Ever since we’ve been married, Ellen and I have each had a car of our own. Until this past Saturday.
Earlier in the week I had driven my 1999 Ford Escort wagon 600 miles to and from Michigan. After experiencing problems on the trip, I spent $1.27 on a part at a big box store and made a quick repair in their parking lot.
As I returned home, the car succumbed to a completely different problem. I was backing it into my driveway when the car stalled. I restarted it, heard a ghastly rattling, and watched as smoke wafted from under the hood of my station wagon and it stalled again—for the last time.
I cleaned up an entire crankcase’s worth of oil from the driveway. The scrapper gave me $220 and towed my faithful steed away.
It had just about 201,000 miles on the odometer.
We knew, of course, that this day would come. Collectibles aside, cars are depreciating assets. And mine—clearly—had now fully depreciated. But I decided long ago what we would do when my car finally quit. We would become a one-car household for at least a month, and observe what changes might result. As it turns out, that month is July 2015.
(When you write books like mine, you sort of have to do stuff like this.)
What expenses will be reduced now that we’re a one-car household? Which will be magnified? And what other effects will we notice? I’ll let you know in a month or so.
But we’ve already answered one question: what does it take to see if your financial life can be different than it is today? Just a decision. All you have to do is decide to try something you’ve never tried before. It doesn’t mean you have to stick with it forever. But you just might like the difference your decision will make.
There’s only one way to know. Give it a try.