The last time I used the Commute Cost Calculator on the TransIT Website (http://www.mwcog.org/commuter2/resources/commutingcalc.html) was about a year ago, when the 84 mile commute round-trip in my little VW Bug (Turbo) was starting to really get to me, and to my bank account. This calculator uses AAA’s 2011 estimate for owning and operating a vehicle, figuring in the average fuel cost, maintenance, tires, insurance, license and registration and depreciation based on the composite average for small, medium and large sedans). The formula also assumes annual trip mileage of 15,000 miles.
The moment I calculated these costs, the light bulb went off: I had to find work closer to home again: the job which technically gave me $10K a year more actually cost me much more in the long run – $12,972.96 a year!!! That was $1,081.08 a month I was spending just to commute.
I visited the site again on Terrible Traffic Tuesday, the day after Labor Day when everyone and their grandmother is driving again, to work (no more summer vacations!) to school (ditto!) or home from their last hurrah of the summer. The news was much better, but still concerns me. I’m now spending $4,633.20 or $386.10 a month to drive my little economy car to and from work each weekday. How on earth do people with SUV’s, vans, or standard pick-up trucks possibly afford them?!?
I challenge you to visit the link, plug your information in, and see what results you come up with. It could change your entire way of thinking about where you work, where you live, or both. Comment here to let me know how your commute stacked up!