As a parent, you know to look forward to, or at least think ahead of time about, certain changes, transitions, your kids will go through, and the implications for the rest of the family, particularly budgetary implications. Yeah I know that’s a long comma-filled thought, but I think it’s grammatically correct enough.
To some degree, and maybe this is because I’m a heavy-duty planner, I thought about things like the cost of school lunches and clubs and back-to-school clothes and whatnot. I even thought (a little) about weddings and college educations. Maybe that’s better than most, I don’t know.
I didn’t think much about the whole car situation. We hadn’t really planned on buying our kids their first cars, we didn’t encourage them to create any car-focused savings. We didn’t have a plan at all, really. And, honestly maybe that’s fine. I’m not pushing the notion that parents should be responsible for supplying their children with vehicles (or paying for their weddings or college educations or school lunches, for that matter). I’m just saying we had zero plan.
What happened then, at least with Keaton (our first driver) is that she basically assumed primary drivership of my vehicle when I started cycling to work. I mean it makes sense, my car was sitting idle in the garage and someone may as well use it. That’s been the case now for about a year. I rarely drive my car, and I’m used to not having a vehicle here on-demand even when I’m not at work.
And, really, it really hasn’t even been a thing. I don’t miss driving (I still drive, just way less), nor have I wound-up in a bunch of frustrating situations where I’m stranded without a vehicle. When Sharaun and I need separate vehicles, we give Keaton advanced notice and work out how we’re going to make things work. It’s been a non-issue.
So to the point of my post: I have proposed to Sharaun, and she’s agreed, that when Keaton heads to school, wherever that may be, we’re going to “gift” her my car (which is basically already her car) and attempt to not replace it with a second car for the family (minus Keaton). We’re going to give being a one-car family a shot, see how it works for us.
I know there will be some instances where it’ll be inconvenient and frustrating. But the tens of thousands we’d save not buying a 2nd car could buy a ton of public transportation or rideshare rides before we’d break even. Heck if a longer-term need arises maybe even renting a vehicle for a week or so.
I’m eager to see how it works. I think it’ll be a good exercise in humility and good humor for me, since Sharaun will be the one with all-time access to a vehicle and I’m the one volunteering to go without. My bike gets me to work and back, and with coordination and patience I think we can handle the rest.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Hugs.