Should I Work Close to Home or Commute?

June 30, 2022

Traditional housing may be cheaper to buy or rent further away from the city where you work, but modern housing options are rewarding the choice to live closer to work both mentally and financially. Cities have continued their sprawl for decades, but modern workers feel less indebted to employers and are looking for ways to increase their quality of life. After reading the benefits below, finding affordable housing near your work is the logical decision. But how do you go about finding affordable housing in the Houston market, and what benefits will you gain?

Time behind the wheel is draining

Let’s be honest, commuting in your car is a drain on your pocketbook and your time. Unfortunately, due to financial constraints and the never-ending creep of our cost of living, living closer to work can feel unattainable. Our everyday commute seems unavoidable. This often makes the workday feel longer on both ends. This creeps into our personal time and can harm both our quality of life and our work satisfaction. The extra time in the car can also harm the environment.

Our in-car time often encounters additional delays and our already long commute grows. Then we leave the house earlier in anticipation of delays and our commute continues to grow. We get out of bed earlier, impacting our sleep, and we spend our days further exhausted. 

We go to bed tired at night, realizing that tomorrow we will do it all over again. Studies have found that our commutes do, in fact, make us feel poorly about life. It has a negative impact on our productivity when we are at work and hinders our satisfaction in our life outside of work. Ultimately, it hurts our physical and mental well-being.

In another study, it was shown that commuting by car increases stress. “Commuters also reported higher psychological stress scores, more health complaints, essentially of psychosomatic nature, and greater absenteeism from work due to sickness. Commuting, in addition to shiftwork, further increases sleep problems, psychosomatic complaints, and difficulties with family and social life.”

But How and Why?

People that commute by bike or by walking have maintained their level of satisfaction with regard to their personal time. Being outside in your neighborhood has myriad benefits to quality of life. Experiencing nature near home, getting to know neighbors along the walk, and being in nature are all huge boons to mental health. The opportunity to get exercise on the way both to and from work also feels like a gain in personal time and physical health.

So why do we continue to commute in a car if we have the opportunity to skip it? And what are the factors that have contributed to this overall decrease in quality of life when commuting? There is little value in continuing our commutes. We have to break the cycle.

At this point, we’re aware of the toll that additional driving can take on the environment. No one wants to be part of the problem, but sometimes commuting can feel unavoidable, and unfortunately, we end up feeling the mental burden of knowing that we are part of the problem while we drive. The daily commute to and from work accounts for 98% of an employee’s environmental impact, and three-quarters of greenhouse emissions come from our vehicles.

This frustration and feeling of helplessness can be relieved by moving closer to the cities in which we work.

How much does reducing our commute impact personal finances?

Moving closer to your work and cutting your commute can improve your bottom line in a multitude of ways. Seeing the same sights day-in-day-out through our car windows closes us off from the natural world. The expense to our health is real. Ultimately, the savings in financial and mental resources when we cut the commute are tangible and real.

Time Behind the Wheel

Find affordable housing that helps you spend less time behind the wheel.

Outside of your home and your workplace, if you have a commute you will spend more hours in your car than anywhere else in life. These are not social hours or hours of enriching your life, these are hours of your day that are lost in traffic. By cutting your commute, you regain hours of your life. One study found that cutting your commute brings the same level of happiness as getting a $40,000 raise.

Car Maintenance 

Our cars are designed to fall apart over time. Minor maintenance is constant, and it always feels that a major fix is just around the corner. Using public transportation or walking to work can save you thousands of dollars per year in car maintenance costs. The average cost per year of basic maintenance on a vehicle is $1,000. This only goes up with the length of your commute. PadSplit furnished rooms for rent are close to public transportation and searchable by proximity to your work.

Fuel Costs

Affordable housing to offset rising fuel costs.

The average cost of fuel has increased 40% year-over-year. For commuters, this means paying more to work and ultimately making less money per hour. Average cost per year for fuel totals in the thousands for commuters. With the cost of fuel continuing to rise, this annual number will only go up. Cutting the commute is an easy way to lower these costs.

Social Life

Humans are social animals, but the push into the suburbs has isolated us from neighbors and social opportunities. Nightlife, bars, and restaurants are often far more concentrated near city centers. The opportunity to blow off steam after a long work day by attending a local happy hour can greatly increase your quality of life. If you’re commuting, these hours are often spent behind the wheel. PadSplit offers the ability to search your favorite areas of town for proximity to your favorite sources of nightlife.

The Bottom Line

Moving to a new neighborhood is an obvious solution to a too-long commute. If you’re stuck in a lease, this can be complicated. PadSplit offers furnished rooms for great prices in the best neighborhoods.

There are also important considerations when deciding to move closer to work. Always consider the safety of the neighborhood and the building (or home) to which you are moving. PadSplit evaluates each potential landlord to make sure that your next home meets all of the criteria needed to be a safe space. This takes away the necessity of evaluating each potential home just to make sure they have the basics. A good weekly furnished room locator will map potential properties for you, allowing you to see price and location, and even offer a virtual tour of the unit and the surrounding neighborhood. You will know where public transportation access is before you ever move to your new home! Regardless of how you find your next rental, make sure you proceed safely and within your budget. PadSplit has homes all over affordable housing all over Houston/Atlanta/Tampa, offering plenty of choices when it comes to different neighborhoods that are close to your work. PadSplit understands how difficult it can be to find affordable housing for rent. But by using PadSplit, you can find your clean, safe room close to your work and cut your commute and your costs. Allowing you more time for living and less time behind the wheel.

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