# Someone calls saying, "I've got \$100 for you, come pick it up." How far would you go before its no longer worth the drive?

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DriveupLife

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### Poll Someone calls saying, "I've got \$100 for you, come pick it up." How far would you go before its no longer worth the drive? (345 votes)

No more than 5 miles 18%
5 to 10 miles 11%
10 to 20 miles 14%
20 to 30 miles 15%
30 to 40 miles 11%
40 to 50 miles 8%
50 to 60 miles 8%
60 to 70 miles 2%
70 to 80 miles 2%
80 to 90 miles 1%
90 to 100 miles 5%
Over 100 miles 3%
Over 200 miles 3%
•
DriveupLife

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#1  Edited By DriveupLife

I had this question posed to me by an economist friend and I wanted to see the Giant Bomb community's response. Sorry to everyone that uses kilometers. Just use the rough conversion of 5 miles = 8 km. The purpose of this question is also not to just judge based on gas and wear on your car but the general value you place on money and your time.

Edit: Good discussion happening but some people are missing the point. Let me clarify

1. You're going to see a friend and there's no risk to your health and well being when picking up the money.

2. The drive is during a normal day, mostly sunny with little traffic.

BisonHero

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Let's arbitrarily say that your traveling speed is like 70 mph. If the money is 70 miles away, you basically spend 2 hours: 1 hour to drive there and 1 hour to drive back. 2 hours of your time to make \$100, no strings attached, is like \$50 an hour, which is a pretty decent rate for some presumably pretty chill, low stress driving. The gasoline cost to fuel the car for that period is pretty negligible compared to the \$100. I voted 60-70 miles, but upon really thinking it through actually I'd probably be willing to drive like 100 miles away, though that does eat up more time and it depends what else I've got going on that day.

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However much \$30 of gas would take me

BisonHero

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@driveuplife: Is the distance round-trip, or is the distance how physically far away the money is so you're actually driving that distance twice? I assumed the latter.

deactivated-60dda8699e35a

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This sounds sketchy as fuck, so I wouldn't even go. Assuming it's not someone trying to rob me or something, I guess the max I'd be willing to drive is like 10 miles. A hundred dollars is nice and all, but it's not something I'd really go out of my way for.

RonGalaxy

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#6  Edited By RonGalaxy

15-20 miles/whatever the conversion of the price of gas to a postage stamp is. They could easily mail it to me if they're farther than that, and fuck em if they aren't willing to.

Mcfart

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I marked 50-60 miles, but your question is phrased in a "how far would you drive before deciding it's too far"? So once I'm already driving and out there, I'd probably just keep going at that point lol. If I knew beforehand, probably ~60 miles.

BeachThunder

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#9  Edited By BeachThunder

I wouldn't. That seems pretty dubious...

Teddie

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The fine for driving without a license would be a touch more than \$100 I imagine. But \$100 in my currency is pretty measly, so I probably wouldn't go through the effort beyond a mile or so either way.

burncoat

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5-10 miles. Close enough to max out my costs and not too far in case something shady is going on.

isomeri

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#12  Edited By isomeri

I don't have a car, but I guess I'd walk or bike 8 kilometers back and forth for 100 dollars if I had a day off.

SchrodngrsFalco

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#13  Edited By SchrodngrsFalco

Time of day, how busy I am, do I have podcasts to listen to, do I need to stop by store, and do I need to stop by my parents house if it's on the way (or back)? Those are my factors that I'd take into play for my answer of 5-10 miles.

Up to 100 miles . 200 round trip = 3 hours and 1/2 tank gas (\$15)

So close to \$30 an hour.

You don't take into account the value of time? Let's say, on average, your occupation nets you about \$27/hour. That's \$81 worth of use of your time, on top of the gas.

TobbRobb

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#15  Edited By TobbRobb

10-20. If it's further than that it can wait until we meet for some other reason. I wouldn't go much further than that for \$100.

Though if someone owes me money or is buying something from me, they better drive to my place and pay.

Or you know, internet banking. It's really easy and fast over here.

soulcake

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You don't go cause it's a scam. Just ask the Nigerian Prince.

Tyrrael

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#17  Edited By Tyrrael

I wouldn't go at all, because it's probably some psycho who's going to gas me and take my kidneys.

