I officially made it through my first couple of weeks of work!
Aside from getting used to the early morning wake ups (which will get better with time … I hope), I don’t really have anything to complain about—including my commute.
After much trial and error, I finally found an effective and cost-effective way to go back and forth from work. Here are four considerations that got me there. Maybe they’ll help you find your way too!
1. Can You Share The Costs?
After spending some time at your company, you may find that many of your coworkers live around the same area as you. Not only does this benefit you socially, but it also might give you a chance to carpool.
By carpooling, you will be able to split the cost of gas and parking (if needed). Carpooling also gives you the chance to switch off driving, especially on those mornings that you just do not want to get up. (I wasn’t kidding about those early wake-up calls taking time to get used to!)
In addition, the mornings might also not be as much of a drag if you get to share them with someone. A couple of my co-workers take advantage of this, and they love it!
2. What Benefits Does Your Employer Offer?
As a part of my work benefits, I can directly deduct from my paycheck any money I use for a subway or parking pass to get to work. While this might sound confusing, it’s actually very convenient—and money smart.
This process lets me take money out of my pre-tax income. By decreasing my pre-tax income, I pay less toward taxes from each paycheck (that amount is minimal, but it’s still savings!). In addition, my passes cost “less” because I’m not paying for them out of a lower post-tax income.
Look at your benefits and see if you can do this too. It might be a great help in saving you some money, even if it is just from your pre-tax income.
3. How Long Do You Want To Spend Commuting?
When I interned last summer, I took public transportation every morning and night—an hour each way. I didn’t mind sitting and reading a book during this time, but the last thing I wanted to do after a long day of work was be on the hot subway.
With that said, I was determined to make my commute as short as possible. For this reason, I chose to drive because it saves me so much time in the morning and the afternoon. Not only does it make my commute shorter, but it also makes me more productive, just knowing it won’t take me that extra hour to get home.
4. Do You Feel Safe?
Another reason why I decided to drive was that it seemed like the safest option. I originally planned to take public transportation. However, the more I thought about it, watched the news, and listened to my parents, the more I realized that it might not be the smartest idea as a young girl in the city.
I have never had a bad experience on public transportation, but the buses around me are not the most reliable. And after a long day, I prefer the comfort and safety of my own car anyway!
What are some of the considerations you took to figure out the best way to get to work?
(Photo: London Permaculture)