In December we went to the Bahamas – yay! We are planning (hoping) to be here until early May.
Typically our expenses are very low here because there simply isn’t much to spend money on. This month was high, however, due to expenses related to Covid testing required to come to the Bahamas and check in fees. We’re looking forward to January through April which should be a lot lower.
Regarding the year in general, the monthly average for 2020 was significantly lower than in 2019. COVID certainly accounts for part of the difference. We didn’t fly out to the west coast to visit family and friends, and we spent about $1,700 less for the year in restaurants and entertainment expenses. Non-Covid related, we also had fewer medical expenses in 2020 and we spent less on boat upgrades over the course of the year.
Frankly, our 2019 monthly average isn’t sustainable long-term (well, until my pension kicks in anyway which won’t be for awhile) so we’re glad to see that it went down for 2020.
Here we go:
Continue reading “December by the numbers.”
We started November with an overnight passage from Beaufort, SC to the St. Johns inlet in Florida, and we ended the month anchored in West Palm Beach waiting for a weather window to cross to the Bahamas.
Our expenses tend to be high when we are getting ready to go to the Bahamas. Hoping to spend five months over there this time, we spent a lot of money stocking up on groceries and other miscellaneous items that are difficult or impossible to buy on the islands. We also had an unexpected 8 day stay at Marineland Marina waiting out Tropical Storm Eta (which decided to come by twice), along with our typical stop on a ball in Vero Beach. Finally, we had to replace a few items that broke. Given all of the above, it was a pretty good month.
Here we go: Continue reading “November by the numbers.”
In October we made our way from Oriental, NC to Beaufort, SC. We had a ten day stop in New Bern, NC where we left Pegu Club to take one more drive up north, so there were added expenses for the marina, rental car, tolls, and gas. The costs for the trip represent 1/3 of this month’s expenses, so setting that aside it was a pretty good month.
Here we go: Continue reading “October by the numbers.”
In September we finally left the marina and started working our way south, heading towards our third warm winter.
This month we had to haul out to put on more bottom paint, and we also had to travel to Connecticut for medical appointments. Those two things alone constituted 70% of our expenses this month. Knowing that we were going to be spending a lot on maintenance and travel, we made a point of trying to be conservative with everything else for the rest of the month.
Here we go:
Continue reading “September by the numbers.”
August had us tied to the dock with the exception of an escape to a well protected anchorage for Tropical Storm Isaias. We have a few larger annual expenses due each August: boat insurance, Chris Parker subscription, and mailbox rental. Those three items alone were over 1/3 of our expenses this month. Additionally, we’ve been taking advantage of the convenience of the dock to focus on small boat projects and maintenance, so a fair amount of money was spent on boat stuff.
In September we’ll toss off the dock lines and start heading south again with a one-week break when we drive to Connecticut for medical appointments. The appointments were supposed to happen in August but again, Isaias.
Here we go:
Continue reading “August by the numbers.”
July saw us wrapping up our 2019-2020 cruising season with a short few weeks of travel from the Dismal Swamp Canal, VA to Cambridge, MD. We’ll be staying in Cambridge for two months taking care of some boat projects and making a few trips to Connecticut for medical appointments.
Financially it was also a quiet month which is good given that I’m still trying to psychologically recover from the watermaker purchase!
Here we go:
Continue reading “July by the numbers.”
Not a bad month considering all of the time we spent at marinas and the cost for the engine work at Deaton’s. We splurged on a week at Lady’s Island Marina in Beaufort, SC which was a mini-vacation given how much we enjoy Beaufort, but then later in the month we found ourselves paying for four nights at the St. James Marina just south of Southport, NC due to weather. That’s the way it goes sometimes. No regrets though – it was money well spent.
As far as traveling is concerned, June saw us move from Beaufort, SC to crossing the Virginia state line in the Dismal Swamp Canal.
Here we go:
Continue reading “June by the numbers.”
We had a first in May – zero spending in restaurants/entertainment. “Entertainment” consists of one-off expenditures like movie tickets, museum or festival admissions, etc. Not something like Netflix which is a subscription. In April we went to get takeout at a local place in Vero that we had been wanting to try, but absolutely no one preparing the food or working the register was wearing a mask so I got spooked.
Jeff tried to convince me otherwise, but evidence of his lack of success is seen by the zero spending in May. Now that we’re on the road again, we’re really looking forward to getting take out at some of our favorite stops in Beaufort, SC and Belhaven. I hope they’re taking a few more precautions than the place in Vero was.
As far as traveling goes, in May we ripped off the very-sticky velcro and went from Vero to Beaufort, SC.
Here we go: Continue reading “May by the numbers.”
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.”
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.”