Making the Shift Away From Being a One Car Family

One of the thoughts that kind of caught me off guard about having another baby is the realization that we can’t get by with just my husband’s car for much longer. While I don’t drive much, I will need to do a bit more when my daughter is born and has all the usual doctor’s appointments.

Not to mention that our current car is a 4 seater, incapable of seating a family of 5. The middle seat in back is cupholders. The car is also too narrow for another car seat.

So we need a car that can seat 5 comfortably, two of which are legally required to be in car seats, and the third who really doesn’t mind having a booster seat make it easier for her to see out the window. That’s perilously close to needing a minivan, which is one possibility we’re considering for the sheer comfort. I know my oldest daughter won’t be too comfortable being squeezed into even a wide backseat with two car seats beside her. But she may have to cope.

A lot depends on our budget, which is minimal to say the least. We’re trying, but it takes time to save up, even with my inlaws being willing to help out. They’ve suggested that they provide a down payment for something new, but I don’t trust my husband’s job stability enough to want to risk monthly payments. It’s just pushing things a little too far.

I did have to tell my husband that saving a mere $50 a month, his first suggestion, wasn’t exactly going to get us anywhere towards a decent car. Too little time.

We do intend to mostly live as though we only have the one car, assuming it will still be the most fuel efficient. The goal is to only use the second car when we need the space or I have to do something while my husband’s at work. We figure we can at least minimize how much gas we use that way.

Besides, I have a very solid habit of driving very rarely just now, and I’d like to keep it that way.

I had considered the possibility of using public transportation, and selling our current car once we have a second one, but I can’t see that working with my current obligations. One child in first grade. Another in speech therapy 10 miles away, no good bus route to it. Add in doctor’s appointments, which have a slightly better chance of being reasonable by bus, and things get difficult due to time.

We currently cope with the speech therapy by having my husband work the latest shift possible at his job. That means he starts at 11 am and leaves work at 7 pm. That sucks for family time, though. Our daughter in particular resents it because she sees so little of her daddy. They both got a little spoiled during the time he was out of work, I think.

Overall, I don’t feel too bad about this. We’ve coped as a one car family for more than a year and a half. It’s been hard at times but we’ve learned a lot about planning our needs more carefully. It’s a lesson I feel confident we’ll take into the future.

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