April by the numbers.

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I have a cruising friend who also tallies his monthly spending to the penny.  We have joked on occasion about the number of cruisers who claim they spend $1,000/month or some other low number (a few even claim $500/month) but almost without exception they arrive at those numbers by “not counting” things.  Maybe they don’t count travel expenses back home, or the loan payment on their boat, or the radar they decided to buy.  Whatever they leave out, it’s not particularly helpful for those trying to figure out how much they might spend every month cruising full-time, which is why he and I both started counting and posting the numbers.

So this month we spent $1,695.96 – if you don’t count the water maker that we bought.  And believe me, there are people out there who wouldn’t count it.  But the fact is the money was spent.  So in reality this month we spent $8,060.83.  Ooof.  But as unpleasant as the amount may be, that’s how much we spent while cruising in April.

The good news is that this is the last upgrade for the boat – truly.  The only other possible thing we could ever even remotely desire is radar, and we are very unlikely to get that, so there you have it.  Barring some unforeseen catastrophe, we shouldn’t come close to a monthly number like this again until we swallow the anchor some day.  From now on, boat costs will consist primarily of maintenance, repair, or replace.  Looking at our available funds (and with no real desire to go back to work), I can say without hesitation that’s a very good thing.

Here we go:

Continue reading “April by the numbers.”

March by the numbers.

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When March 1st rolled around we didn’t imagine we’d back in the U.S. by the end of the month, but here we are.

The Defender Warehouse Sale is traditionally at the end of March and we had planned to take advantage of the prices to buy a few upgrades, so this month was higher than the first two months. However, we have one very large upgrade coming up for April (the subject of a future post) which will make March spending look miserly. Ouch.

March opened with us anchored in the Exumas and closed with us sitting on a mooring in Vero where we will be until at least mid-May.

Here we go:

Continue reading “March by the numbers.”

February by the numbers.

It’s easy to keep the spending down when there isn’t much to spend money on. In fact if it wasn’t for paying our taxes this month we would have been under $1,000. As it is, we were certainly fine with this month’s totals. We are already kicking around a few upgrades for this year so a month like this helps to ease the sting of those future purchases!

February saw us arriving in the Exumas. While we’ve spent an inordinate amount of time waiting out cold fronts, we did manage to finally make it down to Georgetown where the wind protection is better.

Here we go:

Continue reading “February by the numbers.”

January by the numbers.

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We arrived in the Bahamas on January 7th and true to form, our spending has started to drop considerably.

We didn’t have too many unusual expenses in January.  We picked up a few last minute spare parts before we left Miami, spent a week in a marina in Bimini (which will be our last marina stay for quite some time), and filled up the diesel tank and jerry jugs in Staniel Cay for $5.20/gallon (which will be the last time we need to do that until we leave).  The only other outlier was the $300 in entry fees which allows us to stay in the Bahamas for a year.  Practically speaking, however, we anticipate leaving the Bahamas around the middle of May.

Here we go: Continue reading “January by the numbers.”

December by the numbers.

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We knew going into December that it was going to be an expensive month.  We decided to buy a whisker pole so we could actually sail downwind efficiently, and we bought a flotation collar for the Walker Bay dinghy which had proven to be entirely too tippy without it.  Those two items represent almost 40% of this month’s costs.  We also stocked up on groceries and supplies for our Bahamas trip, and paid for our chart plotter to cover the Caribbean.  All of those items add up but they needed to be purchased.

They say if you want to cruise less expensively you need to get out of the United States.  Our three months in the Bahamas last year were definitely our least expensive months, lending credence to that theory.  When we leave for the Bahamas we won’t be returning to the states on the boat for at least a year, maybe as many as two or three years, so it will be interesting to see what our expenses end up looking like in 2020.

Either way, 2019 proved to be less expensive on a monthly basis than 2018 (although we were only cruising for four months that year), so we are trending in the right direction as we continue to settle in to this lifestyle.

With that said, here we go:

Continue reading “December by the numbers.”

November by the numbers.

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In November we put the pedal to the metal, going from Beaufort, NC to Vero Beach, FL where we arrived on November 24th and remain to date.  This month we spent quite a bit on marinas (including one payment on November 30th covering the first week of December in Vero Beach).  The weather was not our friend in South Carolina and Georgia, two states not exactly known for an abundance of anchorages with great wind protection, but sometimes that’s the way it goes.

