an experiement in car-less-ness

My income has the potential to vary radically from month to month. Generally it’s pretty consistent, but this month…ouch.

So I did that thing we all do when we need to cut costs and I reviewed what I could reasonably cut out of my budget. And I came back to the thing that I always come back to.

My car payment.

Aside from rent, it’s my biggest single expense.

When I was married, TheHub and I had two cars. One that was paid for and one that was not. When we split, he took the paid for one and I took the car payment. I loved that car.

But for a single mama with an unpredictable income, a car payment just isn’t practical and I finally accepted that.

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The Ex graciously traded me cars last week so that I could, in turn, sell the van (the paid-for car) and buy a cheaper, smaller car outright, eliminating my car payment and reducing my gas and insurance costs. I sold the van and spent a very stressful weekend trying to find a compact car that wasn’t a piece of crap but was within my very limited budget. Apparently that car doesn’t exist.

As I sat there stalking Craigslist, growing more and more stressed out I suddenly had an idea.

What if I did nothing. What if I didn’t buy a car.

I mean, I recently bought an adorable vintage cruiser. And I work from home and I live two blocks from a grocery store and pharmacy, not to mention that I rarely leave a 2 mile radius of my house. A car is just a totally frivolous luxury for me, really.

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I had a talk with The Ex and he agreed to help me with transporting the kids. And then he mentioned that he had friends who loved ZipCar. I looked it up and it turns out there is a ZipCar lot two blocks from my house.

So that pretty much sealed the deal for me.

I decided to go car-less.

And I’m kind of excited about it.

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I should get my ZipCar card this week and I can’t wait to try it out. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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