I am self employed person and I have several clients. One of the offices is quite far and I have to pay for trains to get there. I want to buy a 1-year season ticket as it will be much cheaper.

But it is a lot of money and if they don't want me doing accounting for them any more I will lose money.

What can be done?


But it is a lot of money and if they don't want me doing accounting for them any more I will lose money.

What can be done?

Well, given you are self-employer this is in part a risk you have to decide if you want to take. If your relationship with this client seems stable, then you could consider it. Otherwise, if you feel it's just temporary then I would think it more thoroughly.

Another option that comes to mind is to include your commute costs in your fee for clients that are far away. Perhaps with this client you already agreed on some terms, but given you are self-employed you are in position of negotiating this with future clients that are far away.

Other option is to go buy shorter time-period tickets at first. Start buying week-long tickets. If you see the job will continue, consider buying month-long tickets, etc.. That way you will minimize your losses if any.

  • 3
    +1 Negotiate that your travel cost is part of the contract or a higher rate that will cover the additional cost of your travel. – jcmack Feb 6 '19 at 18:39
  • Note that increasing your costs for distant clients may lose the client, as they could find someone locally for the same hourly rate minus the commute expenses. Worth considering, but I'd always charge more to travel more, even if it cost me the client. – Jay Gould Feb 7 '19 at 11:57

I agree with DarkCygnus but I want to add an option: Sometimes there are transferable season tickets available. So you could sell it, in worse case. It depends on your location a lot, but seems worth thinking of it.

(For example the "Transferable adult annual season ticket" of transport association in Frankfurt Germany; Link: https://www.rmv.de/c/en/fahrkarten/die-richtige-fahrkarte/alle-fahrkarten-im-ueberblick/jahreskarten/uebertragbare-jahreskarte-barzahlung-erwachsene/)


You would need to carry out a risk assessment.

More importantly look at your ROI, how long will it take for the season ticket to "pay for itself" compared to how you currently pay for the trips?

Is it 3/6/9 months in?

Can you justify that client for that long?

Have they been your client for long?

In future cases (or even this one) do this assessment prior to accepting any contracted work, try to negotiate a contract buy-out period, if the ROI for the ticket is 3 months, ask for a 3 month contract where the early termination fee is an initial amount equal to what the trip would cost you if bought daily which goes down every week by the equivalent amount.

If they want an explanation you can explain this is due to traveling costs, if they accept it great, if not then you have to decide on whether to take the risk or not.


What's the notice period on the contract? If its a minimum 12 month with no notice, then the cost of the ticket is a recoverable loss if the client breaks the contract (by termination, for any reason).

Fixed for 6 months? Same as answers above; build the cost into the fee.

Is it a rolling n month contract? Either within the contract, as an addendum that is mutually agreed, or as part of the schedule, have a clause added that in the event of a termination for {reasons} or {not reasons}, the client will refund the unused value of the ticket. (They may refuse to change the contract, as those are usually very legally specific, and expensive to alter).

You could do this instead by requesting a Letter of Intent (i.e. the client intends to retain your services for the duration). If the client has confirmed they definitely want to retain you, and yet refuse to write such a letter that should tell you something.

In any case I would question the wisdom of buying a 12 month ticket. What if you lose it? Can it be easily / freely replaced? I've almost always had weekly tickets myself, and was very glad (that it was only weekly) when I lost one the day after purchase.

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