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Being a one-car household: Could you do it?

Leslie's New CarLately, the idea of one-car households keeps coming across my radar. My friend Cordelia over at Cordelia Calls It Quits recently sold her car to pay for some big life changes, while a guest post over at Modest Money last week talked about getting rid of a second car to as a money and time saving move.

As a PF girl, I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of being a one-car household. There are so many reasons why it would be smart, and we have some couple friends who do it for various reasons. But I’m not sure if The Hubby and I are ready to take that leap just yet.

Here’s our pro and con list:

Pros

  • Saving on car expenses. Not just car payments (the ’Bee is paid off, and The Hubby’s Honda Civic only has a year left to go before it is too), but all the other costs that come with owning a car…gas, maintenance, insurance, inspections, registration, repairs. A car can be a huge expense.
  • Better for the environment. Obviously, having one less car would be better for the environment. We’d be more likely to walk to places that are close enough to our house. (Being in the suburbs gets you way too used to driving anywhere, even if it’s just to the corner store.)
  • Better for our health. Walking more would also lead to better fitness for both of us (and Big Dog and Little Dog, who I’m sure would love to come along whenever they can.) We might even invest in a pair of bicycles for longer treks!
  • Less commuting stress. No one likes driving during rush hour…being able to read a book or listen to some music on the bus while someone else deals with traffic and winter driving would be really nice, I have to say.

Cons

  • Less convenient. Yeah, I know…this is the worst excuse, but it’s true. It’s so much easier having two cars so that if we each have different plans (say, me going out with the girls and The Hubby going to a sports bar to watch the game), we can just take our own cars. I’m sure if we only had the one, we could work out carpooling with friends, taking turns with the car, and we’d be just fine. (Our friends who do it are.) It would take some getting used to, but I’m sure eventually we’d find a routine that would work for us.
  • Which car would we keep? The Hubby’s car is a few years newer, but the ’Bee is my baby. Just thinking of getting rid of it before its time makes me sad. Then again, I’m not sure The Hubby would love having to drive the ’Bee everywhere. I think he’s secretly embarrassed by it. J
  • What about emergencies? Let’s say The Hubby takes the car to work and I take the bus. What happens if he has one of his late work nights, and I get home to find one of the dogs is sick? How would I get them to the vet? I could call him to come home early and drive us over, but it’s unexpected things like that that make you feel more secure, I guess, having a second car on hand. Or maybe I’m just being paranoid?

What about you guys? Would you ever consider going down to being a one-car household? Are any of you already?

 

~Heart,

Em

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photo credit:  dbkfrog

Blog Roundup (4-19-13)

I always love sharing my favorite blogs with people, so each week I’ll be giving you guys a roundup of the posts I’ve really enjoyed reading.

If you like them, make sure to subscribe and follow these great bloggers on Twitter and Facebook to share the love!

~Heart,

Em

  • I always love The Possibility of Today’s “Simple But Powerful Messages to Keep Top of Mind.” Check out the latest, installment #8.
  • Part of me thinks stories like this are funny, and part of me just shakes my head at them…Clever Dude discusses a $122 bottle of lotion his wife recently got.
  • Cool free stuff, several times over! Take Our Stuff has a bunch of giveaways going on this week…a neat antique typewriter and a $250 shopping spree on their normal site, and a $150 Visa gift card to kick off to kick their new site, Take Our Gift Cards.

Are there any great posts you came across recently? Share them with us in the comments!

Spring cleaning is almost here!

Charming Your Chores: Scrub That Floor!You’d think from the exclamation point in the title that I’m excited about that, but I’m not necessarily. The headline just looked nicer that way, hahaha.

Let’s be honest, unless you’re the neatest of neat freaks, you probably don’t really enjoy spring cleaning. You might enjoy the end result (I know I do), but the actual process of dusting in all those nooks and crannies and washing window screens and stuff? Not quite.

It would be much nicer if we could wave a magic wand and have a fairy godmother take care of all that for us. (Ideally, with an army of housecleaning sparrows and other forest creatures, because how cute would that be?)

But, it’s almost that time. Every morning when I leave for work, I have to decide which of my jackets I’m going to wear…The winter one, but without any gloves? The spring one, with a scarf if it’s chilly? The days are staying light longer, the temps are getting warmer, and for all that loveliness, there is a price to pay. It is called cleaning up all the stuff you let slide when you were feeling lazy from being stuck inside all winter.

Just one of the many joys of home ownership:)

My dreaded spring cleaning to dos

Luckily, I can be a bit of a perfectionist, so once I get started on these tasks, I am in it to win it. I’ll scrub things till they shine, once I’ve started. But that doesn’t mean I like it!

My personal most hated spring cleaning chores are:

  • Cleaning the windows. Our house was bought as a fixer-upper project, and one of the fixes it needs is new windows. The ones we have are original to the house, meaning spring means raising up the storm windows, dropping down the screens, and cleaning each of these components. Which means dealing with those awful little tab levers you need to push on with your whole body weight to get them to move after decades of other people doing the same thing. (Then the storm window slides back down when you’re halfway done, usually right onto your hand…) It should take about a minute a window to get those things in place, but it usually takes me like 10, and there may be a leeetle bit of swearing involved…
  • Dusting out lint traps areas. Like that little vent under the fridge…the heating vents…that space between the fridge and the counters that’s way too tight for a broom to get in but that still needs to be dusted. Not hard, but time consuming. (And pretty gross!) Thankfully, The Hubby gets to dust the tops of light fixtures and ceiling fans since he’s the tall one!
  • Getting our flower beds in order. I don’t mind gardening itself, and I don’t mind pulling weeds now and then once our season’s flowers are in. But facing our weedy, sad looking flowerbeds at the end of the winter and getting them ready for spring somehow takes all sorts of effort from me. Maybe because I try so hard to keep things tidy during the warm months, and then somehow over the winter (when nothing should be growing!) they revert into a wild state of disorder and chaos. How does that happen? How can I combat it? (No, seriously, if you have tips, I’d love to hear them!)

What spring cleaning to dos do you dread? How do you make spring cleaning more fun (is that even possible?) :)

 

~Heart,

Em

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photo credit:  queercatkitten

T-shirt giveaway!

t-shirtWho doesn’t love free t-shirts, right? Well, especially not when they’re this super-cute, customized Blonde & Balanced shirt thanks to my friends at ooshirts! I had a lot of fun designing these, and now I’m going to have fun giving 3 away for free to some lucky B&B readers!

You might recognize the quote. It’s inspired by this post I wrote a while back on how to really be happy with your life…stop comparing it to others, and take good care of your own grass! The shirt is a simple white tee with the B&B URL in a very small, tasteful font on the back…you can click the pic to see the back view and a better closeup of the tee. (The URL is in hot pink, guys, but don’t let that stop you!)

If you win one of the 3 free shirts, you’ll have a chance to tell me what size you want, and also to change the style if you are, say, a guy and not a fan of the “Bella Ladies Crew Neck” currently pictured.  :)

How do you win?

It’s simple! Just complete any or all of the items on the below Rafflecopter giveaway board for points. The contest is open through Monday, April 22 at midnight, so get your votes in now.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Happy entering!

~Heart,

Em