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Lifestyle Design: How Much Would We Save By Selling One Car?

12 June 2008 2 Comments

I often think about the lifestyle that our culture reinforces on us each day.  The lifestyle that is generally accepted.  For most people, the lifestyle says that (barring any financial issues), most families will have two cars, whether they have kids or not.  Well, we are very fortunate, and my wife and I have two cars.  We also are about to start working together.

I have a strong desire to see what it would be like to only have one car between us.  I admit, it would be much easier for us since we work at the same place, but it is still something that seems abnormal.  If I told a friend that we are considering going to a one car lifestyle, I would get a weird look from them.  Why would you want to do that?  Well, several reasons. 

An Experiment

Part of me would like to see what it is like to live on one car with my wife just to see how it would change our lives.  Would we depend on each other more?  Would we spend more time together (riding together)?  Would it really crimp our lifestyle so much that we can never do the things we want to do?  Maybe it would teach us to appreciate the things we have more and how blessed we really are?

I recommend the following exercise.  Let’s say that if you lost your job, and needed to cut back expenses immediately, you decided to sell a car and share one car with your wife.  This was a forced action due to losing your job.  Would it really be that bad?  Many people are forced with this scenario every day, and they get by just fine.

The Savings Over Six Months

I performed an analysis of selling my wife’s car: a 2003 3-Series BMW, with 90,000 miles on it.  If we were able to sell the car for $12,500, put that money in savings account, and drop auto insurance, we could save the following over a period of six months:

  • Earn approx. $250 in interest from the $12,500 earned from sale of the car
  • Save approx. $750 in auto insurance
  • Save approx. $250 in estimated maintenance costs
  • Save approx. $500 in gas
  • TOTAL: $1750 in six months or almost $300 a month savings

Overall, I think that it is an interesting experiment.  We have not made a decision on whether we are going to move forward with such a move.  However, depending on your financial scenario, maybe such a move would make sense in your life.  You might find it improves your marriage and helps you put away more money each month!  Not bad!


  • RandomManatee said:

    Interesting commentary. My wife and I work at the same office as well. At first we commuted separately but have grown from 1 carpool day a week to usually 4, sometimes 3 or 5. The challenge is when either of us wants/needs to work late at the office. Generally we can VPN from home, but sometimes we have to stay. This causes the other one to stop doing whatever we are doing and go back to pick the other one up (7 miles each way).

    We’ve considered becoming a 1-car household. We’re likely going to take the plunge after I finish my current big project.

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