Morning!  It’s frosty out there.


Therefore, anything but oatmeal just seemed torturous.  I had Pumpkin Oats (1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 a banana, big scoop of pumpkin puree, pecans, and hazelnut syrup).


The whole picture:

IMG_6553 IMG_6554

Why, you may ask?


Because today is the day to discuss being a one-car family.  Your comments on the original post were very helpful in deciding to sell our other car, and the effort was part of a larger effort to become more financially responsible.


When we moved from Orlando to Charlotte, we had two cars:


  • My 2002 Honda Civic:  I bought this car in 2006 for $12,500 and paid cash.  It was in perfect condition.
  • The Husband’s 2006 Chrysler Pacifica:  We bought this car about a year and a half ago for around $14,000 and put $2,000 down, so we had a $12,000/7 year car loan (bad terms, I know, but it was the best decision at the time).  This car is also in good condition, although it needs new tires.


When we moved, we owed about $9,000 on the Pacifica, and the Civic had been appraised as a trade-in for $4,000.  I searched Kelly Blue Book values and the Civic was worth about $5,500 and the Pacifica clocked in around $8,500.


One of the big debates we had was whether we should sell the Civic or the Pacifica.   I asked blog readers and most people voted we sell the Pacifica and pay the remaining loan amount out of pocket. 


However, a major factor in our decision to sell the Civic is that we hope to start a family soon and the Civic was a two-door coupe.  The Pacifica is basically a really stylish van with a HUGE backseat and trunk area.  It’s really comfortable for long trips and we can haul a lot of stuff (also, the gas mileage is pretty good).  This kind of car is definitely the type of vehicle we’re really going to need in two years or so.


So – this Fall, we sold the Civic.  I put it on Craigslist and originally asked for $7,999 but received no calls.  I dropped it to $6,000 and sold it that day to a nice man who had just moved to the USA from India to be with his wife.  He gave me cash for the car, which I turned around and put directly towards our loan.  Now, we only owe a few thousand on the Pacifica! 🙂 :)  My goal for 2011 is to eliminate all of our non-student loan debt (car loan and Best Buy credit card) so we’re in a better position to buy a home, and we’re moving in that direction!


(FYI – I did the math on current Civic values vs. what I paid and worked out that I broke even on the car.  I really love Civic; they totally hold their value over time!)


Beyond the financial benefits of selling one of the cars, we also feel that we did something nice for the environment.  The Husband and I both walk to places a lot more than we did before – I will walk to the grocery store for bread (it’s about a mile away), and he will walk to the clinic or the gym.  We use less gas as a result.


Sometimes, only having one car gets really annoying.  Thankfully, I work from home and the Husband works 2.0 miles from our house, but there have still been multiple instances when we both ‘scheduled’ to use the car at the same time.  We’ve started to share my calendar and the clinic calendar so we can insert appointments for “Kristien-Car” or “Caitlin-Car” to minimize this issue.  Our friends have also been nice enough to pick us up when the other one is using the car. 


Also, having one car is factoring into our home ownership discussions.  Property outside of Charlotte is really cheap, but we made the decision to become an urban, one-car family and therefore we need to buy in the city.  It’s expensive for less house, but we need to continue to live an urban lifestyle to make this work – or we’ll just end up buying another car in two years.  (Alright – secretly neither of us want to move out of the city and are looking for ways to justify a ridiculous house mortgage).


So – that’s the update! I don’t regret selling the Civic for a minute, and the whole experience has been great for our planet, our bodies, our wallets, and our relationship.  We spend a lot more time together, carpooling each other around and walking to the store. 🙂


Are you a one-car family? Could you ever share your vehicle?



  • Jackie (ananda prana) December 7, 2010, 9:21 am

    I depend on my car so much, but you live in such a great area that I can see how it would be worth it! If I moved to the city or surrounding urban areas, I’d think about getting rid of it 🙂

  • Emily G. December 7, 2010, 9:22 am

    Even if you guys did decide to to buy outside of Charlotte couldn’t you start saving now to maybe buy a cheaper used vehicle, especially if it will save you enough on the house? A lot of rental companies take AMAZING care of their cars and sell them for cheap. Mileage on them isn’t bad either!

    • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 9:26 am

      That’s true… Secretly, I just want to stay in the city 🙂 hehe

    • megan @ whatmegansmaking December 7, 2010, 9:27 am

      This is a great suggestion. What you could save on a house would most likely more than make up for an inexpensive used vehicle.

      • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 9:27 am

        haha yea but then I live in the boonies!!!

        • Emily G. December 7, 2010, 9:42 am

          And buying a home is a big investment and you shouldn’t sacrifice the one thing you really want (ie-being in the city). I didn’t realize that you for sure wanted to stay out of the suburbs.

          I do have to ask, just out of curiousty. I’m in the insurance industry and I live in Louisiana (we have the highest insurance rates – boo!). When you removed your vehicle from your policy did it increase the premium on the Pacifica at all? I’ve seen in a few cases where it cost the same price to insure 1 vehicle with full coverage as opposed to having 1 full coverage vehicle and 1 liability. Multi-car discount baby! lol

        • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 9:49 am

          Nope our insurance went down $30 a month!

  • Leanne December 7, 2010, 9:22 am

    I’m having a tough time with my car issue these days.

    My fiance has a nice big truck (and uses it for work) and I have a little Toyota. I love it during the summer… but in Alberta (Canada) we have snow; and lots of it, for 6 months out of the year… the crappy thing is that although my car looks cute, I have the sport package… so it’s LOW to the ground… which means I get stuck in the snow (bah!), which makes me panicky… which is bad for everyone haha.

    We are looking at getting a used SUV for me because of safety reasons.. I wish we could be a one car family but it just wouldn’t work. I’m struggling though at the thought of adding more years of paying off a new suv when I have 1 year to go on my Toyota. If I lived somewhere that had mild winters I would drive this Toyota until it crapped out on me…


    • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 9:26 am

      That sucks! I think you aren’t feeling safe in your car, you should sell it and get something else, though.

      • Leanne December 7, 2010, 11:09 am

        I’m in the process of looking! Although its exciting to be a young couple (im 24, he’s 25)… theres SO much we are trying to do… I was looking forward to be done paying off my car..!

        I think that safety wins this argument! 🙂

  • April @ Crazy Fabulous Life December 7, 2010, 9:23 am

    We are a one car family at the moment but that should change in early 2011. Soon my oldest will be going to school so I’ll need a car to take her!

  • Anna December 7, 2010, 9:24 am

    Good for you guys- I wish I could do that, but it’s just not feasible for where I live in the woods. My dad needs his car ot get to work, my mom needs her car to get to work in the other direction, I need a car to get to work/whatever I’m doing at home. One of the drawbacks of non-urban living. On the upside, I can travel by boat or by foot to see a lot of the people I want to see, especially in the summer.

  • Amanda December 7, 2010, 9:24 am

    I am also a 1 car family. My husband works nights and I work days so its a perfect fit for us. Living in a city really makes the transition easy.

  • grocery goddess jen December 7, 2010, 9:25 am

    Right now there’s no way we could be a one-car family. My partner man is a house painter (back in school working on a degree) and needs his work van to haul around tools and ladders. My car is the car we use for trips and such, as the gas mileage is way better, plus we both work outside the home. Ultimately I hope to be completely self-employed, so I hope someday we can be a one car family. Right now we also don’t live close enough to town to make it convenient. The grocery store is only 1 mile or so away, but down a busy road with zero sidewalks.

  • megan @ whatmegansmaking December 7, 2010, 9:26 am

    If we lived in the right type of area, I’d have no problem being a one car family. Unfortunately we both work in opposite directions so it’s not a possibility at this point.

  • angela December 7, 2010, 9:26 am

    It would be hard for my husband and I t share a car. He works about a 30 minute drive from the house. I’m a stay at home mom, but I spend the time he’s at work driving my daughter and her friend to school, running all the household errands, etc. I’m sure we could if we had no other choice, but it would be a really big change for us.