Towards the end of the month we also started stocking up on items that we won’t be easily able to obtain in the Bahamas or perhaps the Dominican Republic.  We know from our experience last year that while we may spend quite a bit up front in provisions, that will be more than offset when we get to the Bahamas and spend very little.

With that said, here we go:

Continue reading “November by the numbers.”

October by the numbers.

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Not our best month as far as expenses are concerned, but not too bad either.

It was a pretty high month for the restaurant/entertainment category, but we had a lot of fun socializing with other boaters in October, and we also stopped in Belhaven where we tend to eat out several times at our favorite places.  The other two outliers were in the “boat stuff” category where we primarily stocked up on spare engine parts and bought hardware and lines for our drifter, and the purchase of my long-awaited inflatable stand up paddle board at the boat show.

We spent most of October in Annapolis, MD before starting to head south in earnest, landing in Beaufort, NC by the end of the month.

Here we go:

Continue reading “October by the numbers.”

September by the numbers.

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Another excellent month for the budget!  Can we make it three in a row next month?  We’ll see.

In September we moved from Port Washington, NY to Annapolis, MD where we are settled in for a few weeks.  The plan is to work the entrance gates at the boat shows before we start heading south in earnest.

We read that the anchorages in Annapolis get extremely crowded during the boat shows with employees and attendees, so we found a reasonably priced marina and decided to move into a slip for three weeks.  It’s weird not being at anchor, but it certainly is convenient to be able to step off the dock and take a shower whenever we want!  We also won’t have to worry about other boats dragging into us if the weather pipes up while we are working.  Peace of mind = money well spent.

Here we go:

Continue reading “September by the numbers.”

August by the numbers.

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Wow!  It’s been one year of cruising full-time!  Time flies.

We spent August in Fishers Island Sound and Long Island Sound as we began to work our way south again for the winter, with Pegu Club anchored in Port Washington, NY at the end of the month.  As predicted last month, our expenses were much more reasonable and I do believe that we’ve finally managed to get them well-dialed in.  We’ll want to buy radar and an AIS transponder if we decide to go further afield than between Southern New England and the Bahamas, but nothing has been definitively decided yet on that front.

With that being said, here we go:

Continue reading “August by the numbers.”

July by the numbers.

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We spent the first part of July on the hard before splashing Pegu Club and staying in a  transient slip at Shenny while we hung around for various medical appointments.  Our last appointment was on July 23rd and we wasted no time tossing the dock lines and heading out again on July 24th.

47% of this month’s spending was for medical appointments and related expenses (i.e. rental cars and fuel, hotel rooms, etc), along with haul out, storage, and annual boat maintenance costs.  We put two solid coats of bottom paint on Pegu Club so we are hoping that we can avoid hauling out next year.

Based on how expensive June and July were, Jeff jokes that we aren’t coming up here any more!  Honestly though, our expenses should crash for the foreseeable future – thank goodness!

Days under way since July 24th: 5

Nautical miles covered since July 24th:  26.31

Number of States: 2 (Connecticut and New York thanks to Fishers Island)

Nights at anchor: 16

Nights at a dock: 11

Nights on the hard: 4

Expenses:

Groceries/Non-food Groceries: $621.83

Diesel/Gasoline: $31.10

Medical: $842.40

Rental cars, hotel room, and related expenses for medical appointments: $603.35

Cell phone and internet (2 phones, iPad, iCloud storage, Garmin inReach subscription): $162.50

Laundry: $7.00

Amazon Prime: $12.99

Boat US Towing Membership: $131.77 (West Marine was running a sale, so now we are paid up until April, 2021).

Boat Expenses: $790.91 (haul out and four weeks storage for Pegu Club, gear oil, spark plugs, and zinc for the outboard, food hammocks, windlass parts, new flares to replace expired ones, new vent hose for Nature’s Head, extra flare gun for ditch bag, diesel additives, 2 water jerry jugs, bucket, bungee cords, gloves, paint brushes, tools)

Restaurants/Entertainment: $203.64

New York Times subscription: $20.20

Clothing: $123.32

Life Insurance Premium: $220.75

Subscriptions: $130.30

Random: $776.18 (fishing gear, galley items, Burley trailer, guidebooks, etc.)

Total: $4,678.24

2019 monthly average to date: $3,720.00

2018 monthly average (September – December): $4,465.95

Monthly average since starting to cruise: $3,991.09