When you nail an interview and land a new job, the world seems good at first. The pay looks excellent. The hours are perfect. And your coworkers appear friendly.
But you forgot to account for one thing: the commute.
The distance between your home and your job sounded manageable at first. But as the days, weeks, and months pass, you can’t help but wonder if you should move a little closer. You love your current house, so you need a few solid reasons before you pack up your valuables and find another property.
If you’re on the fence about moving, take a look at the following benefits you get when you live close to your office.
1. Lower Fuel Costs
Although gas prices vary from day to day, the IRS estimates that the average employee spends 0.51 cents per mile on their daily commute.
If you live about 38 miles away, you may spend a little over $19 a day in gas. Assuming you drive every day to work this year, you may spend as much as $4,769 in fuel costs alone. Factor in the costs of car ownership, insurance, and maintenance, and you’re spending a large portion of your income just going to work and coming home again.
Some estimate that for every mile you move closer, you can save $340 (going to and from work) a year. Better still, if you move within a few miles of your workplace, you can usually find alternative transportation (public buses, biking, and walking) that will save you even more money.
2. Save Time for Personal Hobbies
Traffic, like gas prices, varies from day to day. Some mornings you seem to fly through the intersections and merge onto the freeway with ease. But other mornings you face bumper-to-bumper traffic jams, accidents, and red lights that extend your travel time.
For the sake of simplicity, assume that you drive about 40 minutes to work, and you drive another 40 minutes home again. That’s 80 minutes of time spent in the car. If you make it to all 250 work days this year, you’ll sit in your car for about 334 hours, or almost 14 days.
Now imagine what you could do with 14 days’ worth of time. You might use a few of those extra hours to catch up on sleep, read your favorite books, or pursue a personal hobby. You might finally have the time to hit the gym or finish writing your memoir.
When you move closer to work, you can use the time that you would have spent in the car on things you value most.
3. Improve Your Health
Driving for extended times is hard on you mentally and physically. When a bad driver cuts you off in traffic or refuses to let you merge onto your exit, your stress and blood pressure levels may rise dramatically. And the longer you slouch behind the wheel, the more strain you put on your neck and back.
In fact, researchers have found that individuals who commute more than 10 miles in each direction tend to have a higher likelihood of developing anxiety and depression. Furthermore, those who commute for longer distances are less likely to exercise the recommended amount, and they tend to have higher blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well.
If you’ve noticed that you’ve gained weight since starting your commute, or that you struggle to relax and unwind when you come home from work, you may need to move closer to improve your health.
Don’t Be Afraid to Move a Little Closer
Although moving closer to work can seem like a hassle, you’ll enjoy a lot more benefits when you take the leap. In addition to improving your health and saving you time and money, your move could also have a positive impact on the environment (fewer exhaust fumes), present you with opportunities to make new friends (and new neighbors), and give you access to more entertainment and restaurants.
So don’t hesitate to find a new place closer to your office. You’ll be amazed at what your new town has to offer.