We moved last year to be close to where Cat works. I can work anywhere as I am a remote worker, but Cat needs to be in the office most of the time. Just recently she accepted a permanent position with a different company. That company is currently a 45-60 minute ride away on the light rail, so including getting to and from train stations, she is spending 2-3 hours a day commuting. We need to fix that.
For us, moving is little more than an inconvenience. We have moved quite a bit over the past few years so we are pros at this. The issue for us is the rent. Cat’s new job is right in the center of a major metro area, and the rent for an apartment of the type we have now is about 50% higher than we are currently paying. Holy Shit!
Remember that post about systemic spending. This is going to be one of those items. In paying that much extra rent we gain a few things:
- Cat reduces her 2-3 hours a day commute into a 15 minute walk each way. Time gained for doing other things: 8-10 hours a week.
- We are within walking distance of almost everything and this brings up the question of selling the car.
- The apartment we are in now is a ground floor apartment and the new one is a fourth floor apartment. This means I can have the office curtains open and not live like I am a bear in a cave.
So in essence we are adding over $1k/mth to our spending and reducing our savings rate, but we gain lifestyle and commute improvements, and the possibility of eliminating the expense of the car.
Lets look at the car for a moment:
The car is a 2 year old Subaru Crosstrek and it is paid for. This means we likely have $20k+ tied up in this car. In addition it costs us $110/mth for insurance, $75 for parking and about $40 for gas; that’s $225/mth.
With Cat walking to work and me working from home, that is $225 we could save each month which would help offset the rent increase a little. In addition, if we sell the car, we could move that money into our investment account and have it gain value rather than depreciate.
In terms of transport, there is the light rail and Amtrak within a 10 minute walk of our new apartment. If we need a car, there are a number of ride share and car share apps and facilities nearby, including one right in our new apartment building. We can also have our groceries delivered.
With the amount that we would need a car, I think the $225/mth would more than cover that need, and putting the value of the car into an investment account would negate the depreciation and start gaining in value – win-win!
Cat isn’t entirely on board with eliminating the car, but to me it makes so much sense. I suspect we will spend a few months with the car and see how we feel. With her current short commute to the light rail (about 1 mile each way) we joke about putting gas in the car only once a month. With Cat walking to work, I suspect a tank of gas will last so much longer!