  • Madeline - Greens and Jeans December 7, 2010, 9:28 am

    That’s great that this has worked out so well for you guys! I have to have a car for work, but I live in a city so unless I’m actually working, I walk everywhere. If I had a job in the city that didn’t involve driving I probably would sell my car and get a Zip Car membership or something.

  • LindseyAnn December 7, 2010, 9:28 am

    Thanks for this. We are looking at becoming a one-car family soon (My 1994 GMC Sierra is old, falling apart, and a gas guzzler extraordinaire, whereas the boyfriend’s 2003 Ford Focus is in perfect shape). We hope to live near where the boyfriend will be working, and apparently where we’re headed (Duluth) has pretty decent public transportation, so I hope we can make this work.

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table December 7, 2010, 9:29 am

    I had pumpkin oats this morning too. Its so cold outside. Were yours frozen by the time you took those pics? 🙂

    Congrats on making the decision/transition! I live alone in a city that has decent public transportation (if you make an effort to figure it out); however, once you get outside of the city you have to have a car. So I feel your pain there! I work outside of the city. While I’d love to not have a car at all, its not an option.

    • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 9:30 am

      Heheh I snapped really quickly!

  • Orla December 7, 2010, 9:30 am

    We are a 2 car family and there is no chance of becoming a one car family. I work 24 miles from my house and my partner is a musician. just this afternoon he is going gigging around the country for 6 days in his car and I need mine to get to the office – or at least I would if it wasn’t snowing so much! It is a dream but unfortunately it is just not feasable at the moment but good for your guys on becoming a one car family.

  • Nikki M December 7, 2010, 9:32 am

    We have 2 cars. I wish we could live off one. My husband travels out of town everyday for work and I go to school out of it wouldn’t work for our current situation. I love that you guys can do it though! Our goal is to live a little closer to the city when I am done with school so maybe it will be a future option!

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday December 7, 2010, 9:32 am

    I don’t know about Charlotte exactly, but it’s possible that the property values within the city will increase a lot more than in the suburbs so you could make more money on a house in the city once you go to sell it for more property in the burbs.

  • Khar December 7, 2010, 9:32 am

    My husband and I are a no-car family. We live in downtown DC and he walks to work and I take the metro. We save a ton of money that way. For the rare occasion where we need a car, we rent a Zipcar by the hour. Obviously this only works because we’re in a town with great public transportation. But we love it!

  • Kerri December 7, 2010, 9:34 am

    I think it is so great that you made the decision to become a one-car family. It’s something my husband and I have talked about for the future, although it’s not really a possibility right now. We both work in opposite directions from each other – I’m about 18 miles north of where we live, and he’s about 13 miles south. However, I really, really am in love with the idea of living in an urban area where everything (working, shopping, restaurants, etc) is close by and safely reachable by walking or biking.

  • Larissa December 7, 2010, 9:35 am

    i love this post it was so smart! i thihk you could def do the city thing for as long as you wanted and then move outside the city and get a car. If you have a bigger car ( that fits kids..) do you think the city is a good place for them to grown up ? ( honest question because i have never been to Charlotte!) This also kind of made me want to buy you civic ( i know you already sold it) because my car broken down yesterday… in the middle lane during rush hour- yeah i made a huge traffic jam. I am trying to get my 1998 car to last me two more years! ehh ! love your blog especially these thought provoking posts.

    • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 9:37 am

      Charlotte is pretty safe overall. We rent in a super nice neighborhood and there are some minor theft issues but nothing like assault or rape. I think we would be more than happy to raise kids in the city, especially considering our own backgrounds (I grew up in Miami and the Husband grew up in London). I think city living is awesome!

      Civics rule!!!

  • Britt @ Runnerbelle December 7, 2010, 9:39 am

    That is great that it is working out for you two! I wish we could pull it off, but my work is just far enough away that driving is really preferred…. especially as we get into the winter months & snow. The hubby has a job where he has to drive to meetings so he usually needs a car during the day. But we do live near our downtown so we definitely try to walk after work and on the weekends when we go out!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg December 7, 2010, 9:39 am

    My husband and I have two cars, but we often just use one. We both work in the same place (a college campus), which makes it easier to share rides, etc.

  • Michele @ Healthy Cultivations December 7, 2010, 9:39 am

    I admire your commitment to one-car living on several levels. However, it would not work for me. Although I don’t have a family yet, the city I live in is not conducive to this kind of thing (A.K.A. there are no nice places to live within a reasonable bike or walk distance from downtown where I work). Things are so spread out here that it wouldn’t work.

    But in a city where it can work, I think it’s a great idea. The environment wins, your finances win.

  • sweeter salt December 7, 2010, 9:41 am

    My fiancee and I are a one car family. While it’s totally fine most of the time (we live in a city and I work less than a mile from our house) it can be a real pain some times. He works about 15 miles from home, so uses the car most days. When I need it it does get complicated. He bikes in fair weather, but when its snowy I wind up having to drop him off, then circle back, wasting a ton of gas. But, it winds up saving us lots of money in the long run, which we need, so we’ll make do for a few more years.


  • Amanda (Eating Up) December 7, 2010, 9:41 am

    I think being a one-car family is smart! Cars are so expensive with all the gas, insurance and maintenance involved. Having one is way easier than having two. Plus, like you said, you walk more. I love walking places.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) December 7, 2010, 9:42 am

    We currently have two cars (one is paid for), but we only use one and I think we need to sell the other one. We work from home (for now) and it seems silly to have a car here that we pay taxes and insurance on that never gets driven. I think you two are so smart to think through things like this. The hardest part about living in the city is when you have kids and the need for yard and space. If we did not have kids, I would love living closer to the city, but we need a little space since we work from home and we have two boys…that need their space.

    Your oats look delicious…mostly because we just ate the same thing! Perfect for these freezing days!

  • Amanda @ Vegacious December 7, 2010, 9:43 am

    My husband and I made the switch to being a one-car family as well. It’s a bit harder for us, because we don’t live in a huge metro area, but it is a university town with great public transportation that he has free access to and I love to ride my bike. We also live about 2-3 miles from the downtown area and about 1 mile from the university. We have made it work and we plan to stay a one-car family!

  • Kjirsten- Balanced Healthy Life December 7, 2010, 9:44 am

    I don’t know how you guys do it! I guess working from home helps. I don’t think we could ever become a one car household. We are always both running all over everyday and need both cars to deal with work. We are actually looking for a new car right now to replace my old one.

  • Alina @ Duty Free Foodie December 7, 2010, 9:44 am

    I’ve been looking forward to this one-car recap – good to hear it’s working for you! I can’t give up my car because I live in the suburbs, but I have many friends who live centrally and seem to be doing fine without. Not having a car saves so much money!

  • mindy @ just a one girl revolution. December 7, 2010, 9:45 am

    I give y’all a lot of credit for going to one car! I think it’s a great thing! I live in a decent sized city and have contemplated getting rid of my car, but unfortunately, between the way the bus system is set up and how much I drive out of the city, it would be more of a hassle than anything else. So, Regina (my car) is here to stay for now!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman December 7, 2010, 9:52 am

    We’re a one-car family and, I’ll be honest, it’s hard. My husband has to drop me off at work before commuting 1-2 hours to work. Then he picks me up after he returns home. That means I’m at work for 11 hours a day–12 if there’s traffic. You do what you have to to save money, though. We cut out not only a car payment and insurance but also the cost of a parking space. Where I live those go for hundreds.

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing December 7, 2010, 9:53 am

    My boyfriend has a work truck and when I returned my car to the dealer after the lease expired, I just started using his other car. I’m saving SO much money and it’s just way easier! It is inconvenient sometimes but very rarely. Good for you guys!

