U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-21-2011, 05:05 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,101,754 times
Reputation: 6826

Advertisements

All other things being equal, how much less salary would you take if you didn't have to commute back and forth to work every day? What's your time worth to you? The average cost of driving is about .50 a mile.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-21-2011, 05:24 AM
 
10,606 posts, read 12,146,850 times
Reputation: 6500
On a salary of $100,000, I'd probably settle for a $30,000 cut.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2011, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,923,494 times
Reputation: 42861
It's really hard for me to say, since I'm lucky enough to live in an area where jobs in my field pay just as much as DC jobs. I've never worked more than 7-8 miles from my house and always made as much as I would have in similar jobs in DC.

At the same time, would I be willing to take a pay cut for a shorter commute? Yes--having a short commute is extremely important to me. Of course, that's easy for me to say since I'm not the primary wage earner in my household.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2011, 06:38 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County
1,534 posts, read 3,323,845 times
Reputation: 507
I was offered a position that would double my salary but would require that I commute into DC and I turned it down. My current commute to Arlington (from Annandale) is 20 minutes. My current position also provides generous telework options.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2011, 06:47 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,980,272 times
Reputation: 3858
I wouldn't take any kind of pay cut. Even if the extra pay tied to the commute is a wash, it still hurts long term to have less salary. It would be part of your salary history, and so you'd be offered less on the next job. As a matter of fact, I'd be willing to commute farther if it meant more money.

The other thing is that I don't enjoy working from home that much. I actually like going in and seeing people. It's great to do it once a week, but I'm fortunate to have a workplace where we don't have tons of meetings or other distractions.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2011, 07:02 AM
 
Location: Fairfax County
1,534 posts, read 3,323,845 times
Reputation: 507
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
It would be part of your salary history, and so you'd be offered less on the next job.
You raise an excellent point. If you view yourself as having a "next job," then the quest for a higher salary is important. Others may not envision a "next job" as they view their current position as the one they'll be in until they retire. So age/family circumstance likely plays a role.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
The other thing is that I don't enjoy working from home that much. I actually like going in and seeing people.
Another excellent point. I work remotely but not always from home, so I still get to see people. Most of the people I work with on projects also telecommute so we arrange our schedules to be in-office on the same days.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2011, 07:20 AM
 
2,633 posts, read 3,064,935 times
Reputation: 1675
The zero-risk answer would be how much less would you spend on getting to work?
In the best case scenario, if your reduced commute would allow you to get rid of a vehicle, this would save you a lot of money. These are easily quantifiable costs:
- Gas
- Insurance
- Maintenance
- Vehicle Depreciation
- Registration
- Inspections
- Vehicle Taxes
- Parking
- Tolls
- Metro/Bus fares
+ Transportation subsidies

Then, add in what you think your time is worth. Take your salary and divide it by 2080 (assuming you work a 40 hour week). This is your hourly rate. Could you take the time you spent commuting and use it to generate more money? Otherwise would you use it to enhance your quality of life?

Conversely, you could figure up these cost and see how much more could you spend to live closer to your job. I did this calculation and saw what I'd "save" by living further out would be eaten up by commuting costs. I now live two miles from work, and even though I spend more on housing, I save two hours per day where I'm not moving from Point A to Point B.

I do agree with Carlingtonian in that if your salary is used to compute benefits (ie, pension or social security), then taking a pay cut may have a long term affect.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2011, 07:23 AM
 
19,183 posts, read 28,388,565 times
Reputation: 4002
On average, households spend about 4-5% of disposable income on commuting costs, so something in that ballpark is kind of built in, and people's initial reaction to not having to commute anymore would be expected to depend reasonably heavily on whether they were individually above or below that average. If someone were already paying below the average, he would likely feel that his commuting costs were already pretty cheap all in all, and an offer not to commute wouldn't have so much value to him. Someone paying well above the average would likely be quite well aware of the high dollar-cost of his daily travel and the same offer to him would have a higher value put on it.

There are of course more than just dollar costs involved in commuting. For one thing, the opportunity costs of the time lost to a twice-daily two-hour commute are the same even if the commute itself is free. These lead into the more complex field of work-leisure preferences, things that vary tremendously based on personal circumstances. Then there is the degree of insult to be considered. Probably Joe Biden's two-hour trip down from Delaware via Amtrak in the morning is less stressful than two hours spent trying to crawl up I-95 from Fredericksburg at the height of the rush hour every day. The list of these factors is potentially a long one.

Bottom line is that there are monetary and various non-monetary costs to commuting and that trying to find any single dollar figure that would represent a reasonable combination of all of them is likely going to be a rather difficult task.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2011, 08:34 AM
 
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,740 posts, read 8,980,272 times
Reputation: 3858
If not commuting meant that one could actually not own a car, then I agree it would save a ton of money--all the costs SmokeJaguar itemized above. It does add up, big time.

That said, how many people are truly willing or able to go without a car? Believe me, I've done it--for years at a stretch. But I was younger then, and I didn't live in a SFH. And being carless does require a lot of planning and even foregoing things. (Maybe less so now, due to the advent of Zipcar.) Not just for the obvious things, like big grocery trips, but also stuff like--say I suddenly realize I'm out of butter and need to run to the store at 9PM. Is there a bus readily available? Or suppose I need to go to Home Despot to grab one item on a Sunday afternon. Things like that are the reason it's good to have a car. (I do realize that if you live in a condo, you can probably walk a block to buy butter and have little need of Home Depot.)

I actually tried to make the cost of gasoline (due to the hugely increased commute) part of the salary negotiation for my current job. I don't think they cared.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-21-2011, 08:42 AM
 
Location: The Port City is rising.
8,815 posts, read 10,719,701 times
Reputation: 2523
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlingtonian View Post
If not commuting meant that one could actually not own a car, then I agree it would save a ton of money--all the costs SmokeJaguar itemized above. It does add up, big time.

That said, how many people are truly willing or able to go without a car?
that assumes the choice is one car, or no cars. For many households in this region, its two cars vs one car, or even three cars vs two cars. That changes the economics of full time telework (as it does of non auto modes of transportation in general).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Virginia > Northern Virginia
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top