The decision of where to live is one that should not be taken lightly. Of course you want a safe area, which is close to shops and other amenities, but what about factoring in the amount of km you will need to commute as you carry out your day to day activities? The expense associated with commuting is usually much greater than you might think.
- There is the usual cost of petrol, which most people do consider. But what about all the other associated costs with a long commute?
- Wear and Tear – The further you drive each day, the more your car degrades.
- Increased service intervals – The further you drive each day, the quicker your service intervals arrive
- Replacing a car more often – a car only has xkm in it’s lifetime. When you reach this number you will need to replace your car. The further you commute, the greater the number of cars you will need to purchase over your lifetime.
- Increased insurance - the companies usually calculate how far your place of work is from your home when they calculate your insurance.
- Increased risk of accidents – the further you drive the more chance you will have an accident (even if it is not your fault).
- Your time – maybe the most valuable asset of all?
The above costs can add up to hundreds of thousands of rands over a lifetime. It therefore makes sense to consider your commuting distance (work, schools, family etc.) as one of the very important factors when deciding where to live. Do your best to choose a location which will result in the least amount of driving, or even no driving at all:
- A single person could look at living walking or cycling distance to work (even if it is much more expensive than another area, the money and time saved by not having to drive to work could make it worth it).
- We live walking distance from the Gautrain station, which means my wife does not need to drive to work, she just hops on the train (which at this point is still cheaper than her driving)
- If your company allows you to work from home, this could be an option for certain personality types.
- What about joining a lift club if some of your colleagues live in the same area?