  • Kathleen December 7, 2010, 9:53 am

    We are 2 people and a 3 car, 1 motorcycle family. I married a car geek, it’s his passion and I’m cool with that. I am required to drive for a portion of my job, but would love to live in a downtown city environment that had great public transport and where walking was supported and encouraged, but my husband would go crazy if he couldn’t park or play with all of his garage toys.

  • Dee December 7, 2010, 9:54 am

    We are a one family car as well. It can definitely get pretty frustrating. Luckily, I work in Manhattan so I rarely ever need to use car during the weekdays.

  • rachel @ suburban yogini December 7, 2010, 9:55 am

    We’re a no car family and love it! I think I cycle around 40 miles a week teaching and seeing clients, so it negates the necessity for gym membership too!

  • Stephanie December 7, 2010, 9:56 am

    We are a 1 car family as well. I made the decision last year to sell my car because I use the train to travel to Boston for work so I was paying for a car that I drove maybe once or twice a week. It’s made a huge difference financially because we’re also saving for a house. The only time its difficult is when I want to see my family in Maine and have to take a bus or train because he’s working. Otherwise I can walk to wherever I need to, take the bus or drop him off at work if I need the car for longer, bigger errands.

    Kudos to you!!

  • Sara @ OurDogBuffy December 7, 2010, 9:58 am

    Glad it’s working out well! I work 30 minutes from home and my husband is about 20-25 minutes away. In a pinch (he is on my way to work in a round about way) we could share, but it would be hard most of the time. We live in the ‘burbs! Lucky you! I’d love to live in a city like Charlotte and be able to walk places. We can walk to the park but that’s about it.

  • erin December 7, 2010, 10:04 am

    one car family here! when we moved back to dc (from louisiana) we sold my older, crappier car and kept my husband’s nicer (hybrid!) car. we are a ten minute walk to the metro, which i take to work everyday. we also can walk to groceries, coffee, restaurants and shopping. and my husband hopes to metro to work as well, soon. basically, i love my neighborhood and could not imagine moving out to the burbs even if it means a nicer, bigger house (which here, and everywhere?, it totally does).

    i also HATE driving so the one car thing is working out pretty much perfectly! glad you are happy with your decision as well!

  • Chrissy (The New Me) December 7, 2010, 10:04 am

    We’ve been a one car family since we’ve lived together – six years! Our apartment is a mile from my workplace and I can get around by bike pretty much anywhere. My boyfriend works about 3 miles away, but it’s not a bike-friendly route so he usually drives. A few months ago, I got a used scooter for $1900. It gets about 75 miles to the gallon and has made my commute really easy and convenient. Plus it’s super fun to ride! It tops out at 40 MPH and wouldn’t be good if you had kids, but for the single lady who needs to get around a small town, I highly recommend it!

  • Jennie December 7, 2010, 10:10 am

    We recently went down to one car and our insurance dropped almost $100 a month! Best decision ever.

  • Beth @ Will Run for Books December 7, 2010, 10:10 am

    We are a one car family! We actually live in the suburbs of Chicago and it is totally doable. I’m not sure what Charlotte’s public transportation is like, but neither of us work from home (I work in the city proper and hus-to-be works in a suburb a few miles from our home.) Basically, he drops me off at the commuter train each morning and then drives to work, then comes to pick me up each evening. The rest of the time, we share. It works out really well – so if you have an option like this if you do move to the burbs, I would strongly consider it!

  • Caitlyn (A Spoonful of Life) December 7, 2010, 10:14 am

    I couldn’t figure out what the background was on your 1st few pictures. Then you showed the car! The red and the frost makes for an great picture!

  • Leah @ L4L December 7, 2010, 10:15 am

    If we lived in a more urban location, I would totally be ok with being a one-car family. But the Huz works 20 minutes away and I work about 10 minutes away. And our schedules are different so car pooling isn’t an option. And he works on a naval base that I don’t have access to so it restricts us a lot as well.

  • Amy December 7, 2010, 10:16 am

    We’re not a one car family but we have some neighbors that are – check out some of the neighborhoods along light rail in Charlotte. They’re very walkable areas and still have reasonably priced houses.

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) December 7, 2010, 10:17 am

    I share a car with my sister. It generally works out, but there are a lot of times we both need it. It’s not too bad, though- I only have to pay for gas half the time!

  • Heather December 7, 2010, 10:17 am

    we could never be a one car family b/c we live 10 minutes from anything. My husabnd works 20 minutes away and I will probably be getting another part time job soon. If I lived in a city like you I would try to make it work.

  • Amy December 7, 2010, 10:21 am

    We have always been a one-car family, because it just makes financial sense for us. And like you, I work from home, so that lessens the “I need the car!” conflicts a lot. My husband and I pretty much walk/bus everywhere when he’s not driving to work. We recently moved to Seattle from Chicago, so the public transportation isn’t nearly as good, but we make it work…and we pretty much walk anywhere that’s 3 miles or less, which has been awesome for toning my legs. 🙂

    I know we’re going to need to get a second car when we start a family (probably within 2-3 years), and I don’t even want to think about it. I hate driving!!

  • Jennifer December 7, 2010, 10:25 am

    We easily shared my Honda Fit for about 3 years. We mostly used it for groceries and both really became bike commuters. I rarely drive except on weekends. In the end we did buy a giant truck, but that is because he hunts and the Fit doesn’t handle off road well (or at all really–the year we drove into the forest to cut down a Christmas tree comes to mind…)

    If you are having trouble sharing the car–think about hopping on your bike; it’s not bad even if it is 10mi away. And there are many ways to ride in crummy weather. It was in the 30s yesterday and rainy and I rode comfortably.

  • Kylie @ A Hungry Spoon December 7, 2010, 10:27 am

    We are a one-car family, too! We decided to sell my husband’s car in the Spring when I also got a job at the University, so we now work in the same place. As you said, it can be inconvenient at times, but overall we’re super-happy about our decision! Why have two cars for the occasional once-a-week convenience? We live about 2 miles from work, so one of us just walks when it’s necessary. The car we own now is about 10 years old–it was my first car–and we plan on driving it ’til it dies on us 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat December 7, 2010, 10:29 am

    I have a 2-door Civic and love it! It’s my first car so I have a bit of an attachment to it I guess. I’m not sure I’d be able to have a husband AND kids and only one car, but I might be able to share with another person, depending on how similar/different our schedules are, where each of us works, etc. Brekkie looks lovely this morning! 🙂

  • Crystal December 7, 2010, 10:30 am

    We have only had one car for years, and the car we do have rarely gets used. We live in a small town, but it’s a bedroom community for a large city, so public transit for my commute to the city is really convenient. My husband works at a Navy base, and the Navy provides buses and vanpools for their civilian workers, so it works out well for us. We live in the downtown area of our small town, so everything is within walking distance of our house. I actually find driving and traffic stressful, so I definitely prefer my pedestrian way of life.

  • kalin December 7, 2010, 10:30 am

    we’re a one car family. my husband works an hour from here, so he takes a vanpool to work (and i drop him off and pick him up for it).
    there are times when it’s not my fav-unless i wanna be carless i HAVE to be up at 6:45 to take him to his van, and i have to be there to meet him at 5:45 every night, so it dictates some of our days. but really, compared to having a car payment for a car to sit at a park and ride all day m-f? wayyy better. and we live where there are great buses (there are like 4 direct buses downtown a block from our house-you never have to wait mroe than 10 minutes) so we use those if my husband has meetings here and things

  • Rachel December 7, 2010, 10:32 am

    We’ve been a one car family on and off over the past couple of years.

    Then my grandma had a friend who was getting rid of their 1998 Honda Accord. They were the only owners and it sat in a garage for almost its entire life when it wasn’t going to church or the grocery store. It had low mileage and was in excellent condition. My grandma bought it for me as a gift and gave it to me. (Hondas rule!!!)

