Author Topic: One Car Household?  (Read 3867 times)

MicroSpice

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One Car Household?
« on: July 08, 2014, 08:25:48 PM »
By some miracle of God, my husband is starting to get on the FIRE train (we have a LONG way to go), and suggested - on his own, and with no nagging/manipulation by me - that we become a one car household! I am excited at this prospect, but there are some logistics to consider, and I wanted to know what the MMM community members who have made this leap have done before. Some background:

- We have two cars: a 2001 Chevy Prizm and a 2008 Mercury Milan, both paid for.
- We both work outside the home, for now. I am looking to change the nature of my small business by the end of the year so that I can work from home almost exclusively. Currently though, my occupation sometimes requires travel all over our state - I car-share when I can, but it is not always feasible, and there is almost no public transport to speak of around here.
- DH wants to start bicycling to work, and even though we have crazy ass drivers, we also have extensive and safe bike trails, so I am okay with him making the 13 mile round trip.

Should also add that we have a newborn, who has doc appointments and things to go to, and due to the aforementioned crap public transport, we'll need to haul her around. We are planning on selling the Prizm for like, $700, and getting DH a bike. However, I am thinking we should probably wait until I have the work thing figured out (which will probably be sometime in October or November) before we jump off this tiny cliff.

Maybe all that background wasn't needed, but the gist of this post is to get info on how people in similar circumstances make it with one car (or less)? Thanks!

CarDude

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Re: One Car Household?
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2014, 08:35:00 PM »
Congratulations! It's definitely doable. I'd suggest your DH start cycling today, however, with a cheap bike, to see if this is something he'll stick with, and act as if you don't have the Prizm anymore. It's a risk-free way of seeing if this is feasible for both of you.

desrever

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Re: One Car Household?
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2014, 10:04:25 PM »
Congratulations! It's definitely doable. I'd suggest your DH start cycling today, however, with a cheap bike, to see if this is something he'll stick with, and act as if you don't have the Prizm anymore. It's a risk-free way of seeing if this is feasible for both of you.

Strongly agree with this advice. During the trial separation, you could even try parking the car maybe a five minute walk from your home, making it slightly less convenient compared to hopping on the bike. Or leave the keys at work, and the car at home.

greaper007

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Re: One Car Household?
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2014, 10:26:36 PM »
You can also drop the insurance down once you stop driving it.   It might only save you 5 bucks a month, but it's still money in your pocket.

Northerly

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Re: One Car Household?
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2014, 12:50:48 AM »
I'll gently disagree and recommend no trial period, just sell! In my own case, about half the time I hop on the bike for my commute because I want to, and the other half is because I must, since my wife needs our only car. No way I would bike this much in the rain and Alaska cold if the car was available at 6am.

Another plus is that this reduces mental energy used for decision making. If you keep your second car for another year or two, you will have to decide to bike hundreds of different times; whereas, if you decide to sell the car, you only have had to make one decision. Simpler!

darkadams00

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Re: One Car Household?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2014, 06:48:03 PM »
It's like any other life change--trial period/weaning vs cold turkey change. You know your level of motivation and appetite for risk. We are a one car family but public transport is good here until 7pm, we bike a lot, and my youngest son just graduated from high school. Even with that, we have to make more conscious plans than just driving a second car. It will take quite a while to become second nature. Success in this venture is directly proportionate to the level of positive attitude you have about this effort on a daily basis. Quick leaps to frustration level over a flat tire, rain, cold, stupid drivers, helmet head, missed bus, or lack of a car for something you want to do will derail this plan within the first month.

Good luck and hit the forum for any specific advice or suggestions you might need for the adjustment.


labrat

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Re: One Car Household?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2014, 07:33:51 PM »
We also have a newborn so we couldn't pull the trigger quite yet going down to 1 car. 

Hub's work is literally 1/4 mile up the road so he walks ~90% of the time and the '95 Honda stays parked in the garage.  I have a 8 mile commute to work by car but could take the bus or snag a ride if absolutely necessary.  Mainly for scheduling sanity, we kept both cars.  It helps that maintenance and insurance costs are extremely low on both.  Once the tike is a bit older in a year or two we'd like to go down to one car. 

Please let us know how it goes for you!

Thegoblinchief

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Re: One Car Household?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2014, 09:20:29 PM »
Good advice on both sides. There's no right or wrong way to go about it, but I'd personally lean towards diving in at the deep end. Sell the car, get a bike that FITS him, and go from there :)

SDREMNGR

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Re: One Car Household?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2014, 04:01:56 AM »
Torpedos be damned. I sold off my car last month then sold my truck yesterday.  No vehicle now.  Wife still has her car.  We work together about 4 miles from the house although it will go up to 10 miles in a month when I move.   I'm currently running to work but I will have to change to biking.  I decided to do it cold turkey which I found to be the best way for me.  I did it to save money and force myself to exercise more.

nereo

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Re: One Car Household?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2014, 06:57:30 AM »
Just an observation - the first 2-3 weeks is the hardest when starting a biking regimen, then it gets easier.  Then it's automatic.
Once he starts, have him keep at it for the first 3 weeks before he's allowed to say "this is too hard".