I met up with an old colleague last week and during the initial 'catch-up' she told me that she was on her way to pick up the keys to her new flat which was a 'five minute walk' from my previous work place adjacent to Tower Bridge.
After I had asked her what rent she was paying it got me thinking, what would it be like to live near to your work place, I mean REALLY near?
Well, one of the main pros would be no more expensive public transport. The relentless above inflation annual fare increases by the rail companies are hitting all of us commuters squarely in our already stretched pockets.
Of course, what you will save on the average £969 per year commute to work, you'll pay extra on rent. No more long commuting, getting healthier by walking to-and-from work and hopefully, saving some cash along the way.
Just imagine the thought of having an extra 30 minutes in bed, courtesy of being a stone's throw away from the office. Not forgetting the amount of savings you can make by spending your lunch break at home.
Getting to work by bike could never be healthier, kinder to the environment, pocket friendlier (petrol now being an average eye watering £1.35 per litre) and more interesting, especially during the spring / summer months.
Parking is a bone of contention for the vast majority of us who can actually afford to run a vehicle. Ok, so if you're an employee who has a forward thinking employer that provides parking facilities, then be thankful and give them a smile.
However, just imagine the euphoria your mind will achieve by not sitting in rush hour traffic and sharing the road with agitated likeminded road users.
How would that make you feel?
Think about it...
And relax and smile. Now back to reality!
Not only do you save on public transport by working close to home, but you can also save money on expensive food and overpriced lattés from well-known coffee shops. At some point we've all been guilty of spending an eyebrow raising amount of our pay packet on over-priced and over-salted lunch meals. If you live nearby, and you have a long enough lunch break, you could easily go home and enjoy some home-cooked food for a fraction of the cost. As a bonus, it will be something you might actually want to eat!
When you go out socialising on a 'school night', long-distance commuters stick out like a sore thumb. They're the concerned looking clock watching souls who only drink one glass of wine and leave really early before everyone else because they need to get an early night. This is the real world!, Our bosses, in their ivory towers, don't care how far we have to travel each day, you still have to work the same hours when you get there. If you know you only have a fifteen minute walk to work the following morning, you can happily schmooze it up until the naughty side of midnight, safe in the knowledge that you don't have to get up until 8:35 am-ish.
Nowadays it's common for people to spend up to an hour (sometimes more) commuting and the same again on the way back. That's a minimum of ten hours a week that you could be spending working on the novel, researching a new business idea or just chillaxing by having some more 'you-time'.
So, you're out 'n' about, reading interesting blogs each morning and saving a fortune in petrol and overpriced sandwiches, anything else? Of course there is because as you now live close to your workplace, you will get to know the surrounding area better than anyone else. Before you know it, you'll become more knowledgeable than Google, highly unlikely but not impossible.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are the cons such as higher property rental costs and no more lame excuses for blaming the trains for being late or heavy traffic. C'mon, stop hitting that snooze button!
The added factor, and this can be seen either as a good or bad, is that you'll be able to get into work that little bit earlier or stay later to get that presentation done or complete 'that' all important report. In today's competitive employment environment, that could earn you a brownie point or 2.
Of course there is the number one factor of 'What's it going to cost me / us?' Well, if I was a betting man (and very rarely I am) I would instead ask, 'How much money will it save me / us?'
So, in conclusion, why not give the idea some thought and do the math?
My ex colleague did and I've never seen her smile so much!