    So, now we have two cars. My fiance has a leased vehicle that he got during a transportation emergency a couple of years ago. His current vehicle was dying quickly, and he needed to sell it and get something else for the time being. Since he was on a time crunch, he went with a lease because he didn’t know what kind of vehicle he’d be needing in a few years and didn’t want to commit to anything.

    We have two cars, but luckily our offices are right next to eachother so we carpool to work at least 3 days a week, sometimes 4.

    Once his lease is up, he wants to buy a big truck (he’s a country boy) but we’re getting one that has 4 doors and lots of inside space so it can work as a “family car” when we start to have kids in a few years.

    Anyway, that was long!

  • Paige (Running Around Normal) December 7, 2010, 10:33 am

    Yay:) Glad it’s working out for you so well! I know it’d never work for my husband and I. But we each work 20 minutes away from home, have slightly different schedules, and the days I’m not at that job, I still need to drive to the gym to train clients.

  • Amber K December 7, 2010, 10:36 am

    My husband works too far away for us to be a one-car family. Personally, I like being able to leave in my car whenever I want. We also have used cars, though. So the cost was a LOT less. They were less than $1,000 a piece and we’ve had them for years.

  • Kt December 7, 2010, 10:37 am

    No car family! My boyfriend and I live in the city- Vancouver, BC – great bus system. I finally got my drivers license this year (I’m 25) so might join a car co-op.
    Love this post… I need all the financial help/information I can get.

  • Sara December 7, 2010, 10:37 am

    I live in downtown DC and don’t own a car! If you can swing it, it’s a great way to work exercise into your day (I walked 4 miles on Saturday just running errands, going to the gym, and walking another mile – in heels! – to a friend’s party). It’s not as much fun in the winter, but shivering is a workout too, right? Right?! My personal challenge is to see how long I can make it before having to buy a car. So far I’ve had a driver’s license for 10 years and I still haven’t owned one!

    • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 1:28 pm

      Haha all aspects of winter are a workout!

  • Jessica M December 7, 2010, 10:42 am

    We are a one car family too. I sold my car before we moved. The main reason is because a rear wheel drive 2 seater isn’t practical in the North where it snows all the time. Also, it freed up a lot more cash each month.

    It works out because we are within walking distance of my husband’s job and also he is gone every other week for work (and home the weeks in between). The days he is home he can catch a ride with a friend or take me to work if he wants the car.

    I like it a lot… he sometimes gives me a hard time because I have the car all the time and technically its “his” car. LOL. But I can understand that.

    I love the idea of living in the city! You guys should do it! Plus, if you have less sq. ft it helps you to keep the junk out. You only have room for so much.

  • Liz December 7, 2010, 10:44 am

    I love being a one-car family! There are times when my husband and I both need the car, but it is rare that we can’t find another way to get where we need to be.

  • Robyn December 7, 2010, 10:48 am

    I just wonder about the need to buy a house. True, the market is really good for houses right now, but you could consider your rental as a starter home and then when you’ve got money saved, loans paid off, then you could buy the house. As someone who has rented either an apartment or house for the past ten years while raising two small children with my husband, I can tell you that the expense of having two kids as well as a mortgage would really stress me out. And even though many people say you lose money in renting, I don’t have to pay to fix anything and if we had bought a starter home only to want to buy a bigger one later down the road, we would lose money by switching up houses. I think renting is a great choice for you all because you don’t have the financial obligation. And it would make focusing on paying for baby a lot easier. Just my two cents.
    And I like that you all have committed to a one car household.

    • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 1:30 pm

      That’s true – there are definitely benefits to renting!

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit December 7, 2010, 10:48 am

    My husband and I share a car, too. It’s difficult living in NH with very limited public transportation. we are planning to move to a more urban location within the next year so we can make it easier to get around, find jobs, etc. Cars are so time and money-consuming!

  • Jillian@ Reshape Your Life December 7, 2010, 10:49 am

    Since I got into a car accident a couple months ago and wrecked my car (it’s driveable but not safe with a smashed windshield and deployed airbags) so we try to not drive it and stick to using one car (until I can get another one). Luckily we live about a mile from where the boyfriend works so we usually just use one car, luckily we work opposite hours so it usually works out.

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair December 7, 2010, 10:49 am

    Me and my b/f have one car. But it’s more my car and I drive him around and he walks a lot. He’s in University right now so I’ll drive him to school in the mornings and then he’ll walk home.

    We’re currently in the process of buying a townhouse in the suburbs though (as much as we want to stay IN the city we just can’t afford it!) so then it will become much more difficult. We might try to get him a small, used car to drive or else he will have to start taking the bus more often! We’ll see.

    I think that if we lived in a bigger city (population of our city is only about 85,000) that had better public transit and was more walkable it would be OK. But where we live is not super walkable. I think our current apartment gets like a 44 score for walkability and the townhouse we’re buying gets a 15! Boo! Haha

  • Carolyn @ Lovin' Losing December 7, 2010, 10:51 am

    I wish my husband and I could share a car, but we don’t live in a walkable area at all! 🙁

  • Camille December 7, 2010, 10:55 am

    When my boyfriend and I moved from San Diego to Oregon a few months ago, we really considered becoming a 1 car family. You see, I rarely drive. I don’t even have a parking permit for school and our entire town is about a 7-mile radius and I have a bike. The only issue is that, if we did sell one car, it would be mine. My car is a 2001 Civic and my boyfriend’s is a 2007 Civic. The issue? His car is a stick and I don’t know how to drive a stick.
    We still think about it something but it seems too soon to make the decision.

    • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 1:31 pm

      Driving stick is fun! Trust me – if I can learn, anyone can.

      • Susan December 7, 2010, 4:58 pm

        Driving a stick isn’t that hard to learn. You just need a really patient teacher. I have a stick and my BF can’t drive one so his car gets a lot more use on the weekends, since he prefers to drive.

        • caitie December 7, 2010, 10:48 pm

          Learn! I just learned and now I love it! (Minus when you are in traffic and then it really blows). I was SO nervous at first and all members of my family and my boyfriend attempted to teach me. It was actually my bf at the time that really helped, he didnt freak out like everyone else did when I would stall out 6 times in a row 😀
          But really, after doing it for a week, you’ll have it down!

  • Susan December 7, 2010, 10:56 am

    The BF & I each have a car. They’re both Honda Civics and paid off so we don’t feel the need to sell one. We’ve talked about it and decided that when one car goes, we’ll probably be a one car family for awhile. We don’t really “need” two cars since he has an easy bike ride to work, which he usually does, and since we live within walking or biking distance to groceries, gym and entertainment.

  • Megan S December 7, 2010, 11:02 am

    My husband and I are a one car family (but I didn’t learn to drive until I was 24-whoops- so I just started using his car when I got my license. Having never been a two car family makes it easier, so neither of us wants to get another car because we are so used to it this way. We work in opposite directions but just carpool everyday anyways. The only time it’s a big problem is when we both have to work and have random appointments/ errands throughout the day!

  • Megan S December 7, 2010, 11:03 am

    PS Ours is a 2005 civic and I LOVE it! Had to get new tires and brake pads this month but the mechanic said other than that it might as well be a new car

  • Clare December 7, 2010, 11:04 am

    I’ve been carless for a year and a half and I love it. I take a bus to work. My bus pass is paid for by my employer. In the summer, I bike or walk. When my boyfriend needs groceries, I tag along with him so I don’t have to walk a long ways with a ton of stuff.

    It’s been amazing for my finances.

  • emily December 7, 2010, 11:04 am

    We went from a one car family (Miami), to a no car family (Brooklyn), to a one car family (Buffalo), to a two car family (still in Buffalo, now both in school).