Irritum

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None of these, cause I measure in kilometres:-D

soulcake

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@tyrrael: Jason Really needs those new Kidneys.

TuxedoCruise

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0 miles. This sounds like a good way to get murdered.

bigsocrates

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Like others said, this totally depends on context. Is this a stranger? Then 0 miles never. \$100 is not enough money to risk dealing with a stranger.

Assuming it's not a stranger (so instead it's like an old classmate or co-worker who I don't like very much but am not afraid of, since if I do like them I won't take their money) it also depends on their location. Is this urban or rural driving? I would probably drive 50 miles of easy highway driving to pick someone up, but if it's going to be stop and go city driving I'm not going more than 10.

Also this all assumes I have easy access to a car (which I don't right now.)

BisonHero

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Man, everybody saying "I wouldn't go, I don't wanna get stabbed" is really overthinking their answer. This isn't a trick question, the OP outlines that it's a thought experiment about how much you value your time, not how streetwise you are to getting stabbed.

rethla

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@isomeri said:

I don't have a car, but I guess I'd walk or bike 8 kilometers back and forth for 100 dollars if I had a day off.

Contact uber then.

qrdl

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Time of day, how busy I am, do I have podcasts to listen to, do I need to stop by store, and do I need to stop by my parents house if it's on the way (or back)? Those are my factors that I'd take into play for my answer of 5-10 miles.

@andythemez said:

Up to 100 miles . 200 round trip = 3 hours and 1/2 tank gas (\$15)

So close to \$30 an hour.

You don't take into account the value of time? Let's say, on average, your occupation nets you about \$27/hour. That's \$81 worth of use of your time, on top of the gas.

If you're self-employed, it's just additional income on top. Assuming you're working shorter hours than if you had a full-time job.

bigsocrates

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Man, everybody saying "I wouldn't go, I don't wanna get stabbed" is really overthinking their answer. This isn't a trick question, the OP outlines that it's a thought experiment about how much you value your time, not how streetwise you are to getting stabbed.

But it doesn't really work there either. Driving is not a single fungible activity. Is this a pleasant drive or a difficult drive? Is it raining out? How bad is traffic? City or country? Is this person being picked up good company? If it's a nice drive on a sunny day and I'm picking up an attractive woman who is good company I'm going a lot further than if it's a rainstorm and I'm driving through Boston to pick up an annoying guy who keeps trying to play terrible music on the radio.

Distance alone is kind of useless, since it doesn't even tell you how long it's going to take. Do you know how long it takes to drive 10 miles in Boston? Even time isn't enough because it doesn't make it clear how pleasant or unpleasant an activity is.

OurSin_360

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Depends on how long they've owed me and if i have to pull a stewie on them or not.

If it's just free money then 5-10 miles, but if i gotta make an example...

RetroMetal

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I mean, I have a job. It pays pretty well. I'm not hurting for \$100.

0, I'd say I would travel 0 for \$100.

I'd rather meet the person and have lunch or dinner or coffee or something else.

TheRealTurk

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I think the glib answer is 0 miles because the person should just mail you a \$100 check and then you don't need to drive anywhere.

But if you want to be serious, I can break it down mathematically:

The first step is to look at the problem in purely economic terms, ignoring the time I would spend on the trip or how I value my time.

• I drive an 2008 Honda Fit Sport. The listed mileage is 28 city/34 freeway (it actually gets considerably better mileage than this, but lets go with what it is "supposed" to get).
• As of yesterday, the average cost of a gallon of gasoline in my area (Minneapolis) was \$2.34/gallon.
• In order to receive any benefit from the transaction, I need to end my trip with at least a penny of the \$100 left over.
• Therefore, at current gas prices, I can consume a maximum of 42.73 gallons of gasoline on my trip (\$99.99 / \$2.34 per gallon = 42.73 gallons).
• I can therefore drive a total of 1,453.82 miles on the freeway or 1,196.44 in the city. This number needs to be divided in half because I assume this is a two-way trip. So I can actually drive a maximum of 726.91 miles freeway or 598.22 miles city one way. That is the outer limit of what you could drive, assuming you did not care about your time and had no other activities you could perform during that time.

