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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
we are in a really tight spot right now and are probably going to be doing a voluntary repo on our car next week. we only have one car, but our payment on it is $895... and we just aren't able to make ends meet right now. so im wondering if anyone has car-less success stories you can tell me. we will be getting an old volvo or something to drive around town shortly, but we have to save up some money. i have a 17 month old and another on the way in october! what do you think?
 

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I'm sorry if this seems rude or just plain nosy but can I please ask what kind of car you had to be paying $895 a month on??
You'll probably do fine for a while with a toddler and a baby you'll be plenty busy so it will be okay not to go out much. i think how well depends on what type of town or city you live in. Do you have things in walking distance or buses and such.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
we have a volkswagen touareg, and we had negative equity on the trade in that rolled into our monthly payments. it was actually cheaper than what we were paying for 2 cars, and we are living in the city, so we didnt need 2 cars...
 

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Hi there, I think it really depends on what you can walk/bike to nearby. I see you are in Portland but am wondering if you are in the city or more sub-urban.

We just moved to the bay area, and although we brought our old beater with us, we don't even need it. My husband bikes to work and I use the car twice a week, but only for convenience, I usually walk to the grocery store and parks for playgroups.

Of course in the colder months I don't know if this will be possible.

Where I lived before, there was no way I could not have a car, even though I was technically in a city, it was Tucson and it was not pedestrian friendly, and everything was way too spread out.

Good luck!
 

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We have never had a car but, and I expect this makes a big difference, we live in a small city, close to the city centre and have easy access with reasonable public transport.

Admittedly having a car would sometimes be more convenient but we manage. Online shopping (especially for groceries) certainly makes life easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
oh man! i didnt think about shopping online for groceries! that makes me feel so much better. cause i was mostly worried about not having a way to get to the grocery store.
 

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We lived in Chicago from June 2004 - February 2009 without a car. It is very easy to live in a city with decent public transport.

For groceries we had delivery through Jewel Osco (cheaper than shopping online). We would go shop at Jewel and then they would deliver.

Another thing to look into is to see if your city has a car co-op program. Chicago has both IGo and ZipCar. ($25 annual membership, $8/hr rental that covers rental, gas and insurance).

It can be done!!
 

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have a peek around, there was another thread just like this with good ideas! anyway, yes, we go without a car, but we also live in a city with good transport. we joined a car-share, though we hardly use it here...i never do. i have a shopping trolley (a rolser) that i pull along with me, or just use the stroller for shopping. my little one is very good and can go a long way on her balance bike, which people don't mind on sidewalks, and my big one can go on her razor scooter. you can spend more money on a bike if you aren't paying for a car - my father commutes on his bike to work all the time, it is electric assisted- it charges when you pedal it, but you can have it help you up hills
we look at it this way: if you aren't even paying for insurance, which for us was easily 100+/month, you could just put that money towards taxicabs now and then, if you really need something. some cities have minicabs...private cab companies that cost less..we use those to do major garden shopping or transporting things. lots of places do deliver. also, sometimes friends are willing
you'll probably be healthier from walking, truly understand what buying local is, and enjoy what is around you more. my stress level is SO much lower being carless.

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Quote:

Originally Posted by artparent View Post
have a peek around, there was another thread just like this with good ideas! anyway, yes, we go without a car, but we also live in a city with good transport. we joined a car-share, though we hardly use it here...i never do. i have a shopping trolley (a rolser) that i pull along with me, or just use the stroller for shopping. my little one is very good and can go a long way on her balance bike, which people don't mind on sidewalks, and my big one can go on her razor scooter. you can spend more money on a bike if you aren't paying for a car - my father commutes on his bike to work all the time, it is electric assisted- it charges when you pedal it, but you can have it help you up hills
we look at it this way: if you aren't even paying for insurance, which for us was easily 100+/month, you could just put that money towards taxicabs now and then, if you really need something. some cities have minicabs...private cab companies that cost less..we use those to do major garden shopping or transporting things. lots of places do deliver. also, sometimes friends are willing
you'll probably be healthier from walking, truly understand what buying local is, and enjoy what is around you more. my stress level is SO much lower being carless.

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Your post makes me want to give my car up! I think I should wait and see how I feel about that in the winter though.
 

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We were carfree until DS was 9. The first 6 years were fantastic. Being carfree forced us to walk more. To stop and plan out our day. We spent so much bonding time together on the metro, on the bus, walking around the neighborhood. It was great. I don't regret being carfree for those years at all.

6 to 9 was hard. DS attended a charter school across town and getting there without a car was a pain. Not having a car dictated which friends he played with outside of school, which was annoying. DS also began to play sports and travelling to and from a soccer game could eat up most of the day. I ended up spending a lot of money on taxis, and constantly feeling like I was oweing other people for driving my kid places. When I got the car last year it was amazing how much of an improvement it led to in our quality of life. I also did the math, and between paying for taxis, paying more to shop at stores in our neighborhood, paying to eat out because I picked him up at school and we were an hour away from home (10 minutes by car) and both starving etc . . . the car ended up saving me a forture. This was not true when he was little, or when he was in Kindergarten at our local school, and I worked up the street. If I had known how much of a difference it would make, I would have done it a few years earlier.
 