    My favorite was no-car, because I’d prefer to just walk everwhere! If I have to live somewhere that is a “driving” city I would rather share one car though. As it is now, I barely drive and dealing with the snow on my car just because sucks!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) December 7, 2010, 11:07 am

    My mom, dad, and myself all have a car. I need my car obviously to drive to and from college and my dad uses his car far too much for business for my mom to sell hers. However, once I graduate college and move to a city with reliable public transportation, we are either going to sell my mom’s Toyota or sell my Honda (I would much rather sell the Toyota. I’m very attached to my Honda!)

  • Victoria December 7, 2010, 11:09 am

    My husband and I were married right out of college five years ago and we’ve never had more than 1 car between us, which is shocking. We’ve lived in a very car-dependent area (Fort Wayne, IN) for the past 4 years and still made it work. We’re moving to Seattle in a few weeks and we plan on selling our car, so we’ll be a zero car family.

    • Jennifer December 8, 2010, 11:17 am

      You might want to keep the car–lots of the best places to see are outside the city!

      • Victoria December 8, 2010, 11:20 am

        Jennifer, I totally agree with you that there’s a lot to explore outside the city, but for now, financially, it makes more sense for us to sell the car (and get rid of the payment!) and use Zipcar when we feel like it.

  • Michele December 7, 2010, 11:12 am

    Good for you!

    We are a 2 car (really 3 if you count the little truck we were given when hubby’s father passed away) and don’t think we could ever be a 1 car family. Reason?

    We live in one city; hubby works 20 miles east of where we live, I work 30 miles west of where we live; two kids attend school in our hometown, the oldest attends high school at another city (not one either hubby or I work in) – sheesh, got all that? Yes, they all ride the bus, but it gets crazy when you have dentist, doctor, orthodontist, etc. appointments for the little ones.

    Not to mention just a month ago we had 4 different sports going on between 2 kids. We call it daily insanity!


    BUT proud of you for making such wise decisions!

  • Lisa December 7, 2010, 11:13 am

    We’re a one car family, and it works really well for us, but like you, we live in a city (Seattle) that has good public transportation AND we both work from home so the days we need the car are few. Even if we had jobs outside the house though, I think being a one car family works for us (at least, it has in the past). It’s definitely nice to not have the extra expense! Especially when living in a city is so much more expensive anyway. 🙂

  • JavaChick December 7, 2010, 11:17 am

    I grew up in the country, no public transportation, so as soon as I finished high school/got a job (my parents were big on not having a job while in high school), I bought my own car. My sister did the same thing. It just made life easier for work, college, etc. So I was used to having my own car.

    When I got married, husband and I became a one car family. This works for us as we work the same hours, in the same area, so we are able to travel to/from work together. There is the odd time when it would be nice to have two cars, but it doesn’t happen often enough to make us think about buying a second car. It is certainly easier on the budget!

    That said, I suppose our situation is somewhat unique. Most of our friends are two car families because the husband and wife have different work schedules/locations.

    I guess the question is: how big of an inconvenience is it to share? Is it enough of a problem to justify the expense? Is it something you could revisit in the future if/when it does become a problem?

  • Sarah for Real December 7, 2010, 11:24 am

    Keep in mind that when you own a home, there are loads of projects that require a truck. Leaves to dispose of, furniture to buy and haul, buying/hauling a lawn mower, and all number of home improvement projects.

    Houses require trucks.

    This is my finding anyway. So plan ahead to buy an old, light duty truck, buy a small trailer to tow OR (and I think this is much better) make friends with people who have trucks! This is a MUST that many new home owners don’t realize until they buy a lawn mower on CL and don’t know how to get it home. 😉

    • Susan December 7, 2010, 12:40 pm

      Having friends with trucks is much better than buying one. We don’t have a truck, but we have 6 friends with them. They were a lifesaver when we moved and had to get stuff from IKEA. And they’re always offering to let us borrow them for house/yard stuff.

  • krista December 7, 2010, 11:29 am

    We live in a huge metroplex so 1 car has never and will never enter our thoughts. We each work 15min in the other direction from our house. Our commutes are both pure highway which would not be safe for biking. Plus in TX we would be covered in sweat doing that in the summer!

    I also work 7-4 the pick up the kiddo, he works 8-6 and takes the kiddo to school in the morning. We had to share a car for ONE day recently on a weekday – it was AWFUL! LOL!

    • krista December 7, 2010, 11:31 am

      Oh and both our cars are paid for, so our only debt is the mortgage. That makes a HUGE difference not having car payments!

  • Julia @ Brides Up North December 7, 2010, 11:37 am

    Weare a one car family too – and it works well for us!! You save so much each month too on tax, car insurance etc!!

    Julia xx

  • Jazz December 7, 2010, 11:44 am

    We’re a one car family, I got a job at the uni that the hubby attends, but we walk anyway, usually only use little yaris for groceries, and travel. I love it and have never wished for another car!

  • Kris December 7, 2010, 11:55 am

    We could never be a one car family; DH has always had a longish or long commute. I try to limit my trips since I don’t work and usually go through a tank of gas once every 2-2 1/2 wks. Our cars are older (his 10 yrs., mine 6 yrs.) and both (we have the same make and model) get great gas mileage. I think everyone has to balance their car and housing decisions on their own money, work, school, etc. situations while being mindful of financial and environmental impact.

    • Kris December 7, 2010, 11:57 am

      Oh, and we only buy cars when we can pay cash. No car loans.

  • Sassy Molassy December 7, 2010, 12:00 pm

    This is a great overview and it sounds like one car has really worked for your family. The manfriend and I have talked about going to one car as he works just 1.5 mi from home. But my work is about 5 miles and I’m always racing around doing errands so I need one. He however, could do without but he also goes to bike races where he needs the car for the entire day. I guess I’m just worried he would need it when I REALLY need it. Maybe it’s selfish, but I’m not sure I’m ready to go to one car just yet.

    • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 1:33 pm

      hahahah Manfriend.

  • Tania December 7, 2010, 12:03 pm

    I SO wish we could be a one car family! But we have very different schedules and work In totally opposite directions. Boo. When I lived downtown it was maybe feasable but now I’m all married and living In the ‘burbs! 😛

  • Elliott December 7, 2010, 12:07 pm

    When we lived in DC, the hubs and I lived on top of a metro so we only had one car and pretty much never used it. THEN we moved to California where we had to buy another car for our two commutes. (To even it out we live downtown so we try not to drive after work or on the weekends!)

  • laura December 7, 2010, 12:08 pm

    I live in Philadelphia; we’ve only got one car, and we barely use that. I work in a different city, but take the train to save on gas/parking and to get a little extra sleep or reading time. I do most of the grocery shopping and errand running on my way home after work, so we pretty much only use the car for day trips, target/ikea/home depot trips, and getting to our families’ houses. Last year, in fact, we got a flat right before a massive snowstorm, and instead of dealing with the hassle, we just went the 4 months til spring without the car at all! It’s really nice to not be dependent on it, and even though it’s available, I always look for a way not to use it if I can. I’m not sure we’ll ever be willing to live in a place we both need cars; I really love how much less stressful it is not to have to deal with them. Besides, driving is WAY more dangerous than city living, even in a pretty tough town like Philly.

  • kate December 7, 2010, 12:09 pm

    We were a single car family for a while and it worked out well. We only went to two since we had a business vehicle.

  • Ashley December 7, 2010, 12:10 pm

    We’re a one car family! It’s a funny story. Having one-car wouldn’t have worked for the majority of our lives: working in opposite directions and in huge cities and such. But about a month before we made a cross-country move, the husband totaled his car….we didn’t have gap insurance & so were still paying it off & couldn’t afford to get another car so were FORCED into 1 car family. But it just so happened that where we moved is close enough to walk & bike anywhere we need! Days that we want to drive (cold or rainy days), we can carpool! Funny how life works like that sometimes – something bad with something good

  • Laura December 7, 2010, 12:16 pm

    A question (just out of curiosity) for the “bike to work” folks… what do you do when it is raining or snowing? What do you do if it is sunny when you leave in the morning and pouring rain when it’s time to go home?

