a foot of snow on the ground right now. I was thinking how wonderful it was to work from the house and not have to drive anywhere in this.

When my husband first got his job, we lived about 40 minutes away. In winter, especially it felt like a long commute. Others drive over an hour to get to his work.

We decided to get a house close to my husband’s work. Right now his drive is only 10 minutes (well 20 during the snow storm last night). And when I worked outside the home, it was only a 10 minute drive for me too. I looked for a place close to our new (at the time) house.

Cutting down the commute can have one of the biggest impacts on your every day life. This simplifies your life in a big way. If you live an hour from work – you are commuting for two hours a day. What else could you be doing for those 2 hours?

Shortening your commute also saves on gasoline and helps the environment. Longer commutes equal higher stress. When you have a long commute, time with family and friends and time for basic home and health maintenance dissolves. Bad traffic often leads to grumpy moods when you get home.

Is there any way you could find a house closer to where you work? This would be a perfect time to downsize. Some states even have grants and loans to help people live where they work.

Or if you don’t like your job anyway, you can begin looking for jobs closer to you. Even if the job pays less, you will be saving with fuel, wear and tear on the car, meals to go when you have no time to cook, etc.

If a new job or a new home isn’t in the picture for you right now, is there anyway you can telecommute a couple days a week. Or take public transportation so you can at least do something while you are going to work. At my husband’s work a few people got their work hours changed so they could all ride into work together. You can see how much money you would save with the Carpool Savings Calculator.

Just because you can’t move or change jobs now, doesn’t mean you can’t plan to do this for the future. Too often we think we are stuck – with our mortgage, in our jobs. We forget our choices. Things can change if you plan for them. Here is a 10 step plan for career change and here are resources to plan a relocation.

Is your job and commute worth the effects on your lifestyle?

 

 

 

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5 comments

  • Rosie

    Great food for thought. Hubby and I moved to a lake community in the mountains a few years back. We thought it would be a good way to get the 18 to 25 year olds back to visit Mom and Dad. Which worked….but now they are 21 to 28 and are settling down, getting married, even starting families. We are seeing the strain on our gas budget visiting them instead of everyone coming up to the lake house. So, we find ourselves wondering if we should give this up and downsize to a place closer to them and upcoming grandbabies……sigh…..Why don’t things actually get “Simpler”?

  • Beth

    Rosie, how we simplify definitely changes in different life eras. You need to ask what you really want at this time in your life? And is your lifestyle helping or hindering?

  • Jenn

    I think for some people a commute might act as a barrier between work and home so they don’t take work issues home and versus.

    Personally, I would prefer to live very close to my work. I love the idea of working from home, but see so few people as it is.

  • Beth

    I think you are right Jenn. And certainly not everyone has the right personality to work from home. But, if you are driving over an hour a day just for work, it might be time to re-evaluate.

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