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where's your line?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

on minimalism

 

for example, we have more than 1 car.  We would not be happy being that dependent on each other, we do not live where there is good public transit, and what do you do if the 1 breaks down?

 

we own enough sand toys to share when we go to the park.  it's inevitable others will want to play and i think it is important that they can and learn through that.

post #2 of 10

As far as cars go, we had at one point talked about being a one car family but with our son's recent anaphylactic peanut allergy diagnosis there is no way we can be "stranded" at home with no vehicle should he somehow have a reaction to something seemingly innocuous that was tainted with peanuts...and driving DH to and from work so that I could have the car would never work, since he leaves for work at 5am, about two hours before our early-rising kiddo wakes up.

 

So for us our line right now is that until my husband has a location independent job that we will continue to be a two car family...but our vehicles are a leased Kia Soul as our family car and a paid off little Ford Ranger for DH's daily driver...so we are still making a smaller impact on the planet by not driving hulking obnoxious vehicles!!

post #3 of 10

Ah... I share a car with my mother who moved in with me to save money last June before Mr. Moo was born (I pay rent and bills, she provides babysitting and a car!), but we live one block from extremely reliable, efficient, plentiful and clean public transportation, live half a mile from a hospital, and in a city large enough that I trust the EMS to send an ambulance in a very short time period should that be necessary (and also in a neighborhood where I can rely on at least three neighbors with varying schedules).

 

I think minimalism is what you make it. The bare necessities. Everyone's priorities are so different. If I lived somewhere else or had a different situation I might make having a second car a priority (I can think of a lot of places and situations I've been in where this set up would not work), but for now just having one car works. 

post #4 of 10

My line changes based on our needs.  We are thinking about getting a second vehicle in the next year or two, because DH needs the car for work and the kids are getting too big to stay home all day, and I can't really manage three little ones on public transit.  

 

Also, I would be fine with just one set of sheets and blankets per bed, but the kids pee in the night sometimes and I line dry, so two sets it is.

 

I am constantly evaluating what we have to see if we still need it, or if the reasons I had something to begin with have changed.

post #5 of 10

*


Edited by LoveOurBabies - 2/18/13 at 1:52am
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveOurBabies View Post

I hope I don't offend anyone but...

 

I think two cars are a must for most families, especially when one parent stays at home. Think emergencies with a young child - Are you always going to call an ambulance and rely on them being here in time? Are you going to call for a taxi and hope they come before the condition gets any worse? It's always quicker and easier to hop into the car within seconds notice and drive to the hospital, unless like Mommel mentioned, you live close to a hospital. Hopefully, an occassion like this never arises.. But always better to be safe than sorry. I put this up there with having a proper first aid kit and fire safety equipment in the house.


I agree. I would definitely have two cars for us if I could afford it, but fortunately I don't have to make it a priority over other things we need because of our location. If we had a different situation I might choose to live in a studio or work full time instead of finishing my degree so that we could have two cars. As it is, I feel like I'm just lucky that my mom moved in with me and chooses to share her car with me, otherwise I would be relying on public transit 100% and relying on the ambulance all the time in the event of an emergency.

 

Every situation is different. Just because most families would benefit from having two cars doesn't mean every family makes it a priority. Same goes for a LOT of things. Being safe to avoid being sorry is a luxury that some people just can't afford. I like that about minimalism in particular. Each individual gets to make their own decisions about what is necessary and what is not and no one else gets to decide that for any of us, right? orngbiggrin.gif

 

 

post #7 of 10

FYI, I just found this great blog about going car-free or car-light with kids... http://carfreecambridge.com/2010/01/in-praise-of-car-light-families/

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommel View Post


I agree. I would definitely have two cars for us if I could afford it, but fortunately I don't have to make it a priority over other things we need because of our location. If we had a different situation I might choose to live in a studio or work full time instead of finishing my degree so that we could have two cars. As it is, I feel like I'm just lucky that my mom moved in with me and chooses to share her car with me, otherwise I would be relying on public transit 100% and relying on the ambulance all the time in the event of an emergency.

