The Effect of Loaning Broke-Ass Mom a Car

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This Broke-Ass Mom got to taste the Kool-Aid this past week.  Friends of ours went on vacation and left their car under our supervision for two weeks.  There were no rules, no nothing, just “Here are the keys, and enjoy.”  At first the responsibility seemed daunting, but it didn’t take much to get into it.  Man, I forgot how nice it is to have a car.

My son and I were able to visit places we hadn’t been in literally years because it is either not accessible by bus/train or it took too many buses/trains to get there.  We used the car to get to the grocery store even though it’s only half a mile away.  My son got to experience his first car wash ever.  And we were able to run errands between naptime and bedtime without worrying whether we had enough time.  We had enough time for everything.  One morning I even drove to get a breakfast sandwich that was completely out of our way from our destination just because I could.

Two days ago, we had to give it back, and let me tell you “parting IS such sweet sorrow.”  Although we already miss having the car (I have to walk a mile round trip today with the stroller to buy groceries), it’s also nice to not have the responsibility of it.  To me it’s not the buying of the car that seems expensive it’s the maintaining of the car that keeps me from trolling Craigslist looking for a cheap, but cute Fiat (Fine, so it’s not practical, but since we’re merely fantasizing I thought it was okay).  At $5/gallon to fill-er-up, plus whatever else you have to spend on oil changes, new tires, new brakes, etc it hardly seems worth it.  Someday we’ll buy a car, but I often wonder what we’ll buy first, a home or a car.

Photo Credit: Me

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Jennifer White - Mommy No Bucks

Jennifer White - Mommy No Bucks

Jennifer has been a bit of a nomad having lived in seven different cities. Her life as a gypsy has settled down for the moment in San Francisco with her husband and two-year old son. Recently, she decided to throw caution to the wind, quit her job as an analyst to be a full-time mom while chasing her dreams (and the Pulitzer Prize). When she's not writing, she's aspiring to be a luddite (although blogging isn't helping), knitting the occasional hat, or running in the park with her son and his secondhand compost truck in tow.


  1. LadyMissA
    June 15, 2012 at 11:28 am

    If your budget can handle it, is there a Zipcar or other carshare program near you? A variety of vehicles for what you need, no maintenance or insurance fees and only when you want or need it.

  2. June 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Hey! Thanks for the comment, we do Zipcar now, but it’s not the same, as you may or may not know – and there’s no taking a Zipcar out for a breakfast sandwich, just because you want to – too expensive for that sort of leisurely activity. But, yes, we LOVE Zipcar, and we use it as much (and as little) as we can.