    • Susan December 7, 2010, 12:45 pm

      My BF rides to work, but he also has a car so if it’s raining he’ll drive. If we only had one car, I’d give him a ride since we both work in the same town. There have been times when it’s rained at the end of the day and I’ve just gone and picked him up.

      There are hard core bikers who ride in rain, though.

    • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 1:34 pm

      This is exactly why I don’t bike anywhere for commuting purposes! LOL

    • Stacy December 7, 2010, 2:05 pm

      Both my husband and I bike to work everyday. We’re a one car family, but driving to work isn’t really an option because parking is too expensive around our workplaces. When it’s raining, I ride in the rain. You can usually bundle up pretty well and not get wet unless it’s pouring. If it is pouring, I bring clothes to change into when I get there. If it’s only raining on the way home I don’t really care too much and just get wet, because I can change when I get home. It’s really not bad at all!

    • Michelle... December 8, 2010, 5:16 pm

      I am lucky enough to also have the option of taking the subway to work :-). In terms of rain in the afternoon? Well you just suck it up and pump your legs as fast as possible!!

  • Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker December 7, 2010, 12:19 pm

    We’d love to be a one-car family. But there’s absolutely no way we could do it. We both work full-time on opposite ends of our area. We have totally different schedules, too. Also, public transportation around here is atrocious. So, I’m jealous, but it looks like we have two cars to stay . . .

  • Katie D. December 7, 2010, 12:27 pm

    Hubby and I both have vehicles (him a truck, me a car) but really I’d count us as a 1.5 car family. We ride to work together (even though I start and end a half hour earlier/later), if he works on Saturday, I’ll drop him off and run errands, etc. Sometimes it is over a month since the truck was used! But we really need the 2 vehicles, we live about 1/2 hour away from work/church/town/shopping and 2+ hours from his parents. We paid cash for our car and just recently paid off the truck! Yay!

  • Gillian December 7, 2010, 12:28 pm

    I am a no car person! I live right downtown Toronto and take transit, or walk or ride a bike EVERYWHERE. I moved from the suburbs into the city and sold my car when I moved downtown. Best decision EVER! I am a member in a car share ( so when I absolutely NEED a car for something I have access to one. I walk by small markets all the time and pick up food as I need it and rarely do large grocery runs that would require a car. When I go out of town for a weekend, I am able to rent a car which works out cheaper than owning.

  • Lisa December 7, 2010, 12:34 pm

    I could not survive without my car. I like my independence. If I lived closer to downtown or work/the gym etc it might be easier to not have a car but I live in the ‘burbs away from everything!

  • Carolyn December 7, 2010, 12:37 pm

    One thing you might look into is getting a scooter 🙂 My boyfriend and I were a one car family for a while and he got a scooter to help with the short distances and little trips. They aren’t too expenisve, def. cheaper than a car, great on gas, and in NC you don’t need any special license to drive them (or technically insurance).

  • Ella December 7, 2010, 12:37 pm

    Nope, my family is the opposite. We have 4 cars for the four of us.
    I go to school in Connecticut (2.5 hours away), and my mom and dad commute 45 minutes in opposite directions (and public transportation isn’t an option). We live 5 miles away from my brother’s high school, and theres no buses home after sports practices, no way to get him to his tutors, etc, and since me and him can no longer share a car he has one too. Ooops! I’m hoping that after I graduate in 2012 I can move to Boston and sell my car, however!

  • Heather December 7, 2010, 12:42 pm

    I think about this topic all the time!

    Yay! I am a “no car car person” too! I am 28 and I have never owned a car!

    My boyfriend lives out of the city, I lived with him for almost a year and the bus commute was getting to be a bit much! So I rented a condo in town, 5 minutes from work. I am definitely paying the price in terms of cost and space, but the convenience is worth it! I have an extra 2-3 hours to my day!

    I secretly dream that we will live together in the city and be a “no car family” but I would be more than happy with owning a car and commuting by bike!

  • emily (a nutritionist eats) December 7, 2010, 12:47 pm

    We are a one car family and although there are times when it isn’t the most convienent, with a little planning it works great! We live downtown Minneapolis and parking for a 2nd car would cost $120/month which was our main reason for getting rid of the 2nd car!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine December 7, 2010, 12:48 pm

    My family lives in the middle of nowhere, PA, and we have 7 cars among 5 drivers. It’s NUTS, and even though pretty much my whole family feels that way, we can never agree on which cars to go without. In NYC, I rarely set foot in a car, and it’s awesome 90% of the time. The only time I miss it is when it’s pouring rain! Major props to you guys for working it out!

  • Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo) December 7, 2010, 12:48 pm

    Living in LA would be a bit rough without two cars as our public transport system sucks azz here. Most of our european family/friends used to be one- car families until relatively recently, but it’s different if there’s good public transportation options. I LOVE taking public transport when I can. And when it’s convenient.

    Good job and have some fun with that ‘starting the family’ endeavor 😉

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey December 7, 2010, 12:50 pm

    We are definitely not a one car family – we have 2 (okay 3) cars . One is a work truck the Husband uses, another one is a sports truck (which will be sold when we have children), and I have a car to go to work. We don’t live near the city and public transportation isn’t that great around here, so it works!

  • Lauren December 7, 2010, 12:52 pm

    One computer family? Yes! One car family? Maybe but it’d be a struggle. Luckily the public transportation system in Colorado (especially Boulder) is awesome but my parents are a one car family and I definitely hear a lot of complaining!!

  • Lee December 7, 2010, 12:53 pm

    We have two cars. Atlanta is really spread out and the public transportation sucks so we both need a car to get to work, unfortunately. I mean, I guess we could take a bus, but it’s probably not going to happen.

  • Samantha @ The Life Abundant December 7, 2010, 12:59 pm

    We are a 3 car family :)–my car and two business/work trucks. I have always thought it would be fun to live in very close proximity to work–I would totally ride my bike and walk everywhere. I have no desire to be an urban family–but I can definitely see the benefit in being able to walk and cycle to most places.

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances December 7, 2010, 1:09 pm

    Great post! I love that you talk about “financial health” (if there is such a thing) as well as physical/mental health. Although, I suppose a healthy bank account can help with one’s mental stability. Anyway! I would love to be a one-car family one day.. when I have a family.. but my bf and I live in Nashville, which is not super pedestrian-friendly. And we both work several miles from our jobs… Oh, well. Maybe these things will change one day! I would LOVE to be able to walk to work!

  • Dez @ Dezolutions December 7, 2010, 1:13 pm

    We are a one car family and it is frick’n HARD! I live about 20 minutes out of Boston (proper). I’ve never owned a car in my life, still don’t. I take the T system everywhere. It is my fiances car. Long story short, to save money, we took it off the road and neither one of us drove the car for over 3yrs. I got a new job 2yrs ago and commuted, NOT KIDDING… 4 hours per DAY on the bus/train/train/bus then walked 2 miles to get to and from work. Through scorching summers, to freezing snowy winters. It was torture, and I lost no weight and I was just incredibly tired all the time.

    Finally I couldn’t stand it anymore, and Fiance’ put his car on the road for me, so I can drive to and from work, not before I dumped $2K to fix it up from sitting for 3yrs…it now only takes me 18 minutes to drive to work. It’s heaven.

    The part that is NOT heaven, is arguing over who drives it where, and since its a 1999 Alero, we want to preserve the mileage (it’s under 93K and completely paid off). I do have the car 90% of the time, and feel bad that he has to wait for his own car (yes I pay insurance, pay for gas, pay for fixes etc… he does not, since he doesn’t drive it often). But he can walk to work in 10 minutes, I can’t.

