Trim the Fat Tuesday: The Car Registration

Big news! By the end of September, our trusty Ford Focus will no longer be with us.

Once upon a time, we got a great deal on this car (used) when we were in a pinch (thanks, Rockingham Toyota!). That was back when it was only five or six years old, and when it was shiny and had just 17,000 miles on it. 

Fast forward to today: The car is now a somewhat ornery adolescent about to reach its fifteenth birthday, and it has just over 140,000 miles on it. It's running well and looks pretty good (if you don't look at the children's crumb-filled back seat), but that's thanks to us keeping up with the maintenance. 

Getting rid of this car allows us to, among other things,

Eliminate the registration renewal fee for the second car.

This car's registration expires at the end of September, and we will not be renewing it. We will also not be replacing the car, thanks to Kirk's new job in town. Instead of driving a half hour to Lawrence every day for work, he will now merely need to take a five-minute walk around the corner to our local hospital. And, since our town is small and has everything we need within easy biking distance, there's no longer any need for us to have an extra car sitting around the driveway just for fun. 

Before you get all worried that this will somehow be an impossible burden, we've lived the one-car lifestyle before, successfully, with babies and toddlers in the mix. And we did it for three years, so we're pretty good at managing our schedules around who absolutely needs the car and who needs to get some exercise. I can take the train to work in a pinch, and at this point the kids are big enough to get themselves around town on their own bikes, so we're not anticipating much of a struggle adjusting.

Truth be told, we've been longing to get back to the one-car life. It is going to save us an absolute shit ton of money.

More on that later. For now, we still have the car, and our first bit of savings comes with our non-renewal of the Focus' plates. In Massachusetts, it costs $60 biannually in fees to register a regular old car — $30 per year. That's not a lot, but it is just the tip of the iceberg in what getting rid of a car can do for your checkbook. 

Savings per month: $2.50


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