As I was reminded the other day, one of the biggest advantages to a home business is that you can avoid the cost of commute.
My commute is about 30 seconds. I get up, and walk downstairs to the computer. Most of the time, I don't even get dressed before I sit down to start work. Telecommuting is one of the advantages of a home business.
The cost of a real commute was really brought home to me the other day. My husband was pulled over, and it reminded me that the cost of gas isn't the only problem with the commute.
What Other Costs Come with Your Commute?
First of all, this is the first time in 11 years that my husband has been pulled over for anything. (I haven't had any citations, either.) He is a model driver. As he approached his exit on the interstate, he saw a state trooper pulled off to the side of the road. He slowed down, and moved over in the lane, but didn't change lanes because he was about to exit. He didn't feel safe trying to make a made dash across a lane of traffic to make his exit.
He was pulled over, on the off ramp, and cited for not moving over. (He has looked up the law and claims that it's a slow down OR move over situation, and since he slowed to 45, he has grounds to challenge.) Naturally, we both think this very unfair, considering the circumstances and his driving record. At any rate, as I looked at the citation, a few things occurred to me:
- It's a misdemeanor, so he has to drive back down to Ogden, an hour away, for an extra trip. This is an added expense.
- If he does have to pay the fine, it will mean even more money.
- And, of course, our insurance will go up if we can't get the ticket dismissed. This represents a higher monthly cost. One that recurs every month for three years.
The true cost of a commute is in the risks you run. There is always the chance that you will get pulled over, or get in an accident, or get stuck idling and waste gas. All of these things cost money.
What If You Like Working Outside the Home?
My husband prefers to work outside the home for the most part. He only commutes three days a week, and the rest of the time he works from home. But he wouldn't want to work from home every day.
That's fine. Telecommuting and home business activities aren't for everyone. But if you do work outside the home, you need to be aware of the costs and the risks. You can reduce them by moving closer to work, but they are still there.
With technology, and the ability we have to design our lifestyles, it's possible to make this choice. My husband likes his job, and he likes working outside of the home three or four days a week. If he can secure it, moving from adjunct to full time, we might move closer to his work. That would cut some of the costs and the risks.