Embracing the One Car Family


To people who have lived in urban areas, this is going to seem really ridiculous. I know many people don’t even have the regular use of one car, let alone two so, I had mixed feelings about discussing our hard transition to living with only one vehicle. But, I need to keep at my 30 Jar so, here we go…

Upper Michigan is a spread out place. We live 20 minutes of highway driving from the nearest big box stores. If I am looking for an Old Navy? I need to prepare myself for a 4 hour drive. For comparison, there are more people living in Cinncinnati than in the entire Upper Peninsula. So, yeah. Sparsely populated and spread out. It doesn’t lend itself well to walking to work usually. (Up until recently, I had a 45 minute drive to work. Not a commute with traffic jams, just a drive.)

Needless to say, we have gotten rather accustomed to having two cars at our disposal. Until one of them went in to the disposal.

Fun fact about my now-deceased Jeep: It would randomly turn off while driving. It was like playing a ghetto game of Russian roulette every time I went grocery shopping. And, of course, no mechanic on the planet could figure out how to fix it. It was just that Jeep’s time to go.

So, we are down to one car. It’s a reliable mini-van so, we are constantly knocking on wood that it will stay that way! And I am learning to love the inconvenience of having one car.

Here’s what I have really learned I enjoy about having one car (that I never really expected to like)


Since transferring to a work site closer to home, I can walk or bike to work.

No more impulse shopping! We schedule out trips to town now so when I am in a store, it is a planned visit and I have a list. It’s made grocery shopping much more efficient.

We’re saving on gas. We make fewer trips by car (partially because of my paranoia surrounding over-use and van explosion….if it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen to me.) and are able to save a lot more money that used to go straight in the gas tank.

My bike is seeing more road time this year. I don’t think I even got on my poor road bike last year. This year, it’s tuned and ready to go at any minute!


Maybe with our new savings we will get a second car. But, definitely not until fall. I wouldn’t want to miss a summer of walking and riding around town. 🙂


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