Back in 2011, when Josh and I were just dating and his old boat of a Volvo finally and completely died, I talked him into getting a scion, because I had a Scion…and we were cute like that. So he went off and got himself a nice little $10k of debt in the form of a silver 2007 Scion TC.
Cut to last Tuesday.
After months of discussion, Josh took his TC into Carmax to see what they would offer him. His payments were reasonable, but we just couldn’t afford it anymore, and in a quest to try and cut debt and monthly bills, off he went. I had prayed over this errand and when they came back with their offer of exactly 7 dollars more than we owed (the offer was $7000 if you want to know) we jumped on it. I was worried that Josh would feel sad but when he saw how much we were saving each month, he was all smiles. So our insurance went from $165 a month to $65 a month and our car payments went from $255 a month to $0 a month. Thanks Mom and Dad for the sweet car back in 2006! So the savings comes out to $355 a month minus whatever extra gas we use. I don’t think we will use that much more gas, because we’ve had to be a lot more purposeful in our errands and so often we would end up in separate cars at the same place.
So for the last week we have been getting into the swing of being a one car couple.
Here are 7 things that I have learned in the first 7 days of being half of a one car couple.
1) Fix up your bikes. One of you will be without the car most of the time, so have a bike on hand for trips to the grocery store, the gym, a friends house, the work out will do you good.
2) Know that it will be inconvenient at times. Once at work I announced I was headed out to lunch and almost made it to the door before my boss asked how I was going to get there. Oh yeah, I brown bag it now…I forgot. Another time I wanted to go shopping bad, so bad that only another girl reading this can appreciate that I was stuck at home and hadn’t yet fixed up my bike.
3) Whichever of you owned the car before, don’t drive for awhile. This rule is for someone with my personality (read: selfish). I know I need to detach myself from this thing that was ‘mine’ for the last 7 years, I never wanted Josh to feel like he was using my car – just that he was driving our car. So I’ve only driven it myself once, I try and get him to drive every other time. This is for my sake. If you weren’t the baby of the family and you have no problems with sharing, you may be able to skip this step.
4) You will spend more time together. My sweet man is not a morning person. At all. When we had 2 cars, he would almost never wake up and spend time with me in the morning. He tried, but it didn’t happen. Now that he has to take me to work, he has to be awake (to drive – see #3). He has a hectic work schedule, so no morning time together sometimes meant no time together at all. But we now have an hour a day (30 minutes each way) where we can spend time together while we are relatively undistracted. So no matter what, he leaves with me at 7 and picks me up at 6 even if he has to go back to work after that and it’s been so good for us.
5) You will communicate more. In our 2 car lifestyle, there was no need or reason to really schedule with each other. Other than saying he had a long day and would be home late, there wasn’t much need to tell each other where we were, where we were going, etc. Now we basically need to have tabs on each other most of the time so we naturally check on each other more. I think this is good for our marriage, it was easier to live parallel before, now it’s not.
6) You will save more money in other ways. I can’t jump in the car and run off the grocery store or the mall or wherever. I have to plan those trips. I plan my grocery list better, because I only have one or two shots at it. I have to pack my lunch, I have no other choice. I have to make coffee in the office instead of going to Starbucks at noon. When I get the urge to leave the house and go shopping…I just can’t, and that feeling passes, probably with $30 in savings at least; Lord help me if I get on Etsy or Amazon though.
7) It will get the ball rolling. Let me tell you something, getting rid of half of your debt, even if it comes with inconveniences will get you addicted. It feels great to just suddenly not owe $7,000. Now I’m like “What else can we sell?” “Do we really need this?” and I’m amped. I want to get out of all debt and I think this is the kick start we needed to make that really happen, and happen soon.
So any of you out there ever get down to one car? No car? Tell me about it!