An experiment

We got some bad news this week, in the form of our mechanic telling us that my ’99 Saturn is still running, against all odds. He actually said, “I don’t know how it’s still going.” So I started looking at Consumer Reports car buying guide online and searching used car sites.

We’ll just be getting our emergency fund fully stocked again at the end of this month, so having to tap it for a new vehicle was not going to be fun, but would be do-able. Then my husband and I talked last night and decided we would try an experiment: only use one car.

We live within easy walking distance of my workplace, and biking distance to his workplace. He said he would commit to biking if I could walk to work. This way, we can park the Saturn in our garage, and leave our newer car (a 2005 Ford Focus purchased in 2010 with cash) at home. Since we work opposite shifts, this could work, and attempting it in December/January will show us whether or not we could stick with it in warmer weather.

The plan is that I would walk to work in the morning, and the car would be at home during the day for him to run errands and go to appointments. Then he would leave for work in the late afternoon, and I would walk home and have the car for evening errands, and to visit my parents on the other end of town, and then he’d be home after I’ve gone to bed. If the weather is really too bad to walk/bike, we can work out other options (dropping each other off, rides from friends, etc.).

We’ll drop back the debt snowball for a few more months to save a bit more, in case we decide that we really do need two vehicles. And I’m going to buy some new mittens.

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4 thoughts on “An experiment

  1. Good luck with the experiment! We had only one vehicle for about a year, and there were a few tough situations but generally it worked really well. We used that year to save up to buy a second vehicle with cash. I hope it works well for you, too!

  2. I think we’ve decided to run the Saturn into the ground, since leaving it parked might actually cause it to die faster. Even getting another month or two out of it would let us save more for a replacement, and allow us to wait for the ‘right’ car instead of the ‘right now’ car.

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  4. We had only one vehicle for about a year as well, and it worked out much better than we thought. Biking to work was a much more viable option than I had realized before I just started doing it.

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