Thursday, January 5, 2012

Being a One Car Family

Are you in debt?  Do you wish that you had more money (or any money) left over at the end of the month?  Well, if you really want that and are ready to make some changes, this may work for you and get you headed in the right direction. 

Recently, God led me to resign from a leadership position so I could focus more on my family.   Once the decision was made, we knew that some changes would need to happen.  My compensation package included a $500 monthly car allowance which we used to make the car payment for my car and pay for the insurance.  It was a really great perk and a really great car...  Did I say it was a really great car?  Oh...I guess I did...

Anyway, we are trying to teach our kids the difference between a "want" and a "need".   Have you ever heard the saying that more is caught than what is taught?  Well, this was a moment where we could choose to make a decision that might cause some inconvenience in our daily lives, but free us up financially to do other pay off debt and have money in savings.  By freeing us from that monthly obligation, that would give us choices.

According to an article on, after the mortgage payment, car costs usually account for the next biggest expense in a family's budget.  Over a five year period, if you were to save the cost of that second vehicle, you could have as much as $62, just 5 years!

Has it been an inconvenience to have only one vehicle?  Well, yes and no.  The yes part is that I can't just jump in the car on a whim and go somewhere.  And maybe with the price of gas these days that isn't a bad thing.  (Remember the "want" vs. "need" thing?)  What it has caused us to do is plan and to compromise.  Tom has been great about this and that has been crucial to this working out.  I get the truck on Thursdays and Fridays.  Thursday afternoons are my time for myself where I can run errands, meet with a friend, or go to a coffee shop to decompress.  Fridays I might take the kids somewhere to go for a little hike, to the park, etc.  On those days we take Tom to work.  After work we either pick him up, he gets a ride from his employee, or he brings home the work van.

If you think this could work for you, I would encourage you to park that second vehicle for a month and give yourself a trial period.  After 30 days, I think you'll have a really good idea if this is going to be a "hit" or a "miss" for you.

I understand that every family's circumstances are different.  This may or may not work for you, but it could stir those creative juices in getting your family in a better financial position!

Live in Victory!  Lynette

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