Quandaries and Queries


Is there a formula for computing “real pay”? Example – you are offered a position in your home town for $A, and another position in another town for $B. To work at $B job there would be so many hours in commute time involved (z), and a real daily commute cost (either train, bus, or auto mileage-wear, etc.) (x). How would you calculate the real pay of job $B in relation to job $A?

Thank you.




Hi Judy,

I don't think that there is a mathematical formula that really applies here. It does take a mathematical mind to realize that there is more than the salary difference of $B - $A involved in making the decision, and it is possible to put a monetary value to the commuting costs, but putting a value on the commuting time is much more personal: Is it quality time that you will spend chatting, reading, listening to music or napping, or will you find yourself fighting for space with an angry crowd? Also how much is the difference of $B - ($A + commuting costs) worth to you compared to the additional time that you could spend at home?

Some analysts would say that we indeed put a monetary value on the commuting time based on such considerations, but for most of us the decision-making process looks much more like weighing in the pros and cons using good old fashioned common sense, and taking a decision to the best of our judgment.