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Monday, March 24, 2014

One Car Life Lessons

Ems here:

Two months ago when the lease on our Honda minivan terminated, we decided to take the plunge...NOT to choose a sparkly new vehicle from the lot despite tempting offers, and instead, survive solely with one (giant) van.  I admit, I was skeptical about this plan. Although the Scrooge-ish side of me understand the value of only having one monthly payment, the practical side of me was kinda freaking out--activities, shopping, appointments--how was this going to work out??

Where all the magic happens.

So here are some things I've learned with this new experience of Solo Vehicle Living:

1. Planning, planning - Bri's work schedule is up on the calendar and I really look at it because it really matters. What days is he home early? What days is he off? With that information, I can schedule appointments, plan grocery store trips, initiate play dates, etc. Essentially, spontaneity is out the window, but it doesn't mean that all activity stops...we just have to color within the lines a bit more.

2. Team Family - We need to work together as a family. If I'm out of milk and Bri is on a work stretch, he will have to grab it on the way home even though he's super tired since I won't be able to leave the house the next day. On other days, it's either we all go someplace together or someone stays home--there is no going in opposite directions! It creates a One For All, All For One mentality..and we go more places together, even if it's just to WalMart.

3. Humility - I HATE asking for help. Like, it's a serious pride issue.  The boys are very involved in soccer, but there are just some practices to which we just cannot get them, and I've had to call on other parents to transport my kids. People are so kind. They truly don't mind, I can tell. We reciprocate when we can, but mostly I just have to be humble and say "Thank you. I really appreciate it." Because I really do.

4. Savings - We needed the financial breathing room (I mean, who doesn't?), and it has been so helpful to have more money each month, plain and simple. Check out the new couch we finally got! We were able to ditch the 12 year old ripped one at last.

*Pillows are subject to change

5. Bunkering In - You know that feeling you get when a big blizzard comes and you can't leave the house but you have milk, eggs, and electricity so it's ok? That's the same feeling I get when Bri leaves for work and I am in the house with no escape. It's almost freeing in some weird way. I feel like I have no other choice than to clean house and get things organized and take care of the kids....not that I do anything different any other day necessarily, but having choice taken from you sometimes allows you to act without hesitation. Like when the teacher provides you with a specific essay prompt--there's no dithering with the decision of 'which should I choose?', you just have to make do and run with it. This is me running with it. And the introvert inside is a happy girl. Except on phone free Fridays. Lent is rough.

You get me through many a long day, my little phone.

I'm not sure how long we will be a one car family. I don't know that I would recommend others dropping a vehicle if it wasn't necessary. But I do know that like everything in life, there is a silver lining to sacrifice. Wait, that's my Easy Rule.

Easy Rule #3114: There's a silver lining to every sacrifice.


  1. Welcome to the One-Vehicle Club! We're trying to stretch it out for as long as is humanly possible too, and with serious planning, sharing, and communication, I think that might be awhile yet. Enjoy the cash! And the couch - nice choice, BTW.