Far Out Friday: How far would you commute to work?

by AB07 Aug 2015
How far would you commute to work if it meant you could rent a bigger and better apartment for less? Well, a London social media manager worked out he could spend less commuting to his job from Spain. So he made the move. 

Sam Cookney now lives in the centre of Barcelona, catching a cheap flight to London’s Stansted Airport each morning, according to News Limited, reaching his desk by 9.30am. And he is saving approximately $878 more a month than he would be if he lived in London.

“I think many people thought I was joking when I boldly declared it would be cheaper for me to rent a two-bed flat in Barcelona and commute to London every day than get a one-bed flat here,” he wrote on his blog.

“Turns out I was — I could in fact get a three-bed flat.”

According to the News Limited report, the average price of a one-bed flat in north London at the time was $3195 a month. However, on top of that, Cockney had to pay council tax of about $160 a month and buy a $250 travel card to get to work in the city centre. This brought his total monthly expenditure to     $3602.

In Barcelona, he pays $1300 a month, including bills, to live in newly renovated two-bed apartment with a roof terrace in the historic Gothic Quarter. He catches a cheap Ryanair flight costing as little as $50 return to London, a $30 train ride between Stansted to his office in Farringdon and a $9 train ride between Barcelona’s El Prat Airport to home. 

Cockney is able to work from home on occasion, but News Limited reports that even travelling to the office four days a week would cost just $1424 a month. This brings his total monthly spend to $2724 a month – $878 less than he would be paying to live and work in London.

“It’s a two-bed city-centre flat with roof terrace versus a small room in a shared flat in London, in the suburbs,” he told News Limited. “And it’s cheaper. The beach is on my doorstep, there’s amazing, cheap food, everything’s just so much easier.”

However, the 1500-kilometre commute takes five-and-a-half hours one-way. But the 11 hour round commute doesn’t seem to bother Cockney, who says that he is able catch up on sleep on the flight.