 

Every situation is different. Just because most families would benefit from having two cars doesn't mean every family makes it a priority. Same goes for a LOT of things. Being safe to avoid being sorry is a luxury that some people just can't afford. I like that about minimalism in particular. Each individual gets to make their own decisions about what is necessary and what is not and no one else gets to decide that for any of us, right? orngbiggrin.gif

 

 


Oh look, I agree mama, hence why I put my 'I don't want to offend anyone' bit. Everyone's circumstances are different, finances are different, which is why I emphasized 'most families' and did not say 'all'. Of course, there will be families in situations where a car is not necessary and we were once one of them believe it or not! orngbiggrin.gif Once we became a family of five and moved out even further, somehow the camel's back broke.

 

I know I came on a little strong, but that's because:

a) I've been burnt by public transport many times - drivers that don't stop, drivers that don't come on time (which will make me miss the next bus/train swap)

b) been in emergency situations where a car was vital AND I did not have a car - I do not ever want to be in that situation again

c) am constantly annoyed by the general assumption in minimalist circles that having a car, let alone two, puts you out of the game

 

I completely understand about not being able to afford every luxury and having to prioritize some things over others. We saved and went without to buy our cars (both used) and dh maintains them. We have very basic insurance. We aren't rich by any means. Having a car at home for me, is not a luxury, it's a necessity. I'd be happy to elaborate and share some ridiculous stories and scenarios that I've unfortunately had to bear, as a result of having no private transport (like how it takes me 6 bus-train swaps and four and a half hours of travel to pick up my child from school every day, when in reality it's only a 40 minute round trip by car or how a train conductors utter impatience left my four year old child stranded on a platform while her mummy/siblings were still in the train).

 

I'm happy that having your mom move in has made the car sharing easier. It wasn't my intention to make anyone feel bad or any less if they didn't make it a priority to have a car with them at all times, so apologies if it came across that way.. It was more so put there to stimulate internal discussion and offer a different perspective on why some people wouldn't choose to go out without a second car, even if they were aspiring minimalists. I was very pro-public transport and one-car-at-most for a long, long time but that's because I had the priviledge of being in a suburb where hospitals were close, public transport was reliable and frequent, family were close by and I had two children to cart along with me. Now that I've been on the other side, I'm able to see that being a one or no car family is not always feasible, no matter how eco-friendly or minimal you want to be.

 

 

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveOurBabies View Post

I know I came on a little strong, but that's because:

a) I've been burnt by public transport many times - drivers that don't stop, drivers that don't come on time (which will make me miss the next bus/train swap)

b) been in emergency situations where a car was vital AND I did not have a car - I do not ever want to be in that situation again

c) am constantly annoyed by the general assumption in minimalist circles that having a car, let alone two, puts you out of the game

 

I completely understand about not being able to afford every luxury and having to prioritize some things over others. We saved and went without to buy our cars (both used) and dh maintains them. We have very basic insurance. We aren't rich by any means. Having a car at home for me, is not a luxury, it's a necessity. I'd be happy to elaborate and share some ridiculous stories and scenarios that I've unfortunately had to bear, as a result of having no private transport (like how it takes me 6 bus-train swaps and four and a half hours of travel to pick up my child from school every day, when in reality it's only a 40 minute round trip by car or how a train conductors utter impatience left my four year old child stranded on a platform while her mummy/siblings were still in the train).

 

I'm happy that having your mom move in has made the car sharing easier. It wasn't my intention to make anyone feel bad or any less if they didn't make it a priority to have a car with them at all times, so apologies if it came across that way.. It was more so put there to stimulate internal discussion and offer a different perspective on why some people wouldn't choose to go out without a second car, even if they were aspiring minimalists. I was very pro-public transport and one-car-at-most for a long, long time but that's because I had the priviledge of being in a suburb where hospitals were close, public transport was reliable and frequent, family were close by and I had two children to cart along with me. Now that I've been on the other side, I'm able to see that being a one or no car family is not always feasible, no matter how eco-friendly or minimal you want to be.

 

All very true... I am very lucky to live in a city that has one of the cleanest, most efficient and above all, reliable transportation systems in the US, not to mention it rivals Beijing for being bicycle friendly. orngbiggrin.gif

post #10 of 10

We've needed two cars in the past, and part of the reason we only need one at the moment is because DH works just 5 minutes from home.  He can walk to work or I can drop him off if I need to take the car, and then he can sometimes use a work vehicle once he is there.  

 

I can't IMAGINE having my four year old stranded on a platform, LoveOurBabies.  The thought terrifies me.  Fears like that are part of why I am cutting waaaaaaaay back on my public transit use and why we are planning on a second vehicle once we can pay cash, I just worry way too much about keeping a hold of three little ones.

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