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07 October 2016

Cost Of Living Aboard Tickety Boo | August & September 2016


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 | August & September 2016

Overall, we spent $2,441 during August and September which is down $718 from the previous two months. I haven't really been buying anything for the boat lately which has really helped keep expenditure to a minimum.

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 = $417.19

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 = $51.09

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 bug spray.


ENTERTAINMENT | Total = $78.29

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 Amazon Prime (for streaming video), books, magazines, movies, colored pencils and coloring books etc. in this category, as well as the occasional lottery ticket.


COMMUNICATIONS | Total = $140.00

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 6GB of data and unlimited calls and texts. While Scott is away, I've also added on a $10 monthly international call plan so that we can have 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, an electric burner and crock pot for cooking, so haven't needed to top up the LPG tanks. Electricity is included in the slip fee so it makes sense to use that for cooking.


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 = Nil

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 haven't been working on many boat projects lately so there has been zero spend in this category during the past two months.


TRANSPORT | Total = $51.07

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. Beside filling up the tank with gas, I got the oil changed.


MEDICAL EXPENSES | Total = Nil

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 didn't spend anything over the past two months but I'm still expecting some rather large medical bills to come due from way back in March. Who knew processing insurance claims could take so long.


OTHER | Total = $528.60

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 big expense over the past two months was for a plane ticket to visit my family in Portland in November. I also picked up some clothes on sale including a skort (skorts are fun!) and a bathing suit.



Do you budget and/or track your expenses? If so, do you find it helps you manage your money better?

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22 comments:

  1. I like your meticulous accounting record. I'm very bad about keeping track of our expenses though apparently we keep out outlay pretty low as long as we're not traveling.

    Now I'm curious about how much you're spending on alcohol. My wife rarely drinks anymore and I don't drink much. I guess I spend an average $20 a month on alcoholic beverage products over the course of a year. I rarely buy any when I go out and consume minor amounts at home. I'm much worse when it comes to candy and sweets.

    Now you make me want to get more serious about tracking expenses. But I probably won't.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Well, since you asked :-) I spent $23 on booze last month. I actually enjoy tracking our expenses. I'm one of those weirdos who enjoys spreadsheet.

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  2. You do very well. We do track what we spend as well. I think you need to or you'll have issues at some point.

    I have no idea what we spend on alcohol, but we do enjoy our Costco champagne. Yes people are too much in everyone's business anymore. My comment to them....Bite me.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. I didn't know Costco had their own champagne. Bubbles are always fun to drink.

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  3. I would feel for you on that state sales tax, but then ours is close to 10%. Yep. ON big purchases we either order on line out of state or drive to Oregon. I think I'll be saving money on food when we move aboard because I won't have the space to shop at Costco all the time.

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    1. There are a lot of people who live in Vancouver WA so they don't have to pay income tax and then do their shopping in Portland so they don't have to pay sales tax. They've got a good system going.

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  4. We do keep an eye on our expenditure but nowhere near as closely as you. We were more thorough when I first gave up work to make sure we could manage on one salary.

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    1. When I stopped working is when I started closely tracking our expenses too.

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  5. Your grocery expenses are very low again, Ellen. I don't know how you do this! I guess if you have quite a bit stocked up and if the meals are for one person, it makes a difference. Once you get out cruising again that marina slip fee will disappear and be replaced by boat fixing. :-) I have to get my expense report for September ready (it is high) and hope to find some time for it today or tomorrow. Our days are extremely busy at the boat show and socializing at night. I hope you and Tickety Boo faired well during the hurricane.

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    1. I did eat a bit out of my food storage which probably kept costs down. And it is much cheaper to shop for just one person.

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  6. That $500 ticket to see family will totally be worth it, especially since it would take quite a long time to get Tickety Boo there! Our budget program thinks we've been spending unusual amounts of money this month during the haul out and 3 vet trips. I told this nag to take a chill pill, but it said it doesn't have money left for medicine.

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    1. I'm really looking forward to my visit out to PDX. Definitely worth the expenditure.

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  7. Boating life sounds good if the biggest expense was non-boat-related (a plane ticket)! We should probably do something like this - we basically pay the bills each month and then work on a weekly basis, but I can see how doing this would identify areas to save.

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    1. It was something I started when we first decided to move onto a boat so that I could see where we could cut back. Keeping it up helps me really think about what we spend out money on so that we have enough to let us travel for a while before we have to go back to work.

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  8. I've found the thing that helps our budget the most is to keep David out of as many stores as humanly possible -- from chandleries to grocery stores to hardware stores. The man knows how to spend money.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

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    1. Or the sweet shop - that man sure knows how to stock up on Cadburys :-)

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  9. I'm with Stephanie on this..... Bill can be a big spender on "stuff" he feels is important. As evidenced by the amount of things we sold, gave away, and threw away on this packing adventure we have been having. At this point, I never want to buy another thing as long as I live. I have been totally cured of reckless consumerism.

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    1. I've definitely been cured of my reckless consumerism. Besides, where would I put anything I bought?

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  10. Gosh, I am very impressed! You are extremely organized. I have a fairly haphazard approach to money management so cannot help being stunned and humbled by yours.

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    1. Thanks Kathleen! The system works for me, but definitely isn't for everyone.

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  11. Great job on keeping costs down. Enjoy Portland in next month!

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    1. Thanks Cheryl. I'm really looking forward to the trip :-)

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