A Longer Commute Lowers Housing Costs

Estimated Monthly Savings: $500

One of the easiest ways to save money when working in a major metroplex, and still one of the least-used methods, is to consider a longer commute to and from work. While many consider this undesirable, the costs associated with living in the city, far closer to work, are astronomical when considered.

Take Dallas, Texas, as an example. While living costs in Dallas are high, they don’t compare to places such as New York City or Chicago, and the savings estimated are a conservative number. The average price for a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment in the heart of Dallas can range anywhere from $2,000 -$3,000 dollars a month in rent. Using a conservative estimate, we’ll place it at $2,100. This is a massive price when compared to an apartment of the same size in the suburbs, priced anywhere between $900-$2,000 a month in rent. Again, using conservative estimates, we’ll use $1,500 rent as our starting point. Already, that’s a $600 difference.

Using two different methods of transportation, the monetary savings are immediate and clear. The national gas price average falls around $2.66/gallon. With an average gas tank capacity of about 14 gallons, this makes the cost to fill up a little over $37. If the national average mpg is about 25.5 miles per gallon (again, conservatively), and your commute is about 15 miles both ways, this creates a need to fill up your tank about 2.5 times a month. The price for that falls around $112, creating an average monthly savings of $488.

To discuss an alternative route with even larger monetary savings, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system costs $80 for a monthly DART fare pass. This eliminates the need to drive or refill your gas tank for your work commute and has stations in most major suburban areas around the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex. This gives you an average savings of $520 a month.

While many prefer to live in the heart of the city and cut their average commute time, consider living in the suburbs — which will afford you more room, quieter areas, and will cut your cost of living (in rent alone!) by an average of $500 a month, creating peace of mind and easier financials.