It’s that time again – time for a Budget post!
**In a previous post I explained what I consider and include in our own personal “budget”. For tracking and sharing purposes I am only counting true living expenses and general boat maintenance. (Although I do note major purchases each month, if we have any) So if I don’t include the boat payment and major purchases, what DO I include? Food, diesel, gas, propane, eating and drinking out, dog stuff, clothes, cell phone/data, toys, land adventures, mooring balls and marinas,and general boat maintenance such as oil changes, watermaker filters, zinc anodes, etc. Pretty much every bit of boat related money we spend other than boat payment and insurance – now that the upgrades are finished. Why don’t I include those? Because they are so variable to you – the person I am tracking this information for. You may or may not have a boat payment, and you may or may not have boat/medical insurance. And if you have either, the costs vary wildly.**
So, how about June…Well, in June, after being anchored out for a couple of weeks, we broke down and moved to a marina slip. We’d been anchored just down from our old boat yard/marina anyway, so as soon as a spot opened up, we slid right in. You will notice I pro-rated the slip fee between June and July. You will also notice that had we not been *gasp* working (aka Hustling!) we would have COMPLETELY BLOWN THE BUDGET this month. Thankfully, I was able to do some professional photography as well as sell a couple of paintings. And Mark has been doing some contractor-y stuff for some friends.
Why a budget busting marina slip, you ask? Because it’s freaking HOT up in here. If you’re unfamiliar with Savannah, GA and the general area, the currents are killer. And the winds are nonexistent, unless there’s a thunderstorm. For you non-sailors, if we are at anchor, typically the bow (front) of the boat faces into the wind, and the wind funnels down our open hatches to create a really nice breeze. This is a lovely design that kept us cool throughout the Bahamas. But Savannah. Well, here we are. Back in the home of crazystrong currents. So when the tides change, and the wind is minimal, the boat gets pushed inline with the current. This is, more times than not, a different direction from the wind. And if we do get lucky enough to have high enough winds to counteract the current – it’s usually due to a thunderstorm. That means we have to close the hatches. Closed hatches = no wind = lot’s of Stop Touching Me’s!
Why don’t we just turn on the a/c? Well, our boat is a 12v system when it’s away from the dock. That means it runs off of batteries which are fueled by solar. It’s magic, really. But the power-sucking a/c is standard 110v, and the boat must be plugged in at a dock for the a/c to work. And thus the chunk of budget that is gone is basically so that we don’t sweat to death. Life saving expenditure, people.
Let’s also not pretend that living at a marina is not more convenient than living on anchor and dinghying in daily. First and foremost, we had to do some work on both of our rental properties (hello attic insulation and vinyl siding/roof repairs!). And hauling bags and bags of tools back and forth just is. not. cool. Fortunately we do have #creepyvan, and it was great for hauling crap around. Speaking of #creepyvan – that’s another project that we’ve been working on while in the marina.
As I finally type this, it is mid-July, and we are prepping to haul the boat for a few (hopefully) minor jobs while we wrap up projects on the van. We’ll be sleeping in the wonderfully a/c’d van while the boat is “on the hard”. (The boat has to be in the water for the a/c to work.) As soon as we wrap up our boat projects and prep her for a potential hurricane -we are finally HITTING THE ROAD for some land cruising!
I’m very curious to see how we do on our budget when we’re on the road. But without further ado, I give you June’s Budget!
Because we made some cash, I’m very comfortable with what we spent. We’re technically only $24 over budget. Other than working some side jobs, we’ve had to really tweak our social activities. Now that we’re “home,” it’s pretty standard practice to meet up with friends at a restaurant for dinner and drinks. But that would easily cost $75+ for one evening. Clearly not in our budget. So, while we’ve eaten at some of our favorite spots, we limit how often we go. Frequently we just split an entree. Or better yet, we invite people over for drinks in the cockpit – or head to their homes for dinner. We DO love to be fed. Even so, food and drink are still our biggest costs. And that hard drive. One of the things we regretted in the Bahamas was that we didn’t take any movies and tv shows with us. We are not big watchers of tv, so didn’t think much about it. Let me tell you, though, when you are hunkered down for 5 days straight during a storm, a little movie watching is nice! So not only did we get a new, bigger external hard drive, but we filled that mofo UP.
We also restocked our wardrobes. By that, I mean we got some new shorts, t-shirts, and swim suits. That’s pretty much all we wear – quick dry workout gear and swim suits. Fashionistas we are not.
Check out that boat repairs/parts total. WHAT?! Yeah. Well, we make up for it in July with a new hatch, new preventer/boom hardware, etc. And see the bottom, where I posted Other Stuff? Like my dr visit? Yeah. For $270 total, I had my yearly exam and lab work. MUCH less than the cost of insurance. People that know me and my medical history sometimes freak out when I say I don’t have insurance. But that’s another debate for another day. Let’s just say that the cash price for standard care is actually affordable. I just need to try not to hack myself to pieces with my meat cleaver (again) to avoid any emergency room bills. That would likely be a serious budget buster.
So how do we pay for the Other Stuff? Savings. Yep. If you’ve followed along, you probably know that we saved our asses off for years. We have a specific amount of money set aside for “extras” – and when that money is almost gone, it is our cue to get our butts back to work – preferably on an island. The alternative would be to postpone some of our repairs, and deferred maintenance is not a thing here. If something breaks, we fix it. Pronto. Just something to keep in mind if you are considering this lifestyle. Save money now, so that you can fix things later. Because you WILL have to fix things. Fortunately we saved for quite some time, and don’t foresee needing to work anytime soon. But feel free to buy a painting to keep me out of a cubicle/kitchen a bit longer!
Are you already on a boat? If so, are you tracking your costs? And what are your biggest expenses? Feel free to leave a comment with a link to a budget post! And feel free to Share this post with others that may be considering the cruising lifestyle 🙂
Check out previous Budget Posts!