Car-Free Update And Stuff You Need To Read

Car-Free Update

November is done and we lived half of it car-free. Verdict: so far, so easy.

We had one two-hour rental with ZipCar ($21.84) and one full day rental from Budget ($44.58 including a $10 fee to drive into Washington state). ZipCar was for a bunch of errands I saved up that ended up taking about 90 minutes. It was so EASY to pick up the car and actually faster than going down to our third level parking spot and getting out of the garage. Also – and is this wrong? – I enjoyed driving a new car. It was fun and so relaxing to just lock it and walk away. Chris had a show in the states this month and also had some errands to run a bit farther afield. He picked up a rental car at noon and then returned it at 5am. Rental was the way to go in that case.

As for money flowing the other way: after fees, our insurance only kicked back $20 to us from the $145 we pay monthly. Boo fees.

We have had one call about renting our parking stall and it’s not looking too promising as there are a lot of them free in the building right now. But with our visitor parking and our parking stall available we had a friend use one and family use the other at the same time. Good karma points for us.

How are we feeling? Great. We’ve yet to have to put Henry and his behemoth car seat into a Zip or rental. He is probably happy about that as he hates the car. December will be a month of rentals as we will be heading out to visit family around Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Did I mention that as we were selling our car the engine light went on? Literally 12 hours before our buyer was coming back to do the paperwork the check engine light flashed on and stayed on. Chris talked to the buyer and he had a friend look into it. We knocked $100 off and the buyer decided to go for it because it was a great deal. I’m sure it was easily fixed but I am so glad it is is no longer our problem.

You can see a complete run down of our car-free budget and spending here.

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There are at least a dozen minimalist/frugal/life simplifying blogs I like to check in on. Confession: I don’t read them all every week. My son and life in general keeps me busy. And isn’t minimalism about having more time? Instead I skim through and check out whatever interests me each week. Sometimes I meet/find a new blog and go through the archives getting to know the writer and their slant on life. This week I spent a bit of time on Be More with Less by Courtney Carver and Frugal Babe. Both great and inspiring reads.

Here are a few posts that I really enjoyed:

When Sexy gets Dusty by Katy Dunnet at The Single Supplement. FYI she is just as funny and inspiring in person.

Christmas will cost $23,439.38 this year at Everyday Minimalist. This blogger has a day job and writes two blogs (FabulouslyBroke is the other one) and posts a lot – she is crazy prolific! Great links on debt and spending in her posts.

Couples and Money by Adam Baker at Man vs Debt. I love this topic and am always fascinated to hear how couples manage money together. Chris and I have completely joint finances so I am always intrigued by those that don’t and how they manage it.

Slow Cooked Pork with Apple and Celery Mash at SimplyBeingMum. I’ve cleaned out my kitchen but every time I visit this lovely blog I want a slow cooker. Every. Time.

Have a great weekend!

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  • Buy one! Seriously best thing I ever did – apart from having the kids…
    I would strongly propose that they are very minimal – we holidayed in France this year in a small mobile home. I took my slow cooker – yes I know rather sad, but it’s part of the family… anyway good job I did as there was no oven! What a shock that was and rather optimistic of the French camp-site as we didn’t really have barbecuing weather. The baby didn’t let me down – we had lasagne, curry, spag bol etc… and it all cooked whilst we were out and about… Thanks for the mention – really appreciate it – Jo

  • I agree with Jo! I use our crock pot several times a week, and I’m always grateful for it when the house starts to smell amazing around dinner time, thanks to a tiny bit of effort I put in earlier in the day.
    Your car-free life sounds great. We live out in a small town with no rental services available, but we only use our cars occasionally (we put about 3000 miles/year on each car – we still have two, because they’re both 20 years old and we don’t know which one is more reliable…) Most of the time, we walk or bike, and find it to be a much more satisfying way to get around.
    Thanks for mentioning my blog!

    • Okay: officially looking for a crock pot. I already slow cook something once a week using the stove so this would be easier and more energy efficient. Thanks for the encouragement =)

    • Thanks =) We are trying. Totally open to the idea that life could change and we will need a car. I think it will be harder with older children and moving them around to soccer practice, etc, etc. But… I’m already thinking of strategies to combat over scheduling. Hoping you can pave the way on this.

  • Isn’t it funny how things with cars start to go wrong when you decide to sell them. It’s as if they’re saying, “ha you can’t get rid of me that easily.” My car is getting all her bits and bobs fixed and spruced up ready for sale at the moment and then on our way out the other night one of those horrid warning lights suddenly sprung forth on the dashboard. Lilo was all doom and despair, “oh no, this is bad, this is the transmission”. Ironically it was on the anti-pollution thingy in the exhaust but that isn’t covered under my “platinum warrenty”, whereas the transmission is. All good reasons to ditch cars asap!

  • We have a slow cooker you can borrow from time to time. We use it just often enough to justify keeping it, but seldom enough that you could totally borrow it.

  • I wish I could go car free. The city we live in just isn’t conducive to that. We are one of the worst biking cities in the country and the public transportation is horrid. We’ve actually been a three car family for a while now, and I’m happy to say that we are ridding ourselves of our third vehicle. All our vehicles are paid for, but I’m looking forward to the maintenance and insurance savings. I love to read about your car free experiences.

    • I did my undergrad in Seattle – a great city but difficult to live in car-free. Car-free isn’t possible for everyone. Small steps, right? Getting rid of a third vehicle is a good start.

  • Slowcookers are the best thing ever! I would highly recommend buying one. They do take up a pretty good amount of counter top space, but you can do SO much with them, and it is usually one put cooking. So not much for cleanup!

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