It’s time for our regular cost of living update, which I do every two months. We've been tracking how much it costs to live aboard our Moody 346 sailboat, S/V Tickety Boo, at Indiantown Marina in southern Florida, where we were initially laid up during last hurricane season and where I'm now living while Scott is working overseas. While Scott has been in Scotland, I've been staying on our boat and slowly ticking things off of our project list. So, our live aboard costs are pretty much just that - cost of my daily living aboard our boat and occasionally buying stuff for Tickety Boo to keep her happy.
You can find links to other cost updates from ourselves and others on this page, as well as on The Monkey's Fist. If you want to know how much we spent over the past two months, have a look below.
Cost of Living Aboard | April & May 2016
Overall, we spent $3,672 during April and May which is up around $1,222 from the previous two months, primarily due to boat insurance renewal and the purchase of a new laptop.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of what we spent, here are a few things to note:
1 - All costs are in US dollars.
2 - Not all expenses are included - here's what we've left out:
(a) We don't report how much we spend on alcohol. I remember reading some horrible, judgy comments in a blog post a few years back about how much someone spent on booze, so I left it out when we first started tracking our cruising costs back in New Zealand. For consistency's sake, I've continued to leave it out when tracking our cruising and RV costs.
(b) We haven't included costs related to storing our Scamp travel trailer ($21 per month) because we track the cost of our RV and cruising adventures separately.
(c) We've also left out our costs for medical insurance. We didn't think it made sense to include insurance costs as they can vary so widely depending upon your nationality, where you cruise, what level of coverage you want and can afford etc. In case you are curious, while we're back in the States, we do have insurance through the health insurance marketplace (aka ACA/Obamacare), primarily to protect our assets and cover us in case of a catastrophic medical condition. After spending a pretty big chunk of change for health insurance during 2015, we were in a bit of a quandary about whether we should go ahead and get coverage for 2016 or take the risk and pay the tax penalty for being uninsured. In the end, after weighing up the potential tax penalty, possible tax credits and risk of being uninsured, we ended up getting insurance for 2016. If you want to know more about our health insurance options and quandary for 2016, check this post out.3 - Scott has been in Scotland taking care of some work projects and tending to some other matters, so grocery and entertainment costs are less than they would be normally.
4 - I've included any shipping and taxes we've paid in what we report. Florida has a 6% sales tax. Boo.
GROCERIES | Total = $384.38
This category includes everything we put in our bodies in terms of food and drink (excluding booze) that we prepare ourselves. It doesn't include things like paper towels and ziploc bags, which I know some people would classify as groceries. Sure, you could probably eat them, but they wouldn't taste very good.
PERSONAL & HOUSEHOLD | Total = $33.21
This is the category where we include household things (like paper towels and ziploc bags) and personal hygiene items (like soap and shampoo). We also capture items for the "home" here - like ant traps.
ENTERTAINMENT | Total = $138.47
One of the great things about hanging out in Indiantown is that there really isn't all that much to spend your entertainment dollars on. It's a pretty small town and things are really quiet at the marina, so there's not a lot of temptation.
In terms of drinks and eating out, this includes everything we don't prepare ourselves, even if we get something to go and eat it back on the boat. We also track how much we spend on books, magazines, movies etc. in this category, as well as the occasional Powerball lottery ticket ($2).
COMMUNICATIONS | Total = $160
Our cell phone is actually one of our biggest non-boat related expenses. I have a $60 monthly GoPhone plan with AT&T which includes 5GB of data and unlimited calls and texts. Normally, 5GB of data isn't enough for us, but we have a WiFi adapter/antenna gizmo which helps us get the marina Wi-Fi at our boat and minimizes the use of our cellular data. Lately though it's been hard to access the marina Wi-Fi as there are so many people here, so sometimes I end up buying additional data. While Scott is away, I've also added on a $10 monthly international call plan so that we do our daily phone call.
BOAT FUEL | Total = Nil
Because our boat hasn't left the slip, we haven't needed to spend anything on diesel or gas.
LPG | Total = Nil
I've been primarily using our microwave and crock pot for cooking, so haven't needed to top up the LPG tanks.
MARINA COSTS | Total = $1,166.00
Keeping Tickety Boo in a slip is one of our biggest expenses. The monthly cost of a slip with electricity at Indiantown Marina for a 34.5' boat is $572.40. The guys at the marina will also come pump out our holding tank on demand - $5.30 for each visit.
BOAT STUFF | Total = $712.09
This category is for all the stuff we've been buying for the boat. We've got a long list of stuff we need to get for Tickety Boo - some upgrades, some maintenance related items, equipment etc. I'm trying to spread the costs out because I simply find it too painful to spend so much money all at once.
Boat insurance was our big expense here during April. We opted to get liability only insurance this year, along with tow insurance. You can read about our insurance dilemma here. I also bought a new fuel filter and strap wrench in the hopes that changing the fuel filter would sort out our engine.
TRANSPORT | Total = $27.77
This category is for costs related to our vehicle, mostly for gas to keep it going and drive into the nearby "big city" of Stuart for errands. Gas is so cheap these days that I've really been able to keep these costs down.
MEDICAL EXPENSES | Total = $157.02
This category includes medical expenses outside of our monthly insurance premium (which aren't included here - see section on exclusions above), like over the counter medications, prescriptions and things for our medical kit. It also includes the costs of doctors visits and medical tests which aren't covered by our insurance. I had been expecting some rather large medical bills to come due during the past two months, but it looks like insurance companies take their time processing claims. I'm guessing this will be a painful update next time.
OTHER | Total = $878.33
In this category, we break out how much we spend on clothes and travel expenses. We also include a catch-all miscellaneous group for stuff that doesn't fit neatly anywhere else - things like laundry ($3.25 for a wash and dry at Indiantown Marina). The costs in this category sky rocketed from the previous two months due to the purchase of a new laptop computer. After trying to revive my old one several times, it finally decided it had had enough and died once and for all. Hopefully, this new one lasts longer.
Do you budget and/or track your expenses? If so, do you find it helps you manage your money better?
Thanks for stopping by our blog - we love it when people come visit! We're also on Facebook - pop by and say hi!