I've been sat here today trying to work out the best way to get back to Spalding when I visit my office.
I can't remember whether I made a big deal about this (and I should have done because it is a big deal and one of my goals accomplished), but when we complete on the house and I move up there, I will be working from home full time.
Yay! Go me.
It would have been a major pain in the bum to have to try and find a new job, but luckily my boss would rather I worked from home and came in every 1-2 weeks than have me hand in my notice.
Getting in will be a little awkward though. The options are as follows:
Buy a car for me: None of our cars are automatic and I learnt on one just to get through the test quickly. I'd rather not have to get another car for me so soon after buying the house, as I want to wait and see if there are any unforeseen yet necessary expenses.
Me get the train there and back: I've checked the times and I can't get in anywhere near 9am by train. 11am is the closest. So that's out.
Martin drives me there and back: possible, but that will leave Martin pretty tired at the end of the day after a three hour commute, starting out at 5:30am, doing a heavy delivery in the middle, and more driving at the end. As the car is a manual I can't help with the driving. It also means he has to leave the house again at 5:30am the following day.
We drive a 1996 Volkswagen Passat diesel estate than runs at 43mpg, which despite its lousy fuel efficiency is actually an utter workhorse of a car that we don't want to part with, not least because it was free. According to this website, the cost of one journey at a diesel price of 110p/litre would be £7.18. However, as he is visiting at the weekends and would have to drive back sometime anyway, I'm only going to consider the extra two journeys incurred, so £14.36 (I'm not including tax, insurance or wear and tear costs)
I'm not happy with this option to be honest, as it means that Martin will suffer from a lot of tiredness during the week as a knock on effect. His health is worth more.
Martin drives me there, I find my own way back by train: Doable. More inconvenient for me, but I'll be at home the rest of the time so I can recover easily. This makes sense to do.
This got a bit convoluted, and to get the best prices I have to book in advance. I did an initial search between the two stations each end and got a ridiculous journey and price. The site told me I would have to go from Milton Keynes to Euston, across on the underground to King's Cross and then out on a train to Peterborough, where I then change to a train bound for Spalding. For the privilege I would pay £82.50 FOR A SINGLE TICKET. As I once made a promise to myself that I would not deal with anyone resembling Dick Turpin, I set about finding another way.
I went North, but I had to do the journey in stages myself as the site would not accept a way to Spalding that didn't go through London. So Milton Keynes to Birmingham then Birmingham to Spalding (stopping to change at Peterborough) cost £10:50 + £52.50. Slightly better, but now dealing with Dick Turpin's sidekick who wanted £63 FOR A SINGLE TICKET.
So I tried again. Milton Keynes to Birmingham, Birmingham to Peterborough, then Peterborough to Spalding. Same journey, same number of changes, but this time £10.50 + £17.90 + £8.00 = £36.40 for the journey, so £22.04 more expensive than Martin driving back with me.
I had heard that breaking a journey down into stages could sometimes net a better fare than booking it all as one ticket, and this way would save me 56% of the originally quoted price.
The yearly cost
While the options laid out look like me coming back by train is the winner, I wanted to see what it would add up to over 12 months.
Martin driving me back:
If I go into work every two weeks: 26 x £14.36 = £373.36 + a shed load of tiredness for Martin
If I go to work every week: 52 x £17.64 = £746.72 + a shed load of tiredness for Martin
Me going back by train
If I go into work every two weeks: 26 x £36.40 = £946.40
If I go to work every week: 52 x £36.40 = £1892.80
Yikes. So there we have it. The train is a stack load of cash and there are no saver cards or discounts I can use in addition. In fact both of them are a stack load of cash, but the problem is what I am now looking at is weighing up Martin's health and trying to decide how much it is worth.
I don't like that.
We need to have a chat.