The CBC recently posted an article stating that a 200km commute to work in Toronto was worth it in exchange for a cheap mortgage outside the GTA. Even after waking up at an abnormally early hour for a long drive to work, ultimately extending the work day by a minimum of four hours, the interviewee agreed that it was worth it for the affordability of their mortgage.
The catch to this, CBC claims, is that “you’ve got to love driving”. Unfortunately, life isn’t quite that simple – the negatives of commuting such a long way five days a week far outweigh the positives of a less expensive home. Here are just some of the reasons why:
Time is money
There’s been no shortage of research about the ill effects of having a long commute, much of which has focused on its effects on your time and wallet – the two things that are most apparent in the long term.
Sacrificing your personal time for a longer commute in the name of a cheaper mortgage is going to cost you a great deal in the long term. Not only are you extending your own workday (and not being paid for your time spent on the road), but by default you’re extending the time not spent thinking about work. A two-hour commute twice a day five times a week is sacrificing a whopping 20 daylight hours of your week – time you will never be compensated or thanked for, nor can you ever replace it.
Not only are you losing time by commuting, but you may also be affecting your overall work performance. Being on the road for long stretches of time can be mentally exhausting, and after your commute you’ve effectively turned your 8-hour workday into a ten to twelve hour day. This can have an affect on productivity, workplace satisfaction, and your overall happiness.
You only live once
Your happiness and satisfaction with life are far and away the most important things in your life – will adding a long commute and extending your workday really give you the motivation to be outgoing, spontaneous, and adventurous? Probably not, say most researchers. Since commuting is a mostly stressful affair, your longer commute is just another in a line of everyday stresses you’ll be voluntarily adding to your life.
The longer time spent commuting and working, the less time you have for things like meal preparation, exercise, sleep, and wind-down time. These things are essential for maintaining a healthy body and mind – the last thing you want is for your new commute to start affecting your health. Our days are only so long, and adding a 2-4 hour daily drive is only going to cut into that time and limit your ability to do the things you love in life.
The costs add up
A lot of research points toward commuting being an expensive affair. The money you may be saving on your mortgage quickly turns into money spent on frequent trips to the gas station, regular maintenance on your vehicle, and stops for coffee and fast food among other expenses. While it may seem like you’re getting a great deal at the expense of a long commute, the expenses you rack up on the road will surprise you.
Your new commute suddenly equates to more than two full unpaid days of work per week – meaning that you’re effectively working a full seven-day work week once everything is all said and done.
The case for commuting such a long distance is paper thin – a cheaper mortgage isn’t going to pay your gas money, nor will it give you back the time you’re almost certainly losing each and every single day. Luckily there are some great alternatives to moving away from the city you love so much – you can telecommute, walk, run, or bike to work, or change jobs if you’re unhappy with your situation. A slightly less expensive mortgage just isn’t worth the added stress or time and money lost – this is the only life you’ll live, so live it to its fullest.
If you are interested in a property in Toronto or the GTA close to work and good schools, contact Highgate Property Investments today.