Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A one-car family

We recently became a one-car family. It is a temporary situation that has a really long story to go with it, but suffice it to say that we have now had just one vehicle for a week (our second vehicle is temporarily out of commission). It will probably be six to eight weeks before we go back to two vehicles. It is an inconvenience, but not a great one. Here are some things I am learning:

1. I don't need access to a vehicle everyday. I stay at home with the kids. Having to coordinate my schedule with my husband's makes me think twice before just 'running out' to do __________. I cannot just get in the van and go, and that is a good thing!
2. I am planning my week out much better than before. I have to coordinate with my husband when he will take the van, and when we will take him to work (praise the Lord we live very close to his office). I am grouping my errands together, and cutting out many unnecessary trips.
3. I don't spend as much money if I don't have access to a vehicle everyday. I am no longer tempted to just run to Target when I am bored or the kids are driving me crazy. I LOVE my Target store, but I cannot go in there without dropping $20 or more.
4. I am having to be creative around the house. When Girl gets stir crazy, I can't just say "Let's hop in the van and go somewhere". We are reading more books, and playing with more toys and crafts than before we had one vehicle.
5. We are enjoying our yard more. Of course, this coincides with spring really starting for us and the weather being gorgeous, but nothing takes away the stir-crazies (like that word? :-) like taking a walk outside, or running around in the yard.
6. I am inviting people over more. Instead of just saying "hey, let's get together sometime," I am trying to deliberately plan to have people over. I can't always go to them, but they can come to me. I can open my home and share hospitality with my friends more than I have in the past.

Now, there are certainly downsides to this one-car thing. And we don't plan for it to be a permanent change. I do hope that we will save some money through this experience, and that I will learn lessons that I can incorporate once we have two-cars again. So for right now, today, Earth Day, having just one vehicle Works for Me.


  1. I remember when we started doing the "One Car Shuffle" many years ago.
    My husband felt that we wouldn't be able to do it but we have.
    Yes, there were times we had to rely on public transit, walk or car pool but it's a great savings.
    I'm definitely with you that having one car can work.

  2. Today we're one car down. I find when I run errands with the kids, I often go through the drive-thru and easily spend $15 a day for lunch. What a waste!

  3. My husband and I have had only one car since we got married. On days when I needed the car, I'd drop him off at work and pick him up in the afternoon. He was blessed with a pretty short commute. Now he actually works right next door to our house, so it's hardly ever an issue.

    We were tempted to get a second car a few years ago, but when we added up the purchase price, maintenance, insurance, gas, etc... it just wasn't worth it.

    "Which Proverbs 14:1 Woman?"

  4. I found you through the WFMW link and I completely relate to what you're talking about doing so much more with less (one car). My husband and I are on a mission to simplify our lives too.



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