Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Minimalism: Selling the Car

I like the idea of owning fewer things and having more money.

My husband and I have talked about selling one of our two cars for at least a year. Today, we cleaned it up, took a picture, and finally posted it on Craigslist. If we can get a bit more than 90% of the current Blue Book value for our car, we will have paid off the last of our student loans! I'm super excited to be debt-free aside from our mortgage. The savings in insurance will also help us pay off the mortgage more quickly.

Initially, I was afraid to stay home alone with the baby with no car, in case there was a medical emergency. I've decided, though, that in the highly unlikely event that Peter needs to be rushed to the hospital (but not so urgently that we need an ambulance), I have a big enough support network to help.

We live on a bus line, so we did discuss the idea of my husband taking public transit to work. However, this would turn a 20 minute commute into an 80 minute commute. It doesn't seem worth him losing that extra time with us, but it is an option if I need the car one of the days he has to go into the office. Also, I won't be "stuck at home" all the time, because my husband usually works from home three days a week -- such a blessing!

I am somewhat amused by the concept of being stuck at home, which is usually the concern people voice when they hear of our decision. First of all, my husband works a standard 40-hour work week, which leaves lots of time for us to do things that are not at home. Secondly, as mentioned, we are on a bus line if I get the sudden urge to go shopping. Our neighborhood is not exactly pedestrian friendly unless you cross a major thoroughfare, but walking is also an option. Finally, what's so bad about being at home? I have Peter, our garden, always more chores, books, music, food... we even have a billiard table in our basement!! Granted, I would not want to be medically homebound, but staying home during the day does not seem like such a terrible thing to me.


  1. I've been home without a car since my first daughter was 8 months old. My Partner used to leave me the car every Tuesday so I could take the kids somewhere (Zoo, Science Center, etc).

    But our car is a Honda Civic and we have 4 kids so (you do the math) now it's almost as if we don't have a car at all since me and the kids can never go anywhere all at the same time unless we rent a van or take public transit.

    And guess what? It has turned out to be really FREEING to not have a car at my disposal. I am very happy to be at home almost ALL THE TIME. Saving money is just SO MUCH COOLER than racing around the city with my kids.

    I hope you adapt as easily as I did. :-)

  2. It can be done, you just learn to be more efficient when you do use the car. This sounds like it will be a temporary thing too, once you pay off your debt you may be able to find you have freed up some money to buy a "get around town" car. These tend to cost much less, so the insurance is lower, this will save you money too.

  3. We have only one car, and if I need to use it (rarely) I just take the husband to work in the morning (which can be annoying, but is not really a big deal). Mainly I just walk places. :)

    I think we may eventually get a second car, but I'm inspired once again to put it off as long as possible. :)

  4. @Patti: Every time I read your comments, I smile. I love hearing your perspective and am so encouraged! Too bad the fast ferry is gone... I'd hop on and come see you in Toronto. :-)

    @Lisa: That's certainly an option. For right now, we're planning on sticking with one car, but obviously we haven't lived with it yet. Time will tell! (The best advice I've received is "never say never"!)

    @Kelly: I'd forgotten that option, thanks for the idea! Glad I can be a source of inspiration. ;-)

  5. We became a one car family last July and despite the initial growing-pain of remembering that we only have one vehicle, it has been GREAT! We feel so much less stressed and *obligated*. Being "stuck" here makes us figure out ways to enjoy it and each other more. And don't forget: cheaper!

  6. @Dwija: Thanks for the encouragement! I am looking forward to how our family will grow and change (and save money!).