In tight economic times many people are looking for creative ways to save money. But what if you’ve slimmed your budget down to the necessities, cut out the extras and are still trying to find a few more ways to save a buck or two? Have you ever considered taking your family from a two-car household down to one?
Here are some suggestions if you’ve ever thought about becoming a one-car family.
Plan it out
Once you decide that being a one-car family makes sense for you, make a plan.
Is one person going to have the car all the time when the other finds an alternate method of transportation?
Or will you switch it up and each take a few days a week to be able to drive? Sit down together and map out your typical week.
How will each member of your family get to work, school and other extracurricular activities like sporting events and sleepovers? Be prepared to sacrifice for the good of your family.
Do a test run
For at least a week, test out being a one-car family before you actually become one. This way, you’ll see if it’s actually a feasible money-saver for your family before you sell your second ride. Try it out by parking your other car in the garage for a week to see if your family can continue to run smoothly with only one set of wheels.
You’ll quickly learn if it will be a worthwhile endeavor or too big of a headache. But remember, you must be prepared to compromise and be flexible. It will no doubt take some effort and sacrifice, but what valuable money-saving solutions don’t?
If working from home isn’t an option, at least one of you will need an alternative way to get to and from work without a car if it’s not possible to drive together. Consider carpooling with a co-worker. Or take the bus, train, subway or ride a bike to work.
See if your kids can take the bus to and from school or ask a class mate’s parent if they’d be willing to pick them up and drop them off on the days when you don’t have a vehicle.With a little foresight and a bit of creativity, you’re sure to find the alternate methods of transportation you need to make your one-car family work.
Prepare to save money
When you lose your family’s second vehicle, you will be saving a lot more than just your monthly auto lease or auto loan payment. You will save money on gas, car maintenance and even car insurance. Although don’t expect your car insurance to drop by half.
Most insurance companies offer multiple car insurance discounts when you insure more than one car, so when you drop that second car’s insurance, you may also lose your discount. However, another way to save is to apply to refinance your auto loan .
Secure a lower interest rate or change your repayment terms and save on interest over the long run. It’s just one more way becoming a one-car family will put more money in your pocket.
From cutting down on your carbon footprint to cutting out a large line item on your budget, becoming a one-car family definitely has its benefits. But the key to any big change like this is to plan ahead and be prepared to make sacrifices for the good of your whole family. And if you do, you’re sure to save money to reach your financial goals.