Our Attempt at Being a One Car Family 

This year has been rough (financially) for our family.  I found out in July that I needed to have a major dental procedure.  That procedure ended up being multiple procedures and more major (and expensive) than we originally expected.  It was a huge shock to us.  We had been putting every last penny towards paying off our debt (student loans, credit card, car loan, etc.) and had not put anything more into our HSA this year. Boy did we pick a bad year to do that! We were able to put as much as we could into our HSA after we found out, which definitely helped but it still has been hard.

When things get hard financially I quickly jump to wanting to sell everything we own.  Seriously, it’s a bad habit.  Anyways, we did prayerfully consider me going back to work, pulling Madilyn from preschool, selling Ken’s car (that was paid off but took premium gas), moving, and a few other options to help our budget.  Going back to work was quickly ruled out because of the cost of two kids in childcare. It was not worth it for more reasons than just money.  We did pull Madilyn from preschool which saved us a good amount of money per month.

Finally, we prayerfully considered selling Ken’s car. We had been praying long before our financial shock of my dental procedures about selling his car; so when we decided to finally list it on Craigslist we were at peace.  It took about ten days to sell it and we were at peace with our decision.

So we became a one car family.

It has been about three months since we sold Ken’s car and there has only been one time that I wished we had two cars. One time! I am still shocked that it has been easier than I had anticipated. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it totally works. Ken has a flexible job and is able to work from home if and when needed.  We typically take Ken to work twice a week (Tuesday and Friday) so we can get out of the house to go to the library, museum, and grocery shop.  On the other days of the week, I make sure the girls and I get outside for a walk in the mornings.  I’m hopeful we keep the walks up, even though the high for the next week is 50 degrees because those walks have been my saving grace.

The one thing I miss most about having two cars is the ability and ease of attending daily mass. Now, it’s super hard to go alone with both girls but it refreshes my soul and the grace that is given to me on those days is beautiful. Ken has quite a few days off between now and the New Year, so I’m hopeful I’ll get to daily mass about once a week during Advent. 

Our goal is to make it as long as we can with one car.  Originally I told Ken one year minumum, basically when Madilyn starts Kindergarten next August we would reevaluate our situation.  However, the more I think about potential summer activities next summer (yes, I am a planner for better or worse), the more I am wondering if it won’t be possible to make it an entire year with one car. Only time will tell.  There is one thing we know for certain, it will be a cheap car, paid in cash, that is safe enough to get him to and from work.

Has your family ever purposely became a one car family?

Faithful servant striving for a humble heart


  1. We’ve been a one-car family since 2009 and we absolutely love it. We always choose to live within biking distance of my husband’s workplace, which is also in walking distance of mechanic, grocery store, library, and post office. It can be tricky, especially with 3 young children and evening commitments require driving, but we make it work by just not going to things that don’t work out logistically for our family, walking places, or carpooling. It has become part of our family culture!

    1. I always find it so amazing that there are still places you can live and bike or walk to most places. Unfortunately, that is not the case here but so far so good with only one car. 🙂

  2. Apparently Jen and I live the same life (minus a kid… We only have 2 littles 😉 )
    I can see that we may need 2 cars in the future, but I want to rock this lifestyle as long as possible… I keep reminding myself that in my husband’s family he was actually the first one to own a car -when he graduated from college! Prior to that his mum raised 4 kids with no car, in a 1000 sq ft house. I’ve got it good by comparison. Besides constraints foster creativity, right? 😉

    1. Wow!! How awesome to be able to raise kiddos without a car and in 1000 sq ft no less!! I want to rock this lifestyle for as long as we can too but with school on the horizon for our oldest, I’m not sure how long it will happen. Hopefully longer than I imagine.

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