However, I do care about my time, so the actual distance is considerably shorter:

• I work a job that pays \$23/hour. It's a contract job, so if I don't work, I don't get paid.
• Therefore, if I take off of work to collect this money, the total round trip must take less than 4.34 hours (\$99.99 / \$23) = 4.34 hours). Any more than that and it is more valuable to simply stay at my desk and work. That number needs to be divided in two to get the one-way distance. So I can travel (4.34 /2) = 2.17 hours one way.
• Assuming that I obey traffic laws with a posted speed limit of 60 MPH freeway and 30 MPH city, I would be able to cover 130.2 miles on the freeway or 65.1 city in the given amount of time.
• In reality, the trip isn't likely to be purely one or the other, so for the sake of argument I'll say it's 50/50 and average out the distance. That means I can drive ((130.2 + 65.1)/2) = 97.65 miles.
• However, that figure doesn't take into account the fact that I am also spending gas money to get there. Factoring in that math is some kind of fancy calculus stuff that I'm not smart enough to do. But I can say that 100 miles is about 1/3 of a tank of gas and my tank is about a 9 gallon fill up when the warning light comes on. Nine gallons at \$2.34 per gallon means I would spend about \$21 bucks on gas.

Smarter people than me can figure out where that makes the break point, but I would make an estimate that I would be willing to drive no more than maybe 50 miles one way to pick up that money.

forteexe21

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#30  Edited By forteexe21

Distance doesn't matter when traffic fucking sucks. As long as it wont take me more than an hour round-trip.

bigsocrates

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@therealturk: What about depreciation on your car? Also there's a risk of death or injury for driving that is greater than at a desk job (especially if you have a standing desk.)

Gas is just part of the puzzle.

TheRealTurk

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@bigsocrates said:

@therealturk: What about depreciation on your car? Also there's a risk of death or injury for driving that is greater than at a desk job (especially if you have a standing desk.)

Gas is just part of the puzzle.

So I put my car's information into an online calculator that spit out a total commuting cost of 29 cents per mile. That takes into account depreciation, fuel cost, insurance, and annual maintenance and state taxes/license fees. Again, it would take someone smarter than me to figure out where the break point on that is.

As far as risk of injury from driving vs. desk, I did not include it because I don't have access to that information. I can say nothing other than that I am a safe driver driving a safe car. I have no accidents and no tickets in 17 years of driving. Other than that I am an active, healthy, young white male. I live in Minnesota, which is consistently ranked as one of the healthiest states in the nation, so my risk of sudden death is low. If there are any insurance agents trolling around this thread, maybe they've got access to data that could calculate the relative cost of those factors.

GundamGuru

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#33  Edited By GundamGuru

@driveuplife: So gas in my car in my area is roughly \$0.11/mile. So the break-even point there is roughly 450 miles (one-way). At the 70 mph of a typical freeway, that will take roughly 6 and a half hours. Given that minimum wage is \$9.25, more than 5 hours (one-way) of driving would be less money than burger flipping. So according to the math ( 100/x -.11y < z; x = y/70), setting z = \$25 (the minimum amount I want to make per hour) means I can travel up to 163.5 miles or 2 1/3 hours round-trip.

I may have had a math class before, lol.

oldenglishc

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The poll is incomplete. I don't leave the couch for less than 10 grand.

KirkyX

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Assuming the fairly unrealistic - for the layout of all the roads near me - scenario of the trip only taking about two hours - one there, one back - I'd probably do 50-60 miles. A 120 mile round trip would cost me £20/\$25 in fuel, leaving me £58/\$75 better off than when I started. That's £29/\$37 an hour, which is certainly worth it to a student like me. One copy of Destiny 2 and enough Rockstars to get all dat loot.

deactivated-61356eb4a76c8

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My epilepsy makes it illegal for me to drive but I would walk 500 miles for \$100. Maybe even 500 more!

lylebot

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Driving 5 miles in one direction would take me into a different state (incurring tolls), in another direction to my kids' school, in another direction halfway to my workplace, in another direction halfway to the airport. Even though they're all the same distance, they all feel like different degrees of effort to me.

I wouldn't drive 5 miles to that other state just for \$100, it just doesn't seem worth it.

I would probably drive 5 miles halfway to my job, because there's a mall right there and I could go spend the money right away.

I would only drive 5 miles to my kids' school if I could accomplish something else at the same time, like dropping off/picking up my kids.

I wouldn't drive 5 miles towards the airport unless I was flying somewhere that day.

