Sunday, 30th April 2017

Making Money

Managing the Costs of Daily Work Commute

There’s more to consider than just the salary of your shiny new job. JOSELITO B. CRUZ shows us that getting there—without breaking the bank—is half the battle.


21 Jul 2010 Print This Post Print This Post

    Adjusting to the daily grind in the metro is one of the biggest areas of change for fresh college graduates. Working in an office these days still largely means keeping a strict 8-hour workday; thus, the trip going to and coming from work plays an important part not just in time management, but in financial management as well. In selecting a job, it is important to consider how efficient and cost-effective your daily commute will be.

    From home to office, and back again
    The biggest factor that will affect your commute is the location of your workplace. Simple logic dictates that the farther a potential workplace is from your place of residence, the higher the cost of travel. Make sure your salary comfortably accommodates this. Another factor is convenience and ease of travel. If the commute is long and torturous, and you always show up late no matter how early you leave, that job opportunity might not be the best for you. If your job requires to to put in long or late hours, you may have to make arrangements for a safer commute, such as a regular trusted shuttle service, this would also result in increased costs.

    Company shuttles, car plans and other benefits
    Those assigned to field or mobile work—like medical sales representatives, production crew, and account managers—may have access to benefits like company shuttles, car plans, or cab fare allowances.

    In case they don’t offer this to you and you’re going to have to pay for it yourself, do a simple calculation of your daily roundtrip public transportation fare, or gas consumption (and toll fees) if you drive your own vehicle. Compute how much you will make per day if you work with them. The costs of daily traveling should eat up just a very minimal percentage of your daily wage, with enough left for meals, rent, utilities such as phone bills, other expenses, and savings.

    If you live in Metro Manila and the job requires you to travel to provinces regularly, make sure your company covers the expenses. Companies will discuss this as part of their benefits package, and it may include allowances for airfare and hotels.

    Exceptions to the rule
    Sometimes you will encounter a job opportunity that is just worth it, even if it’s a long and expensive commute from home to work. For instance, an entry-level position in a highly reputable company, in your ideal industry, that promises concrete opportunities for growth, shouldn’t be turned down just because of the travel time. Out-of-town assignments can be difficult to adjust to, but it is a great way to build your experience and credentials. When these chances come up, it’s up to you to commit to it and make it work.

    To do that, you may need to cut back on other unnecessary expenses such as your daily latte or weekend shopping to ensure that you set aside your daily commute budget. Try searching for co-workers who might be able to give you a lift home—strike up some form of compensation like picking up the tab for gas once in a while.

    Some jobs may require relocation. How much will you save on time and money if you just rent a place near your office? This is an adjustment in itself, make sure it is a financially better decision first before signing a lease contract.

    Regularly evaluate your situation
    Even if you decided to take the job and commute (or take a car, or get a nearby apartment) you should regularly check if you’re happy and satisfied with your present situation. By minimizing the effort and expense of the daily commute, you can focus on the work itself and do a better job.



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