Commutes can be a nightmare when it comes to time. They can also hurt your finances in ways you may not notice.
When it comes to the trade-off between living in an expensive downtown apartment, or living in the suburbs and commuting, there are factors which most people wouldn’t consider.
The dreaded daily commute may be wasting more than just your time, according to a study by LendingTree. Driving through rush-hour traffic is costing Americans so much money that it actually negates much of the savings they receive from living outside of the city. According to the study, metropolitan areas with longer commutes tend to have drivers with more debt. This is because every additional minute spent commuting leads the average driver to taking on about $269 more in auto loan debt.
If you are considering living outside of a city to save money, but must work downtown, you should consider how long the commute will be. The commute will of course take longer in the more crowded cities, leading to greater costs. The longest average commutes take place in some of the larger cities, with California and Texas being the worst. Among the cities with the top ten commute times, four are in California, while Texan cities take five of the top ten spots for auto debt.
Seeing as auto debt is hitting record levels in the US, being pickier about where you decide to move in and work is strongly advised. At the moment, Americans owe $1.16 trillion in auto loans. This can be compared to the $1.6 trillion Americans owe in student loan debt.