What I Learned From Being A One-Car Family


July 26, 2017 by imhavingadadday

In today’s world, many couples are constantly searching for ways to cut expenses and to save a little more money.  My wife and I went through (and are continuously going through) the same process.  “Turn the lights out”, “Don’t forget to set the AC up before you leave”, “Close the door! Close the door! CLOSE THE DOOR!”.  I know she wants to kill me sometimes when she goes to turn on the lamp and I’ve unplugged it (I am under the belief that if things are plugged in and not turned on, they are still drawing more power than if they are completely unplugged.  Maybe I’m right?  Its justified to me, at least).  So you go through this process on a regular basis, you save $5 here, $5 there, maybe you even go big and delete the Netflix account to save $9 more a month….But in the end its never enough to really make a difference, and now you’re just without endless re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy and The Office and you still can’t save any more cash.

So we finally realize that we have to cut something big.  “Our daughter’s daycare?  Not possible.  Health insurance?  Not a good idea… Rent payments, nah…what about the car?  What? No, that’s impossible.  We need two cars. How could we ever?  Everyone family has two cars.”

If this conversation sounds familiar to you, then here are a few tips on how to make it as a one-car family, and how you’ll seldom even remember the high roller 2 car life.

1. Make Sure You Both Want To Take The Plunge

Being a one car family is awesome.  Not only are you saving a ton of money, you’re getting more time together and really learning to depend on one another.  If you’re one of those green people then you can even check off cutting down on your carbon footprint. HOWEVER: if you both aren’t completely ready to make the sacrifice of ditching one car, don’t.  You’re going to be inconvenienced some days, and if one of you never wanted to get rid of a car in the first place, it’s an easy way to build some not so nice feelings.  If you’re both ready, the next few points will make all the difference.

2. Get Organized

This is probably the most important thing you can do when you decide to become a one-car family.  Get a plan together.  Do you or your spouse need the car to run errands?  Do one of you have a mid day doctor appointment that you’ll slip away from work for?  Know the family’s schedules.

3. Learn to Share

When you switch to being a one-car family, revert back to your childhood days and learn to share.  You may have to put off errands for a day when your spouse has something more pressing.  This means you’re going to either go along for the ride, sit at home, or…..

4.  Use Public Transportation

It’s crazy how many people don’t take advantage of free public transportation (yeah free, remember how we’re saving money?). OK so yeah, if you are heading way across town and the bus makes 55 stops before you get where you want to go, then maybe you want to avoid it.  However, there are plenty of times that it can be very convenient.  On days that my wife needed to run around town with the car, I could walk down the street to the bus stop and get a (free) ride to school.  Go online and look up bus routes.  It’s probably a lot better of an option than you ever thought.

So what do you think?  Becoming a one car family is the quickest and easiest way to save lots of money, so long as you are willing to give up a bit of independence and devote to a family schedule.  Our experience with it has been great and once you get into the groove you’ll rarely remember what it was like before.


10 thoughts on “What I Learned From Being A One-Car Family

  1. Lee says:

    Good post, keep the content coming!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. stomperdad says:

    My wife and I have been married for 12 years and we’ve always had just one car. It really does save ALOT of $$. Fortunately, we both live near where we work so we have the advantage of dropping each other off depending on who needs the car later.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We are a zero car family 😊 But over here in Scandinavia that’s pretty normal. People walk places instead of driving or take a bike (with their kids). I do sometimes wish I had a car though! 😊

    Liked by 2 people

  4. da-AL says:

    many thanks for visiting my blog – am much enjoying your great site 🙂 wishing you joy & success with it

    Liked by 1 person

  5. K E Garland says:

    You make this sound super promising! I can imagine the money you save, not just on owning a car, but also maintaining one. Sounds like a great idea if one can manage.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am also in a one car family since January 2016. My wife drives to work and I ride my bike (or walk when I’m in a leisurely mood.) Being able to live a low-car lifestyle was part of the attraction of Savannah – we can get to all our everyday needs without a car.


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