Tuesday, February 8, 2011
A two-month test
I don't think I ever mentioned it here, but at the last minute, we did sell Ryan's car. (Last minute as in, they handed us the cash, we handed them the keys, and then we hopped into our moving truck and drove to Texas.) I also probably didn't mention the fact that while buying our old car, they asked about renting our old townhouse and working at my old office building--I was sure a social security number/credit score exchange was next--but that's a topic for another post.
This post is about downsizing.
We went from being a two-car, two-person family in an 18-square-mile city to being a one-car (still two-person) family in a city that can take several hours to cross. (That's 8,778 square miles--bigger than the entire state of New Jersey. I know.)
It wasn't our plan to stay a one-car family. The Houston burbs aren't exactly a friend of public transportation and neither are the hot and humid summers. Plus, as the Salazar family saying goes, everything in Houston is "about 30 minutes away." We had planned to move to Houston and start Ryan's initiation into Texas/construction culture by getting him a nice big truck. And then reality settled in.
All of a sudden, there would be car payments. Twice the insurance. A couple tanks of gas a week, most of it spent in gridlocked traffic. Another car contributing to that traffic.
It's not that we can't afford it. But we're starting to wonder if we'd rather take a trip once a year than have an extra car to sit in the garage when we need it.
So our experiment begins. Starting this week, Ryan will be carpooling to work a couple times a week. The days that I have the car, I'll do our grocery shopping and errand running. My perfectly lovely (and accommodating--thank you!) mom and sister are humoring our strange little plans by offering rides on their way to Costco and other places.
To be completely honest, I'm not sure we can/should do it. Two months, sure. (We've pretty much been doing this since October, though this will be Ryan's first experience with the park 'n' ride.) But two years? More? Once we have a couple kids?? In a city like Houston, I just don't know.
Do any of you have downsizing experience in a city? Particularly in cities where the only buses that come by the house take you to the local elementary?