One of the biggest decision that I have been thinking about is whether or not to move out of my apartment into a place that is cheaper to live. Rent in the area has gone up and my place has gone up by $25, which is extremely lucky compared to other apartments in the area. Although my ideal rent would be closer to about $300-400 less than what I am currently paying.
I have done some looking around the surrounding area for cheaper places, but they only can offer a discount of about ~$100 compared to what I am now paying for a single bedroom. They are also all a bit farther away and not in easily accessible locations or new freeways. Many apartments are farther away from shopping malls, supermarkets, and gyms.
So I had a relatively easy question but the answer was more complicated when I dug into the cost benefit analysis of relocation to a new place. One of the stickler was that it most certainly would have to be farther away then where I am now. So first I looked at the cost of gas and realized that by moving 10 miles out, I would almost double my gas bill per month. That means to break even I need to move out to a place that would save me ~$140 per month.
Another factor was the time I would spend in traffic each day, which it is currently at ~20 minutes (round trip), but at +10 miles it would closer to about an hour each day. For someone who has driven a lot in LA traffic I can say that I am not spending anymore of my life than I have to sitting bumper to bumper in traffic. I would lose 40 minutes a day for a total of 800 min or 13.4 hours a month, I don't know about you but I can spend that time doing something more productive.
There are more factors that can add in to make it a more balanced analysis but I can already tell that it won't be the massive savings that I was thinking of. I might be better off finding a suitable roommate then moving out of my place but that presents a whole new set of issues. For now I am partly content with my decision to stay at a slightly higher cost but that might be the case a year from now when my new lease is up.