1 Hour Commute Experience

I'm certain that a lot of people are going to tell me not to do this. I'm hoping though to get the input of people who actually HAVE done this for full time and what their experiences were like. I don't think this is something I will do the entire time I'm an analyst, but I was hoping to save some cash for at least a half of a year before transitioning to living with a roommate in a 2br (especially with the rebound in rent and potential jump again in covid cases). I'm from NYC so I wouldn't have to pay any rent with the 50-60 min commute by train. If you've done this, please let me know how it went for you!

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Comments (17)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 24, 2021 - 10:06am

Not NYC but another North American finance city. 

I strongly recommend you not to do it. It sucks. I get in pretty early and nothing blows more than having to get ready at the crack of Dawn and maybe get a couple minutes of shitty sleep on the train. God forbid you miss your stop cause you slept through it. the commute home honestly isn't that bad, but it eats into your sleep time. When you're home, you want to get something to eat, wash up, etc and you've killed a good hour or so of sleep.

I dont think you need to be particularly intelligent to be a banker but you need to be sharp. Do this routine four times over and by Friday you're pretty dead on your feet. 

i think another huge aspect is your social life is going to take a hit. You're going to be dead tired on Friday's, thus but thé motivation to get blasted diminishes substantially. During the week, I'm not gonna go home and do that commute again to the bars. If you have a nice scene where you live, you're chilling but otherwise I would highly reccommend you consider that. 

also - say your team has last minute plans to go get drinks after a deal launches, like random text at 8pm for 9pm drinks. It's a logistical challenge to either get to the city in time, or like find your way home in a non sketchy way that doesn't cost a ridiculous Uber. 

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 26, 2021 - 11:48pm

I hadn't considered the last minute get-back-to-the-area things. Thanks for bringing that up! I wish hybrid was still a thing so that I could say I'd just go home at 9 PM consistently and not worry too much about being in the office late. I'm worried though about how my firm would perceive that from a 1st year analyst....

  • Associate 1 in IB - Cov
Nov 24, 2021 - 10:09am

I did it for a short period of time and it is NOT worth the potential savings. Do you know how helpful 1-2 hours of sleep is? You will also naturally become a social outcast if your team goes out for drinks or dinner or something and you don't. Bad idea. Heed this advice. 

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  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Nov 25, 2021 - 11:55am

This is somewhat difficult to do even with a 9-5. Do not attempt this in banking, you will go insane. You make nearly $200k. Be aware that trains out of the city usually run 1 time an hour late at night so you could be hanging out at Penn/GC for a very long time. And most Uber drivers won't take you that far out of Manhattan in the middle of the night, so you can't even count on that.

Actually useful advice: Find some other cheap IB dudes and flex a 3 bedroom into a 4 to save some cash.

  • Partner in PE - LBOs
Nov 27, 2021 - 8:17am

Never done it -- but why wouldn't you cab it back home? Can that 50-60 minute be cut to 30-40 minutes? 

I do know people who have commuted 20-30 minutes plus on 90 hour work weeks for their duration and were fine.

I say, as long as you know the tradeoff, I think if you can save an extra 10K, might as well do it now.

When your 21 your body can literally go through anything. During my stint in IB, your body literally adjusts to the lifestyle. 

That being said, finance is a long game, once you do 2 years of IB, you'll have the chance for most exit opps. It may be worth it do invest in living closer for that 6 months for future payoff. Your bonus is likely going to be huge, I don't think an extra 10K will matter in the end.

Again, short-term thinking vs long-term career.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 27, 2021 - 11:14am

It would be a 50-60 minute commute in the morning. I would always be able to take an Uber back home for free. I'm used to 1hr+ commutes since that's what I've done my whole life for both school and internships, but I guess I was more concerned about the toll it would have on my long-term health, even if short-term I don't "feel" it, you know? But your input helps!! Thank you.

  • Partner in PE - LBOs
Nov 27, 2021 - 3:26pm

No one really knows what the toll will be on your health TBH - It's banking after all.

Good luck, there's sound advice in this thread!

Nov 27, 2021 - 8:39am

Like anything in life, you can get used to it. I would suggest you do it for the next 6 months and see how you can handle it. If it is something you can handle, great you will save a ton. If not, just get an apartment in the city, there are a million of them.

  • Intern in IB-M&A
Nov 27, 2021 - 11:14am

Did you do this? How did you cope with the problems people mentioned above (namely, getting back to the office quickly when called)?

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  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
Nov 27, 2021 - 11:24am

I would discourage this. It's one thing to do this in a very flexible work environment or where many people commute in, it's another to be the "odd person out". 

Others have mentioned the main concerns but I'll reiterate some:

1) you are just starting your career, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression, and unfortunately those can stick with you for a while. You need to match the "rhythm" of your team. So if you are the person having to take off early or miss events it will be noticed. 

2) stress: you will want to head home at a decent hour and you'll need to tradeoff going to events or working late vs getting home and catching that train (or uber and being "offline" for an hour). It's unneeded stress at this point in your life. 
3) last minute events or work; you'll never make these

4) health: you have 24 hours in a day. Along with the other tradeoffs mentioned you'll probably sacrifice your health as well. Those 2 hours commuting can be spent in the gym (even if just 30 mins). There just isn't enough time in a day to "waste" two hours. 

Again, it's the beginning of your career, a lot about life will be new and difficult (paying bills, figuring out how to manage time with a heavy workload, making new friends) make this part of your life easier, why work so hard to get to this point to only handicap yourself once you've finally broken in? Seems like a bad tradeoff (you spent all this time not making money and working so hard to get here, now you want to make it harder once you have the opportunity to crush this career path?). 

  • Analyst 1 in PE - Other
Nov 27, 2021 - 3:45pm

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