Blog, Minimalism

So, I bought a car…when buying nothing gets hard

My little humbug car broke down. Of course he did, with my buying nothing challenge this year. At the back of my mind I think I knew it’d happen, but still, when the engine failed and the suspension snapped in half, it was a wave of frustration that washed over me.

I’d planned on finding new ways around any potential transport problems. So, I tried to look on the bright side. No car means no negative impact on the environment. No car is an opportunity to get out in nature. No car is a way to slow down. No car is less expense.
In the end, I bought a new car. Not brand new, of course, but still, a replacement. After much soul-searching, I concluded that I work 3 jobs, and found that I couldn’t get to the second one on time after I finished the first. The walk home is pretty, well, shall we say ‘stabby’ in the daylight, let alone in the dark. I didn’t feel safe walking an hour and a half in constant worry.

I spent a lot of time worrying about my decision. I looked out of the window and felt a mixed feeling of regret and guilt, with only a little sprinkling of joy. I worried that I’d failed my challenge. I worried that I found it so hard to embrace a car-free existence. I worried about the cost. I still worry about the cost.
I feel guilty that I didn’t try harder to learn to live without a car. I mean, what an opportunity.

But I realised, eventually, not to beat myself up. This year is a year of learning, a journey, an experience. I learned that my commitments are important to me. I learnt that by not having transport at the moment, I’d be denying myself more opportunities than I thought. I learnt that when added up, the cost of driving and running a car is cheaper than public transport. This fact saddens me.

I found that leap too large of a gap for now. But being car free for a few weeks has opened my eyes. I walk more. I cycle more. And I keep my car for the necessary things. My three amazing areas of work are necessary. Essential. I designed my life and I will fight to keep it the way I love it. My new little car is part of that life-a tool, but an enjoyable one.

Yes, I think this means that technically I failed at buying nothing. I hate to fail, but that doesn’t mean I’m quitting. I made a decision and I still believe it’s the right one, for now, for me.
As far as #buynothing2015 goes, I’m at that turning point where I feel free, no longer deprived. I don’t really care that my hoodies are bobbly and my jeans are wearing through. I know I can fix them. So, car aside, I’m continuing to buy nothing this year.

I wonder what the rest of the year will bring?

7 thoughts on “So, I bought a car…when buying nothing gets hard

  1. I can’t imagine living without a car while working one job, let alone three! Definitely don’t beat yourself up, Sal. In my opinion, you didn’t fail. You couldn’t have predicted that your car would break down and you’d need to replace it. For you (and for most of us), replacing a car is a necessary purchase. You didn’t make the decision lightly, it wasn’t an impulse buy, and I doubt you’ll regret it in the future. You took a negative situation and found the silver lining, by walking and cycling more. In short, you’re only human, and you’re doing the best you can. *hugs* xo

    1. Thank you Meredith 🙂 I decided although it was a big purchase, it would have a worse impact on my lifestyle at the moment by not having a car! (And last time I bought nothing for a year, we ended up buying a house haha so it’s nowhere near that bad!) Thank you for your positivity, I needed it! x

  2. Your honesty is so refreshing. It is not a failure but a moment of learning. In the end, you bought less this year than you did the last. 🙂

    1. Thank you for your comment Lisa, it was definitely a learning experience, but things turned out ok in the end…I learned not to beat myself up so much and to trust my decision 🙂

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