My Marshmallow Fit

From Honda Stock Photography (This is better than my photograph!)

We are paring down, throwing out, lightening the load, getting rid of “stuff.”  We have talked about it for quite awhile, but the actual “paring” part has, until now, existed in theory only, with a few flirtatious jabs at “it,” whatever the “it” involved.  But today we actually took a big step.  Really big.  We sold my car and are now a one-car household.  Doing something this drastic is certainly not feasible for many people, what with two income families, differing schedules, children to ferry here and there, and all the etcetera’s that go with living in today’s fast paced multi-tasking society.  But we don’t fit that scenario anymore.  I am pursuing an online graduate degree, so most of my days are spent in the apartment, behind the computer, pondering many sundry, counseling issues. When I do go out, it is usually with Richard, and if “study” is involved we head to any place that has free wifi.  (Online schooling is far more rigorous than I ever imagined.)  Richard is also home these days.  Our run to the supermarket, drugstore, wine store, urgent care center, pet store, dentist, and a slew of other places is all of a five minute walk to the strip-mall just up an incline and through the hedges.  In fifteen minutes we can walk to the post office.  A Metro-bus stops within sight of our apartment building.  We take that to the Metro station where we hop the train to anywhere in the metro-DC area we want to go.  So, it really does not make sense for us to be making two car payments every month when one car sits in the parking lot 95% of the time.  Selling my car takes a huge financial burden off our shoulders.

So, why am I so sad?  Richard is also sad, even though it wasn’t his “baby” we sold.  Richard knows how attached I was to that car. Ask my children, too.  They will tell you stories of how protective and possessive I am of my vehicles, although I have gotten much better in recent years.  Richard offered to help me make my monthly payments, but then I know what a burden that would be for him.  He is already at his limit when it comes to bills.  He is shouldering a huge financial burden while I am in school. I can’t ask him to do any more.  I am sad because I have given up some of my freedom.  I don’t take my cars lightly.  I don’t trade them in every two or three years.  When I purchase a car I expect to own it for a very long time.  I will wear it out before I trade it in. I had one car, a Geo Metro (before Chevrolet bought it out) for eleven years, and the only reason I gave that one up is because I was pulled over and the officer told me to get it off the road or pay a heavy fine.  After that I leased a car for two years, and hated it.  Then I replaced that one with my Honda Fit.  The Fit is a wonderful car.  It is economical, ecologically friendly, small enough to put it wherever I please, comfortable. . . My kind of car!  I referred to it as “my marshmallow fit” because of its color and its size. I bought it with the expectation that I would have it for twenty years at least! But today my marshmallow and I parted ways after only two and half years.  Whoever purchases that car will have a great vehicle for a long time to come.  Despite the fact that selling it was the best alternative for us at this time, it was a difficult thing to do.

It feels on one hand that I gave up my freedom today.  On the other hand, it might be more accurate to say that I exchanged one freedom that happened to have some heavy financial responsibility attached to it, for another type of freedom that . . .well . . . is freeing.  No more car payments or paying exorbitant prices at the gas pump, no more car insurance or costly tune-ups, no more constant checks for new nicks and scratches from other cars “kissing” my car, as Richard would say.  It was a good thing to sell the car.  Really, it was.  I have no regrets.  Besides, we still have Richard’s car, and that is more than enough for just the two of us.  It’s a Honda, too.

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22 thoughts on “My Marshmallow Fit

  1. Isn’t it funny how we get attached to things? Sorry to had to let go of your cute little car, but fantastic to be a one car family. As I look out into our driveway it looks like a used car lot. There’s hubby’s truck, hubby’s car, my car, my son’s car, my daughter’s car and most likely a couple of their friends cars. I look forward to the day when maybe we can be a two car family. 🙂

    1. This was a big step for us. We’ve been talking about it for months. I’m a little nervous, but until we see that we really NEED two cars to function, we’ll stick with the one. I know others (very few) who have taken the plunge, and none of the three have gone back to two cars. Two of those three couples have been a one-car household for years. I know what you mean about the “car lot” feeling, though. When our kids were all teenagers, we had the same deal. That is one aspect of parenting that I definitely do NOT miss in our empty nest. Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment. Much appreciated.
      🙂

    1. LOL! I don’t know if you are being serious or joking around. But we, too, have joined the ranks of a one car household. I am discovering that many people are doing that. I hope your driving improves! 😉

  2. That’s great that you made the decision! Like you said … you traded one freedom for another. We have one car — anything else would be stupid as we don’t work. Now we have a Toyota Corolla. I’ve had many cars before but I was never attached to any one of them, strangely enough. I can easily get attached to ‘things’.