    ANYWAY, our agreement is if i want to go hang out with friends and run little errands, I gotta get back on the bus/train or walk. For 27yrs of never having a car, the past 3 months have been AMAZING… now I’m just spoiled! It’s too cold for the bus! 🙂

  • Sarah December 7, 2010, 1:20 pm

    I think its so funny when people make a big deal out of being a one car family- not in a mean way haha its just what I’m used to! I’m a junior in college now (at Pitt btw-love it!) and we have always had one car. Used to be a station wagon growing up and now its a honda civic. With my 17 year old brother and I plus my mom and my dad that makes 4 people in the family who can drive but only one car (though I’m away at school). I think the fact that my hometown is just outside DC and there is great public transportation makes it easier to be a one car family and also the fact that my parents work together well on the issue. Also my dad is overseas for long periods of time (he’s a diplomat) so having his own car doesn’t make a ton of sense, I think the benefits of being a one car family far outweigh the downsides. It saves us tons of money!

    • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 1:35 pm

      PITT lets go PITT!

  • MLT December 7, 2010, 1:23 pm

    We are a no car family but recently we’ve had the use of my brother’s car once or twice a week when we need it. The three of us share it and it still only gets used maybe 5-10 miles a week. I hate driving and infinitely prefer to live in an urban environment and use public transportation/walking!

  • Laurie December 7, 2010, 1:31 pm

    I wish we could be a one car family, but my husband has a weird work schedule and there is no way we could do that. But glad you guys can work it out!

  • betty @runbettyrun December 7, 2010, 1:32 pm

    Love love LOOOOVE being a one car family! My husband and I have shared a car for almost 2 years now, despite his 30+ commute to work (I work from home). Thank goodness for a convenient carpool, and we too live in an urban, walkable area!

    So glad you are enjoying it too!

  • Theresa @ActiveEggplant December 7, 2010, 1:34 pm

    My husband and I are becoming a 1 car family in a couple weeks! Right now we have 2 vehicles – a Toyota Tundra and a Nissan Murano. The Murano lease is up in early January & we are turning it in and walking away. That will leave us with just the Toyota Tundra – a full size pickup truck that scares me! BUT, we will save mucho dinero going down to a single vehicle. We both work somewhat far from home – me 18 miles & hubby 12 miles. But hubby rides his bike to/from work most days – and I pass his office on my way in so we can carpool if needed, just by adjusting our hours. We’ve been looking forward to this change for over a year now & I can’t believe it’s this close!

  • LindsayK December 7, 2010, 1:46 pm

    yes, we are a one car family and have been for years. It’s annoying at times, but in most cities you can rely on public transportation to help you out as well.

  • k December 7, 2010, 2:17 pm

    I was hoping to be able to suggest zipcar, so sad that it isn’t an option in Charlotte, but maybe at some point in the future (

    I’m of the same mindframe as you. I’d rather live in the city than in the suburbs, even if it means a smaller house for the same (or more money). It is all about standard of living, and the suburbs are just not up to my standards!

  • Dee December 7, 2010, 2:25 pm

    Love this post, this is an issue I’m going through now, so it’s nice to hear yours and others thoughts on it. My bf and I currently share my car. He works in the suburbs, a 30 min one-way, while I take the bus to work, an 11-min ride plus I get a free bus pass as a work benefit.

    This siutation works, and is environment and budget friendly… but the inconvenience gets to me more and more (seems like I can only get around to my errands on weekends) and I kinda really want him to go ahead and get a car. I think it would be smarter/wiser to stick with 1 car, but I don’t know.

  • Dee December 7, 2010, 2:33 pm

    Wow I was just reading through more of the comments and they create an awesome evidence base for designing walkable communities with convenient transpo. Most of the commenters who survive on no car or a shared car, have awesome public transpo or can walk places. Not so for the ones who have 1 car per person. City planners take note! More people would ditch their cars if they could just get to work, gym, groceries, etc with ease!

  • Runeatrepeat December 7, 2010, 2:37 pm

    It’s crazy how much we’re on the same page – we decided to become a one car family and had to factor in the “detail” that we want to add a baby before we would have the ability to get another car! So, now we have ONE baby okay car 🙂

    It is very hard to have one car in SoCal – everything is suburbs, so it’s not super walker friendly. But, Ben bikes to work which gives him exercise and frees up the car for me. I think we’re going to start sharing a calendar though because there have been several times when we both need it.

  • Margaret December 7, 2010, 3:11 pm

    Less house isn’t exactly a bad thing. You will have lower maintenance and heating/cooling costs and I think that smaller houses can encourage more family time. They are also way more environmentally friendly. I grew up in an urban center in So Cal with my mom and brother and we lived in a 950 sq. ft cottage. It was great even if my house could fit in most of my friends’ front yards. My brother and I were allowed to go anywhere that we could get to on are own at a pretty early age so we rode our bikes to the beach and mastered the bus system. I walked to parks, the library, grocery stores, movie theaters, the mall, and all of the schools that I attended. When we were old enough to get our drivers licenses both my brother and I didn’t really care. Cars didn’t equal freedom in our eyes.

    A decade later I have never owned a car and neither has my brother. I am healthier because I walk and bike more, I feel like I am giving the earth a little something, and I save tons of money. My childhood made me appreciate parks where I would go to read and where we would have birthday parties and have a much more positive attitude towards public transportation than most of my friends. There are some really great things about growing up in a city center and about learning to not depend on a car.

    Total tangent: have you read North of Beautiful? When you announced that you were doing a Tween Operation Beautiful totally made me think of it. One of the best books I have read in ages.

    • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 8:17 pm

      I have not but I’ll check it out. Thanks for the book recommendation!

  • Katie @ Healthy Heddleston December 7, 2010, 3:14 pm

    Soo I was starting to form my answer with a yes, I think we could be a one car family in the future.. but as I sat and thought, I think the answer would be no. I want to be a stay at home mom and if an emergency would occur I would need a car at my disposal. I just don’t think I would feel comfortable with the uncertainty childrens lives can be and the effect it would have on whoever doesn’t have the car. I can, however, see if you live across the street from a hospital this might be different.

  • Regina December 7, 2010, 3:28 pm

    How cool! Unfortunately, we are not a one car family. We’re a 2 car and 1 motorcycle family. Hubs works 60 miles (round trip) from home. The closest grocery store is a 20 minute DRIVE from our house. However, even with 3 vehicles and a house that we own, we have ZERO debt (aside from mortgage). Pretty good for 22 and 26 years old, eh? We worked really hard to get here, mainly me kicking my husband’s butt for the credit card debt he incurred before marriage but luckily the nest egg I’d saved while he spent before marriage covered that and left him becoming more frugal and less spendy =)

    • Caitlin December 7, 2010, 8:18 pm

      Congrats on zero debt!!!

  • Jamie @ Food in Real Life December 7, 2010, 3:34 pm

    We are a two car family. A TWO CIVIC family! Both of our civics are paid in full so we don’t want to make any changes until absolutely necessary. When we need to, the plan is to probably sell my husbands older civic and give him mine when so we can get a bigger car. (that car too will definitely be a Honda)

  • Ellen@FirednFabulous December 7, 2010, 3:55 pm

    My quality of life in NYC is pretty crappy, but I LOVE not having to worry about a car. I’m a triplet, so when I was growing up, I had to share a car with my brother and sister and it was NOT easy!

    • Des @ Dezolutions December 7, 2010, 4:37 pm

      Ellen, you’re a triplet!!?? SO FUN! I’m a twin 🙂 Yay for same age multi-siblings!

  • Annette December 7, 2010, 4:02 pm

    We own only one car and we make it work…it is hard but we seriously save some money. good luck with the “fun” of having 1 car! You are lucky that only one really HAS to leave home for work, though! How is the book coming, ps?

  • Amanda December 7, 2010, 4:08 pm

    I could share cars. Though I think it depends on your life-style. We have long/cold/snowy winters here so walking isn’t feasible year-round. I’ve been looking forward to having my little Neon paid off so I can get something with AWD, something a little bigger please!

