Our One Year Car-Free Anniversary!

2:00 PM

Gram got to be cargo this summer. She LOVED it!

We can't believe it has been a year since we officially sold the car! What a year it has been. There have been challenges both annoying and fun. There has been a lot of walking, train rides, borrowing of in-laws car, a few bus rides, and one car rental.

What has happened, or been learned, this past year:

  • Selling the car and getting rid of car expenses means we have saved tons of money and were able to pay off most of our debt.
  • Brian has become the grocery shopper and now knows where things are in the store. :)
  • More time together as a family riding and being home.
  • Challenged ourselves and found we could ride 25 miles in a day, just not everyday.
  • Have learned to be out in weather that sucks! And chosen to not not go out in weather that sucks!
  • We realize how much we don't like to drive anymore. Long trips we took made the kids feel car sick and my head hurt. Short trips make us realize how much of a bubble you really are in when you drive.
  • Renting a car is a big hassle, expensive, and probably would have been better to have taken a cab to where we wanted to go.
  • Sometimes it sucks to not have a car when you are really tired, or really want to do something further away.
  • We have learned to plan events and outings a lot better.
  • Winters in NJ are harder because we are not a winter activity area. We live on the coast, so it pretty much becomes a ghost town here. Both a good and bad thing. Better for sanity on the roads, not for finding close things to do.
  • Our creativity in finding things to do, or create at home, has grown. We make a lot more art, yummy dinners, and sweet treats.
  • We have depended more on the kindness and help from family and close friends throughout the year. It has been humbling and made us appreciate those people even more. 

Overall our first year car-free has been really positive. We have gotten a hold of our finances, become more physically active, and have met great people while riding. Everyone has been nice and interested in our transportation choices. Of course we have heard the comment "what you are doing is great, but I could never do it because of abc..." over and over. Though, no one has ever been mean to us even while we are riding.

The biggest disappointment in being car-free in NJ is that it just doesn't have the infrastructure in the right places for riding a bike. It can be done and obviously we do it, but it's not fun most of the time. Sometimes it's downright terrifying. When we make our big move this spring we hope to be able to go to a place more bike/pedestrian friendly.

We don't ever want to purchase a car. If we ever have to it definitely will not be financed (biggest mistake for us EVAR!). It will be small and used only when needed, not for everyday transportation. Let's hope a car isn't in our future anyway. We like being car-free. Just wish we had done it sooner.















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10 comments

  1. Congratulations on your anniversary of being car-free! We got our first taste of biking as a family on Prince Edward Island this summer and went weeks at a time without getting in the car. It was wonderful :) We'll be parting with our car this spring, and while it has been kind of a "home" as we have lived on the road this past year and a half, we are excited to make the transition to public transportation in the coming months.

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    1. Thanks! We always say if we ever get a car it better be an RV or something to live in. Other than that we don't want a car if we can manage it. Hope your transition goes well.

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  2. Love it. now move to philadelphia and ride here. kthanks.

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    1. I'm definitely jealous of those bike paths you guys have!

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  3. Yeah for you! Paying some of that debt feels good. Sounds like a challenge with the lack of infrastructure but maybe you are the pioneers.

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    1. It's been a great experience here, but lonely being the only pioneers.

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  4. That is amazing! We always talk about getting rid of our car but we live out where we need at least 1.

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    1. It is definitely hard sometimes, but so worth it! If you try just using your car less you will be surprised at what you really can manage. Car-light is always a good option too :)

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  5. Great job! What a huge accomplishment!! My husband and I shared a car for 4 years - both working full time with three kids. And THAT what a huge feat! We broke down and got second vehicle a year ago (which is strange, because by that point I was staying home with children). Very inspired and amazed by your commitment. Congrats!

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    1. Thanks so much Nikki! We are definitely happy we have made this commitment. It's been a life changer to say the least.

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