    1. When we got married, we each had our own car and it never occurred to us to sell one. Our tenth anniversary is coming up this fall and we are finally simplifying our lives. It is good. Like you said, with just the two of us, two cars is quite superfluous.

  3. Like you, I tend to hand on to my Hondas! I had my 1986 Honda Accord from 1987 until 2000. I’ve had my 2000 Civic from 2000 until 2011 (and counting).

    Trading the 1986 for the 2000 made me cry. I needed a new car. I “liked” the new car and its features better than the old one . . . but the old one was part of the family. It had helped us create many memories.

    Letting go is hard. Letting go is essential.
    We cannot hold on to the past and still have 2 arms open to embrace the future.

    If you need to reinforce your decision to “let go of stuff” at any point, let me recommend Simplify Your Life by Elaine St. James. Letting go of stuff is liberating and freeing and eye opening . . . even if we shed a few tears in the process.

    Less is More!

    1. Fantastic response! Thanks. That is what we are doing: letting go of “stuff” so that we have more space for the important things in life. Thanks for your wonderful words of wisdom!

  4. The FIT is a cute car but if it means saving on monthly payments then hurray!
    Enjoy the other one and share it well… or I should say fairly. 🙂

    1. Hurray indeed! This is still new to us, but I am confident this will work for us. Sharing our one car well. . . and fairly 🙂 . . .will probably work for us about 95% of the time. The other 5% is like anything else in our marriage: negotiable!
      Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment.

  5. Hi Cecilia,
    When we moved to Portugal I gave up my car and I felt I’d lost a limb. I’m use to it now but because I do not get the opportunity to drive that often I’ve lost my confidence. 😦 Hubby automatically jumps in the drivers seat and when I do drive he makes me feel nervous. Still it’s great not to have the cost of running two cars.
    Keep up your driving…
    PiP 🙂

    1. Hi PIP!
      I am a little concerned about not driving at all for the very reason you mentioned. We will try this for awhile. If the day comes that we both are employed outside our home again, we’ll get a used clunker for our second car. In the meantime, no car payments, no car insurance, no high priced gasoline . . . did I miss anything? I will take your advice and keep driving though, if I can wrangle the car from Richard!

  6. Hi Cecelia! I continue to drop by your blog to read your postings because these continue to provide me with ideas and inspiration. I too am in the process of simplifying my life so that I can start building up again. Keep it up!

    1. Ramonito, I am truly flattered. Simpliying life is slowly but surely easing the strain on our pocketbook, and creating time and space to just “be.” Thank you so much for your repeated visits. I, too, enjoy your blog. Your photography is awesome. The wonderful thing about blogging, I’m learning, is the friends we make around the globe, and how we are able to draw encouragement and inspiration from each other. Take care, and have a great day! 🙂

  7. When I was growing up as the oldest of six children. Mom and Dad only had one car. They worked within one mile of Dad’s job. Mom stayed at home but if she needed the car Dad either walked to work or Mom drove him so she could use the car. They made it work by choosing to live near Dad’s work. When Dad changed jobs that required a move they drew a one-mile circle around his place of employment and said that we have to find a home within that circle so walking to work was feasible.

    We live in a rural area so need to have a car but we still manage with just one car planning our trips and making adjustments to schedules to accommidate just one vehicle. You are very fortunate to live so close to necessities.

    One piece of advice if you plan on purchasing a vehicle in the future plan on putting away even a small amount towards a down payment each month. Financing for vehicles has become more difficult in the past six months than when you probably financed your last car. You will get a better interest rate if you have a substantial down payment.

    1. We grew up with one car, too. It seems like a lot of people I know are returning to the “one car family.” Your suggestion to put money aside each month for a future down payment is a great idea. Will do! Of course I will only buy a second car if necessity demands it. We are planning on relocating this summer and have no idea what our new situation will be like. The one mile racius thing sounds like a good idea, too. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for the wonderfully informative comment!

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