What part of that $758 million a day savings is yours? This is what the Federal Highway Administration estimates have been saved by working from home rather than driving to the office. The FHA also estimates that in June, which is the beginning of summer vacation travel, Americans trekked nearly 37 billion fewer miles than in the same month last year. If you’re working remotely, you should be saving on gas, oil, maintenance, repairs, tire wear, tolls, a fender-bender you might have had, and insurance costs. Your blood pressure should also be lower due to less stress, anger, pollution and time in the car.
The Department of Transportation estimates that every hour of commuting by auto, the cost is about $12.50 an hour. Also, before Covid-19 we were spending an average of over 54 minutes a day commuting. Of course, the big metropolitan areas are worse than other more rural areas, but still, how much time have you saved? How are you using that time? Have you upgraded your skill sets, gotten a new certification or expanded your network?
If your insurance company has not sent you a check for less driving and lower premiums, call them right now. They owe you a rebate. Complain and you’ll be heard. If not, check on other car insurance companies who will treat you better. I saved a few hundred dollars a year when I changed. If you have two or more cars, multiply the savings.
On the other hand, local economies and jobs that serve the commuting public suffer: Bus drivers, convenience store owners, lunch providers, and so on. The local economies, small business and service companies are hurting since the Covid-19 scare. As an example, American Airlines says it plans to lay off 19,000 local workers and Delta is planning to furlough 2,000 pilots.
Covid-19 has changed the way we work and live. On the other hand, unless you exercise or work out at least 30 minutes a day, cut back on your caloric intake and balance your lifestyle, working from home can move you to a more sedentary life. Break up the work day with brisk walks or an exercise regimen. It’s interesting to note that people are purchasing pets for companionship while at the same time ordering streaming movies at a record pace.
The point is, you need to assess how this unexpected event of Covid-19 has affected you so far, and how it will affect you in the short and longer term? Once you have assessed the situation, then determine your strategy for either safeguarding your current work status or take advantage of the situation to move up the career or financial ladder in the years to come. Most every situation of change provides an opportunity for some and a disadvantage for others. Figure out which side of the ledger you’re on, and develop a plan to guarantee a favorable outcome.
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