One car? Seriously?Posted: April 26, 2012
Yep…one car. Can a family get by with one car? Again, one of those crazy plans that we put into motion…
It’s been a goal for a long time, but with one of us heading to Avondale, one of us to North Avondale and one of us to West Chester (all with start times of 8AM), it’s been a little challenging to accommodate.
I switched jobs in January and with all of us heading to the same vicinity each morning, we decided that the car payment really wasn’t a necessity anymore, and took the car we were still paying on to Honda East to beg them to take it off our hands. They did. Willingly.
Lessons we have learned from being a one car family:
1. Get the car detailed. We were slow on the draw with this rule, but I will readily say that after driving the car for almost 8 years, having almost 150000 miles on it, pounds of Cheerio dust slammed in the seats and Juicy Juice stickiness on the floor…paying the $150 to have it detailed was SO well worth it. Though we aren’t spending a tremendous amount of time in the car because our commute is minimal, we are still in it…together…and this togetherness is so much nicer when we’re not trying to figure out where the stench is coming from in the backseat.
2. Make a family transportation calendar. Though this has been shot to hell with my foot injury (Chad is now in the habit of saying “anything else, Ms. Daisy?” when he drops me off at work every morning with my scooter), it’s helpful to plan out who is going where, when, and who is responsible to get the kid to and from school on time.
3. Scope out alternative transportation methods. We are lucky enough that our job provides a shuttle that runs from work to Fountain Square. I will readily admit it would be much more difficult without this as if one of us needs to go in early or stay late, we can do that without a problem (as long as the other adult can get the car to get the kid). We don’t work on the same campus so sometimes it can take some finagling to get to the car, but it’s usually manageable. The Metro is a definite option for us (though we haven’t mastered it yet), a bike (though shower facilities would need to be found at work after we biked up the Vine Street hill), or running (again, showering would be nice…though running home is a nice change of pace). And the streetcar…ah, the streetcar!!!
4. Make sure you have a second key. Preferably with a second remote for keyless entry because dammit…it’s hard to juggle a backpack, keys, and the scooter for the invalid of the family when you don’t have a remote.
5. Like your family. If you enjoy a quiet commute, know that it is no more once you shrink to one car. Whether it’s a chatty cathy 6 year old in the back seat, or a difference of opinion in regard to radio choice…you kind of have to like them and be willing to compromise.
6. Be active. It’s oftentimes easier to grab the bike, or just walk out the door to get places (food, pharmacy, grocery, market, theater, playground, movies, etc), then to get the car and figure out parking. Though some of these places are a decent hike, they are all doable…even with Soph…because we’re relatively in shape and feel it’s important to remain so.
7. Know that sometimes it’s not possible to be in 2 places at the same time – we have to prioritize. Adults always win. (just kidding, Soph…)
Think about it…let us know if you’re in. Maybe we can carpool sometime.