Frugal people have no car, or they have 1. We have 2. How the hell can that help us on the road to FI?
Not so long ago, the Mustachian Post ran a question round on FI bloggers and their cars. I was asked as weel. It got me thinking on how we can have 2 cars and still consider us frugal. Here is what I wrote
We are a frugal family and we have 2 cars. What is wrong? Is the second car really a need? Or is it a want to show off to the neighbours? Given that we drive a Skoda and a very modest second hand Ford Fiesta, it is not to show off…. For a long time, we got along fine with just one car. Now that our kids grow older, their activities increase, we decided that a second car would make our life so much easier.
What does that mean? To me, it means that cars are not important to us. They are a need, not a want. Why? Would they be a want, I would be driving another car. The Skoda is actually a company car. I could easily get a nice AUDI or BMW. In stead, I opted for a cheaper, modest car and a train subscription. I bike to work and then I can relax on the train. It allows me to drive the kids to school by bike – they love it and the bike ride in the evening makes all the stress go away
One of my hobbies is to take photography roadtrips with friends. We often meet far away from where I live, at hours that public transport is not an alternative. I then take the car. When the kids have their weekend activities, or my wife wants to go to see family of friends, the second car makes it easy for us. Public transport can not help us here, unless you want to travel for 70 minutes for a 20km distance. Not us.
These roadtrips mean a lot to me. They are a way to be out in new places, get an adrenaline rush every now and then and hang around with friends.
In the morning, I bike to school with the kids and then to the train station. When one of the kids gets sick, I need to bring the sick one to my mother. With the bike, that would be 1,5 hours ride. Not ideal.
Just the other week, our youngest woke up with a fever. I was very very happy to have the second car around to drive her to my mother to take care of her.
As we minimize our car rides, we have the option to take a small, cheaper car (and also cheap taxes and gaz consumption). We even minimize insurance buy taking out one that has reduction when bought online and when you do a limited amount of mileage.
As FI is not our main goal, happiness is, having 2 cars does contribute to our main objective. And we do it as frugal as possible.