Our family cuts costs in unique ways. Where others might sacrifice going on dates, we like to be able to have dinner together, so we make other sacrifices. An example of this is that we only have one car. Yep, one car for the five of us. I’ll admit that this is a bit easier for us since I work from home tending to my Etsy Shop, my other Etsy shop, Nathan’s Etsy Shop, blogs, and other side projects, while I also homeschool our kids, but even I need to go places sometimes too!
Reasons we downsized to one car for our family:
Honestly, cost is the main factor in our decision to remain a one car household. The only recurring debt we have each month is our car payment (one we intend to have paid off by the end of the year). Buying a second car would either mean financing one, and getting into unnecessary debt, or buying a pretty old used one, which repair costs would add up on.
Forgoing a second car completely cuts the cost of a monthly payment, costs of additional repairs and maintenance, car washes and general upkeep, car insurance, tags, taxes and registration, and even eliminating the need for twice as many carseats or umbrellas. Some of that might sound unimpressive, but it really adds up.
We all know that cars are bad for the environment, but we consider them a necessary evil. Because we live in a world that is spread out and designed around the concept that everyone has a car, it actually is pretty necessary (unless you’re lucky enough to live somewhere like the Northeast with fantastic public transportation.)
After the BP oil spill in the Gulf, which was basically my backyard growing up, I have really been convicted about my oil and gas use. Since I don’t intend to use a horse and buggy, and do enjoy travel, I have no intention of becoming completely car-free (besides, what would I pull a tiny house with?) However, by carpooling every day, my husband and I are able to really eliminate some of the petroleum we would have been using.
If you read anything I write, this is a pretty consistent theme for me. Having extra anything requires the use of extra energy. A second car takes more time to wash, more time to pay the bills for, more time to work to make the money to pay for, more time to think about, more time to fill it up with gas for a five minute drive to the grocery store. Instead, if I’m making a quick trip to the store, I put the baby in the Ergo, and walk with the kids to the store. Instead of expending energy on something useless, we get new energy by giving ourselves fresh air, exercise and vitamin d.
Having only one car might not work for your family. For some families, especially where parents work on opposite sides of town during the same hours, or one needs their car for work all day. In those cases, two cars becomes a true necessity, and no longer a luxury. In our case, we can live without it, so we do. Maybe there are other areas in your life where you can make small adjustments and sacrifices that will reap huge benefits.