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Why not file chapter 13 and keep the car, especially if you are going to damage yourcredit?

We are not carfree but we only have 1 reliable car. The other is only used if I am home alone and I need to go to the market.

Only having one car is the source of most of my misery, but I live in Houston, TX. If I lived in say NYC, DC, or even back home in Atlanta living without a car would not be bad. The better the public transportation in your town, the better an experience you will have.
 

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We have one car, but only my husband drives it

I hate driving, and am generally terrified of it

I have found that staying home more = saving more money. We do weekly "chore" days where we run errands, and we have play dates and momma friends go places with us, but mostly we are here hanging! I also hired a part time helper to do our "driving" if we found a museum or play date we wanted to go to, and that's worked and is much much cheaper than a second car would be, plus I don't have to drive.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mommariffic View Post
We have one car, but only my husband drives it

I hate driving, and am generally terrified of it

I have found that staying home more = saving more money. We do weekly "chore" days where we run errands, and we have play dates and momma friends go places with us, but mostly we are here hanging! I also hired a part time helper to do our "driving" if we found a museum or play date we wanted to go to, and that's worked and is much much cheaper than a second car would be, plus I don't have to drive.
You sound like me, I hate driving and simply don't do it....as for the OP, living a carfree life IMO only works well if you love someplace with excellent public transit. I was born and raised in Chicago and stayed there till I was almost 30 and never drove and I had my eldest child there and it was not an issue.

I live in areas that had great buses and trains and in many case a car would have been a PITA as far as parking. However I now live in Maine and even though I live in a small walkable town, life without a car is limiting. Even to the point that as much as a I hate driving now that my youngest is getting older, I may have to bite the bullet and just drive.

I find in places where its more of a car culture its hard juggling kids with no car, we pass on many playdates because my dh can't drive us and in many places you simply can't get there without a car.
 

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you might want to check into car-co-ops and car shares, these businesses are growing and can be very useful to have access to. we really liked it in vancouver, canada, where we lived outside of the city so the transit wasn't great. it meant that if we both needed a car at the same time, no problem (we were both members) and if i needed a minivan or a truck, i could get one (with some planning) and if my partner wanted to arrive at a client's in a pretty austin mini, he could do that too.


i could join the carshare in london and might in future, if we really want to do more things further out, but for now we can use the bus + the tube and we're happy. we're homeschooling, so there's certainly enough going on all over the city that we could travel to, but i'm trying to keep it simple, local, frugal, and stress-free.



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My dh and I only have one car and use it very seldomly, we are mostly car free. And recently we've had car troubles so we've really been car free lately.

For us it hasn't been too hard - groceries are the biggest problem and even that is doable. We have 3 grocery stores on our bus route and one in walking distance, and I have one of those fold up traveling carts. DH bikes to work everyday, and I bus or walk wherever I need to go - the bank, the grocery store, friends' houses, doctor appts.

We save a ton of money by not having a car. Not only costs associated with cars, but no more last minute fast food trips or trips to restaurants, and since going shopping isn't as easy as just mindlessly hopping in the car we tend to only go when absolutely necessary and we have something specific we *need*. Our outings lately consist of walking to the beach nearby, walking to dq for a cone (2 miles away!), taking the bus or riding the bike to the library, bringing a book and letting dd play in the fountain downtown, geocaching nearby - stuff like that. Mostly we just hang out at home and garden, play in the sprinkler, watch TV in the evenings. I have to say, this summer has been easy and slow compared to many others.

Thing is, in our small city people are always telling me there is NO WAY they could be car free, when in reality they could and they just don't know it because they haven't tried. Our bus system is better than most people expect it to be and anywhere it doesn't go exactly it usually goes near enough you can walk.
 

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For $895 you could probably go a month without a car, save that months car payment and buy a beater that you no longer have to make payments on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
you guys are awesome! i have learned so much. i do agree that it will actually be a blessing to not have a car, and we do plan on saving and buying an old volvo. but untill then all that money that would be going to the car will be able to be used to pay off some of our other debt. so... yeah a repo might hurt our credit, but in the end i am hoping we will have less debt because of it... i would rather have less debt, and a bad mark on our credit. i figure tht with the economy the way it is now... millions of people have to be going through financial hardships that are gonna ruin their credit. im just hoping that in the near future it will be forgivable considering the way the economy is...

im gonna look into a car co-op. that sounds great. i live in portland, or, so transportation is great.
 

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are you leasing the car? you can't just sell it on rather than doing a repossession? i was in a lease, they wanted us to pay them $$$$ to buy it from us...but i swung an awesome deal and sold it *to the car co-op* for the total price...then joined the car co-op.


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