As my husband & I ponder what to do with our dying Jeep Cherokee , the question is do we replace it or not? What is important to us, the luxury and expense of the 2nd car or just be a one car family? Are we wishing to see how far we can truly stretch our budget? Or the even bigger question, do we really need two cars?
Most of the 7 1/2 years that we have been married, we’ve bounced back and forth between having two cars and just having one. We’ve been a one car household before, during a crazy stressful time in our early days. I was working 4 hrs away at the coast and we were living in the mountains. Sharing a car, along with dealing with our budget was creative in those days, even for a pair of creatively minded people. We were determined to make things work, even as I desperately looked for an opportunity to transfer closer to our home.
A situation arose where we ended up with a junky second car, which took the edge off the stress, but didn’t solve the bigger problem, working closer together. Which was really what we wanted most in the world.
Our wish came true almost six years ago, when the opportunity to actually work together happened. It meant we would move six hours farther up the state, distancing ourselves from friends and family 10 + hours or more, but we were able to be together on a full time basis. We had gone from working four hours apart to working in the same office, sharing the commute.
Though, we had two cars, we were basically only using one at that time, the Jeep. We even had to remind ourselves to drive the junky second car 3-4 times a month. Basically being back to a one car family voluntarily, the irony of this wasn’t lost on us.
After we relocated to Eureka, my husband would periodically bring up the subject of getting me a car, a new car. The car I owned died while we lived in the mountains and he would periodically tell me “One of these days we will get you a new car.”
A couple of years ago, he asked me, “if I would like to go car shopping” and I said agreed. We had briefly discussed since moving to Eureka what type of car I wanted and being the geek that I am, “a hybrid,” was top of my list. So, we came home with Toyota Prius a few hours into our car shopping adventure.
Our poor Jeep fell into spending the bulk of it’s remaining life, hanging out at our home. It became the car we occasionally took for a drive either on a weekend or to work. Sometimes, we had to remember to drive it and admittedly it was odd driving it. We were having a major love affair with our new car.
The Jeep went into the shop for recently the other and verdict was as bad as we suspected, the bigger question, “What to do next?”, was facing us. Did we want to be a slave to an extra car payment for a car we wouldn’t drive that much? Honestly, at this point in time, did we really need an extra vehicle?
If we decided to go the route of only one car for awhile, what options existed when we would need a second car at various times? Renting a car for day, or a week on occasion is definitely cheaper than a second car payment. After some thought we decided for the time buying a second car and payment was a luxury we didn’t need, the money could be spent on other things.
When you evaluate your life, what is truly important to you? Are you just trying to fit in or keep up with the proverbial “Jones?” Do we need that extra item, club, activity or whatever is or may become an unnecessary burden for us and/or our family? Is it a true need or something to fill an empty hole in our lives?
All of us, including myself have those moments where our emotions takeover in the battle of what I want and what I need? I have my moments, like everyone else where the want wins, probably more than it should, but I can admit that it has improved for me. We are all a work in progress and what falls into the wants and needs categories, changes throughout our life and our situation.
So, what falls into the want and the need categories for you? How do you deal with it? What helps you cope when your want wins over the need?