Living With One Car: How & Why
We’ve been a one car family for over 10 years now. Last time I wrote about living with one car, we had a barely 3-year old, a 3 bedroom house with a large fenced in backyard and we lived 7 minutes from my husband’s job.
Now we have a 5-year old and 1-year old who both like to be out and about, we live in a 2 bedroom apartment and are about 15 minutes from my husband’s job. But we still have one car. Here’s how and why we do it.
When we moved to Michigan, we intentionally looked for an apartment close enough to Dan’s work that he could run in. Thankfully he can take a shower at work which makes running the five miles very doable. He even runs in the dead of the Michigan winter. He’s a good man. We pick him up from work on the days he runs in.
Our fall rhythm is structured around what days Dan needs the car and what days he can run into work. He ends up having the car two days, running in two days and we all go in together on Sundays. This means the kiddos and I only have two days we are without our car. And for this introvert, two days where we can’t go anywhere is perfectly fine!
Occasionally Dan will need the car for a meeting or something on an additional day and we have to adjust but this doesn’t happen too often. On days Dan can’t run for some reason (very bad weather, injury, etc.) he either takes the car or we simply drive him in. Sometimes something comes up on a day we don’t normally have the car. In those cases, if Dan doesn’t need the car, we can have it an extra day or we simply miss an activity. We reevaluate each season to accommodate his needs at work and our needs as a family.
Because having one car is our normal we rarely even notice the occasional inconvenience. There are exceptions of course. If I want to take the car to visit friends or family we have to get creative. Sometimes Dan will run to and from work (can you tell he likes to run) or he’ll ask a coworker for a ride. Dan has also had to bring me the car so I could take an unexpectedly sick child to the doctor. But that’s only happened once in the last year so it’s rather inconsequential.
But perhaps the bigger question is why we choose to live with one car. It’s not that we couldn’t technically afford it, but it isn’t in our budget. In other words, we don’t see a second car as important enough to sacrifice other areas of our budget to make it work. It really is as simple as that. Besides, having one car gives us extra incentive to plan our days intentionally and to think about our priorities.
How many cars do you have? Have you ever considered being a one (or zero!) car family?