  • Bekah @ The Veggie Mistress December 7, 2010, 4:14 pm

    My husband and I were a one-car family for almost four years. Initially, we lived in an apartment downtown and I could easily walk to work (which sucks when it is torrentially raining!). We gradually moved further and further from the central city core, a decision based on finances and space. We now live in our first house, about four miles from downtown but still in the city – and we also now have two cars. We both work less than five miles from home, so our environmental impact is much less than it could be, and we still have the flexibility that two cars provide. And we don’t waste a ton of time driving back and forth to pick each other up – I think my quality of life is actually better with the two cars. Our finances are okay too because we didn’t buy the second car until the first was paid off!

  • Foy December 7, 2010, 4:28 pm

    Congratulations! It’s a big move to go down to one car; one my husband and I both made. We chose to live down town to maximize walk-ability. Currently we both need a car to get to work, so we carpool (good thing our jobs are both west).

    We also decided to continue renting for possibly the rest of our lives. Unless one of us gets a job that is guaranteed not to move (like the coveted tenured professor – almost non-existent these days) we don’t want to be location tied. The average person moves 11.6 times in their lifetime according to the us census. It was really hard to give up the “American Dream” of the house with a white picketed fence. I did a lot of research and soul searching to realize that the dream of owning property is a story I’ve been told. One that I should question.

    I suggest you do the same. Do the research, the soul searching and please talk to more than just realtors and others who jumped on the house bandwagon.

  • Natalie December 7, 2010, 5:20 pm

    We’re a one-car family…it’s HARD! Definitely worth it, though, in terms of the environmental, financial, and relationship building benefits.

  • Rachael December 7, 2010, 5:24 pm

    We’re a one truck family, and intend on staying that way post-children. Asheville is pretty walkable or bikeable, and I find that many of the errands I used to deem necessary can be easily consolidated or edited out altogether.
    We’ve done the one car thing in the city and way out in the sticks. The latter is obviously harder, but one of the reasons I wanted to live in the country was to enjoy the ruralness. At that time, I worked in town, but between carpools, public transportation and a little bit of patience, I didn’t mind at all.

  • Marissa December 7, 2010, 5:44 pm

    piece of friendly advice—ya might wanna reconsider the huge mortgage! we did that 3 years ago because we loved the location, and it has definitely been a struggle to keep up with. we’d have a lot more discretionary money if our mortgage was not so large!

  • Lindsey Gail December 7, 2010, 6:35 pm

    We are also a one-car family. In fact, I had to explain this to a new employer today. We’re in biking and/or walking distance from the places that I need to go (school, my two jobs, etc.), part of the reasoning why we moved where we did. There is also public transportation available, although it is not always as convenient. This way I was able to give priority to my partner to use the car as needed with a new job (and because he generally only likes to walk as far as the car). Now that it’s winter and we both have new jobs, we are yet again redoing our schedules, and thus the schedule for the car as well. We are also fortunate to have helpful friends and co-workers who are willing to oblige us with rides when needed.

    I take the maintenance of the car very seriously because it’s essential for the both of us. I try to treat it with great care. However, performing regular maintenance on the car can be difficult to schedule as well. The downside is that sometimes, in order to have use of the car, someone may have to sacrifice the joys of sleeping in to bring someone else to work. In tight moments, my mother has been gracious enough to allow us to use her second car, but overall we’ve been a one-car family for two and a half years.

  • Crystal (Bye Bye Fat Pants) December 7, 2010, 7:08 pm

    I ended up selling my car just under 4 years ago when I moved to Toronto. Not having a car isn’t that bad as long as you have a good transit system, which we do. Technically we are a Zero Car Family. We do have the option to borrow my father-in-laws car, but not always. We have recently signed up to be a member of AutoShare, this will allow us to have a car when we need it, whether that’s for an hour or a few days.

  • MelanieF December 7, 2010, 7:23 pm

    I have my car. It’s important for me to keep that sort of independance for myself. I pay for repairs, gaz and maitenance, liscence and registrations and on and on. We don’t work the same hours at work and we don’t work in the same area and our public transportation is not the best either. So, for now I will definately keep my car.

  • Lacey @ Lake Life December 7, 2010, 8:03 pm

    I had a 93 Honda Civic EX for 13 years. It finally died this past summer and I got a 2003 Acura RSX. I miss my Civic every day and really miss having no car payment.

    Good luck with your financial goals in 2011!

  • Susan - Nurse on the Run December 7, 2010, 8:20 pm

    I live in NYC and it’s totally normal to not have a car at all! In fact, last week I sold the 2009 Honda Civic that I bought last year when I moved to middle of nowhere, Pennsylvania. The only time I missed having a car was when I took a weekend trip to DC and had to take the bus…I missed the freedom of throwing stuff in my backseat and leaving at my own convenience, but I got to sleep on the bus so it’s not so bad. Plus, no more car payments! 🙂

  • Kiran December 8, 2010, 1:44 am

    We are totally a one car family! On the days I need the car, I just dropped the Hubs off to his work and happily pick him up later. Works perfectly ever since we came to the States. Easy on our wallets and great way to spend more time together 🙂

  • maria @ Chasing the Now December 8, 2010, 1:49 am

    I could never have dreamed of being a one-car family before moving to Japan and beginning to bike everywhere. We still live in Japan, but when we move back to the U.S., if it is feasible, I would love to only have one car. Less money spent toward insurance and gas is good news in my book, plus you would be surprised how much that walking and biking adds up. AND FAST.

  • betsy December 8, 2010, 12:20 pm

    We are a one car family. He drives to work (45 mins away) and I walk. It was a financial decision for us – plus, my car sat on the street un-used. It was tough at first, and is now that it’s cold, but I am used to it.

  • HB December 8, 2010, 2:37 pm

    We are a no car family, and I love it! We have a place in NY and in Philly and don’t need a car living in either. We take public transportation, taxis or rent a car when we need to. It works out great 🙂

    When I was visiting my family for Thanksgiving, I was shocked to realize how little walking you do living a suburban life. You literally walk to your car and then from your car to your next location- that’s it!

  • Graze With Me December 8, 2010, 2:39 pm

    It’s always amazing to read about how other people live when it comes to driving.

    We are a 4 car family. Eep. And there’s only me and the hubs. One car is mine, and the rest are his (he’s a mechanic) so it’s really just a collection. Every year, I’m in charge of licensing all the vehicles/toys and I did the math once – there are 13 registrations with his name on them, and one for me. Unbelievable.

  • Heidi - apples under my bed December 8, 2010, 7:37 pm

    We’re a one car family. My man walks the 1 minute each day to the train station. I drive to work. We love our car, “Koala” (as it looks like a koala from the front 🙂 it is a cute little peugeot) & we also love the money savings and environmental benefits. Wont have it any other way. Granted, when we buy a house we may live far form a train station. That will get tricky but we will try hard to make it work. One car all the way!
    Heidi xo

  • Jolene ( December 8, 2010, 11:44 pm

    My husband and I were a 1 car family for 5 years, and it was no problem at all.

  • Anna December 9, 2010, 5:31 am

    I don’t drive at all, but live in the city centre of a big city. So public transport is great. When I still lived at home with my parents and siblings we only ever had one car for the five of us, which worked really well.
    Of course we had to get the bus and train around, but it’s probably cheaper than petrol at the moment and more environmentally friendly anyway.
    i reckon its a good decision you have made.

  • Laura December 9, 2010, 6:37 am

    I wish we could be a one-car family (and that wish gets even stronger every time I fill up the tank). I think it’s great that you have ways to make it work!

  • Kristy December 9, 2010, 7:52 am

    We also became a one car family this year! Living in FL it isnt as easy to walk to place but we both are enjoying the savings! Fiancially and I’m sure the Earth is thanking us too!

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