In sum, it really depends, but it's unlikely I would drive more than 5 miles unless I had something important to do at/around the same place.

ShaggE

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I'll assume walking for myself, as I don't drive (no particular reason why, I just... y'know... never owned a car, and I get by alright without one).

Assuming good weather, no back pain that day, plenty of energy, no strict time limit, headphones on... I'd probably walk ten miles. Good exercise and a day out with the added bonus of a sweet hundo at the end? I've worked harder for less.

DriveupLife

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you've gotta drive home so yes the distance is there and back.

McHampton

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The poll is incomplete. I don't leave the couch for less than 10 grand.

Yeah I'm not leaving the house unless I really have to. If you want me to have \$100 so bad you're gonna have to bring it over.

spamfromthecan

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None of the above. \$100 isn't enough to get me to anything.

Naoiko

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As long as it would work out where the gas isn't more than 70 round trip I'd give it a go.

Kidavenger

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#43  Edited By Kidavenger

On a strictly economic sense I probably wouldn't go more than 40 miles, but on a "I'm bored and looking for something to do" sense I'd go a lot farther based on how bored I was.

Tom_omb

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#44  Edited By Tom_omb

I don't drive so I looked at how far the Skytrain would get me and it's about 40 to 50 km, so 30 miles.

Man... I did it wrong, double that for the round trip.

@forrester90 said:

My epilepsy makes it illegal for me to drive

Me too!

SchrodngrsFalco

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#45  Edited By SchrodngrsFalco

Yeah, this is something I've been taking into account much more the past few years as I've come to appreciate my time off. I factor in the value of my free time when wondering how out of my way I should go for something, such as deals. I just compare it to my hourly rate of work, as a baseline, and go from there, really, to see whether it's worth it or not. Also do this for buying services/items out of convenience. In the end, it's a question of:

Would the time I spend doing this net me more money from savings than working overtime (taking into consideration the extra time I'd still spend paying for the service)?

If the answer is no, then screw it, I'll just pay for a service. Of course there's also stress to factor in, too.

@forrester90 said:

My epilepsy makes it illegal for me to drive but I would walk 500 miles for \$100. Maybe even 500 more!

Just to be that guy that walked 500 miles for a \$100 score?

deactivated-5e851fc84effd

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Right now? I'd go pretty far for \$100.

FrodoBaggins

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10 to 20 miles, no more. I just wouldn't be bothered to go any further than that.

notnert427

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I know this is just a time value economic proposition, but I'm having trouble just keeping this a hypothetical. If it's a stranger, I'm hanging up as many have said for Nigerian money scam/potential stabby stabby. If it's a friend that owes me \$100, I'm telling them to bring that shit to me before I bust kneecaps. Also, Venmo exists, as do transfers, checks, etc. Driving in about a 40 mile radius of the place I live completely sucks ass, so that's a factor as well. There are times I wouldn't leave the house for \$1000. If we're talking about driving down some uncrowded, pretty country drive, I'd do that for fun.

I'm probably the wrong person to answer this. I'm so weird about money. I'll often flat-out refuse to buy something if I think it's overpriced by some inconsequential amount of money, and then I'll go buy some dumb luxury toy *cough* Xbox One X *cough* and justify it by being generally so cheap otherwise. Typically, I value my time more than money. For example, the SNES Classic was a hard pass for me because I both won't wait in a line/chase it around, nor will I overpay scalpers for it due to Nintendo b.s. artificial scarcity. I'll stop there before I go off on that again.

I do generally avoid paying to be lazy most of the time. There's a pizza place about 2 minutes away that charges \$5 for delivery, so I just go pick it up there most of the time unless I'm drinking bourbon or something. Then again, I use a company called Shipt to deliver my groceries to me because the only grocery store around me is the biggest beatdown of an errand there is. Fuck that place, I'll gladly pay NOT to go there. I digress, and I'm just rambling now.

TL; DR: It depends.

TheHT

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#49  Edited By TheHT

Over 200. Just to be the man who's got one hundred dollars more.

isomeri

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@rethla said:
@isomeri said:

I don't have a car, but I guess I'd walk or bike 8 kilometers back and forth for 100 dollars if I had a day off.

Contact uber then.

Uber is illegal where I live and a taxi would be too expensive for even a short trip.