A lot of things go into the decision to move to a new location. Job opportunities, family connections, relationships and cost of living will all most likely play a role in your choice.
One oft-overlooked factor that might be important if you’re just getting settled in at a new job is the cost of your commute. In some cities, you might need to commute using public transportation, while in others you might need to drive for an hour each way to and from work.
Some of the costliest commutes in the nation — Houston, Tampa, Fla., and Kansas City, Mo. — occur in geographically large cities that rely heavily on personal automobiles for transit. Workers in those three cities spend approximately 20% of their expenses on transportation, mainly because gas prices have skyrocketed in recent years.
On the flip side, cities that have public transportation available provide some of the cheapest commutes. Your 15-mile commute in Kansas City could run you as much $3 given current gas prices. Compare that to New York City, where an $89 per month subway pass gets you to work for $1.50 (and costs less if you use the card for leisure purposes as well).
Take a Load Off by Riding the Train (or Walking, or Biking)
Public (or foot/pedal-powered) transportation can help your wallet and your mental state, according to a study by David Brooks.
According to the research, a person with a hour-long commute has to make 40% more money to be as satisfied with his or her life as someone who walks to the office. That’s because our brains aren’t wired to become used to the gridlock, even if we deal with it daily. That doesn’t even account for the inches driving for an hour or two a day tends to add to your waistline. Even if you choose a car-heavy city, consider living downtown or close to your place of work. Commuter cities such as Kansas City, Mo., and Denver, Colo., have vibrant downtown nieghborhoods with available public transportation options.