Monday, August 29, 2011

One Car Family

We sold the car! It's liberating, bringing more spontaneity, convenience, and independence. I'm sure situations will arise where it would have been nice to have a second car, but for now I see clear advantages.

More Spontaneity
As I contemplate my first day home without a car, there are no feelings that I should be doing one thing or another. I will be doing laundry and yesterday's dishes and enjoying my son. Perhaps we will go for a walk. Maybe I will weed the garden. But I will definitely be home. I do not need to plan around Peter's nap schedule or remember when businesses open or close for lunch.

Minimalism gives the gift of time!

More Convenience
Hypothetically, we have a two-car garage, but as our realtor said, "Not two Cadillacs." We had both cars in the garage until I was heavily pregnant, at which point it was impossible to squeeze through the partially opened car door. Having only one car means it will always be in the garage, so no one has to brush off snow in the winter or run through the rain. It frees up driveway space for visiting company and removes an obstacle when backing out of the garage.

More Independence
We didn't get quite the price we were asking, but we did get enough to pay off the last of our student loans. When we make our next loan payment in September, we will be debt-free except for our mortgage. This frees up about $200/month in our budget, which is wonderful. We will be using it to move on to step three in the Dave Ramsey program, creating an emergency fund that would cover all expenses if we had no income for four to six months. (Step one was saving a $1000 emergency fund and step two was paying off all debt except the mortgage.) The peace of mind brought by increased financial independence is a wonderful thing.

If you have two cars, would you ever consider making the switch?

9 comments:

  1. We do have two cars, but both are paid for and have been since day 1. We pay cash for our cars. If we were to live in town and dh worked closer, I would consider becoming carless. Unfortunately, we live 6 miles from the closest town and 5 miles from the kid's school.
    I cam quite content to remain at home but knowing that I can't go somewhere if I choose to or plain need to , seems to create stress for me. But I am glad it is working for you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good for you! I've embraced the freedom of being car-free too, and I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. We have zero cars, and, while it would be nice to have one for occasional weekend trips, mostly I really like not having a car. Another bonus--no need for an exercise regime, since I walk everywhere, usually with a baby strapped to me ;)

    And congratulations on (almost) paying off your student loans. That is a major milestone in any adult's life--they should make greeting cards and cakes to commemorate it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Brian and I are currently a one car family. While we do actually have two cars, we have left his car (an '03 2 door ford explorer) back at his mom's house for about a year now. I honestly think we should just sell his car, as it's pretty impractical for a family anyway.

    Both of our cars are paid for, but as a student Brian gets a free bus pass. It's just been a lot easier for us to not have to move cars around and decide which car we should take where. Besides, we like the excuse to drive together places. :)

    Brian and I started the Dave Ramsey plan (or at least parts of it) about a year and a half ago. We have now saved up 6 months of living expenses and are debt-free! It is such a freeing feeling. It's the best way to go!

    Congratulations!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Lisa: Cash is definitely the way to go! My husband and I each got a car from our parents when graduating college, so we had a good place to start. I would definitely be more hesitant about being home without a car if we didn't have a good support network here and Peter was in school. Every family has to do what's best for them!

    @Patti: Thanks!

    @Amy: If we had better mass transit, I would consider it, but we are too attached to our creature comforts to go that far at this point. :-) And although there are no official cakes, rest assured that we will be eating chocolate something when that last payment is made!

    @Rachel: Sell it! It's just losing money in the driveway. If you think you might want another car in the future, put the money from the sale into a CD. Then you're earning money instead of losing it! :-) We were originally planning to be further along with The Plan, but then God had a different Plan and sent us Peter, so finances shifted a bit when I decided to stay home with him. Slow and steady, I guess! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Doug and I purchased two cars right after we got married. But when I gave birth to our second child, we decided to become a one-car family. We found it more convenient for us both and the two kids.

    ReplyDelete
  7. @Leisa: So glad it worked out for you! More than a month into it, we have no regrets about our decision. Thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I thought it would be difficult to be a one-car family, but I was totally wrong. My wife and I decided to be a one-car family when I got a new job, and it made our family closer. But I'm still open to purchasing a second car someday. =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, we might buy a second car some day, especially as our child(ren) hit adolescence and more activities. But for now, life is good! (Thanks for visiting!)

      Delete