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05 December 2016

Cost Of Living Aboard Tickety Boo | October & November 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 $6,706 during October and November which is up a whopping $4,265 from the previous two months. Yikes!

The primary reason that we had such an increase in spending was due to healthcare bills from an issue I had way back in March. I wish I could say that was the end of the healthcare bills for the year, but sadly there's more coming due. And all of this is even with insurance, thanks to the huge deductible and out-of-pocket expenses that we have to pay before insurance kicks in. Remind me never to get sick again.

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 = $357

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 = $56

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 = $169

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.

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, DVD rentals etc. in this category, as well as the occasional lottery ticket.


COMMUNICATIONS | Total = $140

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

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. The expenditure in this category will probably increase quite a bit over the next two months as Scott gets back and we start buying things again for the boat and ticking items off of the project list.


TRANSPORT | Total = $49

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 = $3,558

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.


OTHER | Total = $1,210

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 expenses in this category were for travel related expenses - Scott's plane ticket back to the States ($840) and airport parking and taxi fare for my trip to Portland ($99).





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

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24 comments:

  1. This is more like our budget lately! If you can get decent medical care and good doctors, it's worth the money. Paying for pointless tests and bad advice is less fun. And of course, getting Scott back is worth any price!

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    1. Aww...what a sweet comment about Scott. Very true :-)

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  2. If it weren't for the medical, then I would say you did really well. There are just some things that you can't control.

    Our budget for last month will be a little higher than what we had planned on but considering that we are traveling, I would say we did pretty good. Kevin hasn't got it posted yet though.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

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    1. That's very true about not being able to control some costs and just having to take a hit on them.

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  3. Medical expenses can sure be pricey. And yes, boo to Florida's sales tax. I've been dealing with that my whole life. :\

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    1. Of course, FL doesn't have income tax, so that kind of balances things out for folks.

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  4. The haul-out in October blew our budget in the same way your medical expenses did. For once I'd love the added costs to go towards something fun like an emergency backpacking trip through Europe or a boatload of Dairy Milk Chocolate -- surely that would ease the pain of paying the credit card bill.

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

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    1. Oh, an emergency backpacking trip thru Europe - that's the kind of emergency spending I'd like too.

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  5. We basically do the same as you do. I can track my expenses through my money program. I think it's essential to know where your money is being spent. Often folks don't realize where all of their money is going.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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    1. For us, it's really essential to track our spending. Plus it's kind of fun to do.

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  6. Sorry about the health expenses biting you in the butt.
    What it costs to keep your boat there is cheaper than most people's mortgage. Ironic, huh?

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    1. Living on a boat is definitely less expensive than owning a home in certain parts of the country.

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  7. Our marina fee is WAAAAAY less expensive than yours. Big differences though, ours is mainly a working marina, mostly commercial fishing boats, we get water, and big dumpsters for trash. Everyone has their own electric meter, and you pay your bill with the electric company. We have restrooms in the parking lot, but that's it. Some of the personal boats are owned by people who don't live here. It's a great place to leave your boat for the winter, and then jump back into the Alaskan Inside passage for the summer. It's clean, and my dock neighbors are friendly, we have received fresh salmon and shrimp gifts from them.

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    1. I think FL has pricier marinas than some parts of the country, but then again there are a lot of boats here. Electricity is included in our costs, which is great as I run the A/C all the time. I would love to have dock neighbors who give us fresh salmon and shrimp - yum!

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  8. What a bummer about the medical expenses. Mark and I are not insured outside the state of Massachusetts, so we hope nothing serious (emergencies would be covered) or unserious happens... Your grocery bill is still extremely low for two months, and your entertainment costs as well, together with many $0 categories. Amazing! I hope Scott made a lot of money so you can account for all these extra expenses! :-)

    I just posted our monthly expense overview today as well. :-)
    http://www.roamingabout.com/monthly-expenses-november-2016/

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    1. The grocery bill is sure to go up this month with Scott back and needing to stock back up on things before we head out to the Bahamas.

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  9. Budgeting by category really helped me when I first started working. I like to know where all the money goes and it helps me find areas where I can save more.

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    1. We find it really useful too. Especially when we started out trying to live more frugally. It really helped identify areas we could cut back on.

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  10. Ouch! Makes me appreciate our NHS even more.

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    1. I really miss the NHS and the NZ medical system too. The system we have here doesn't work and is very unaffordable.

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  11. Sorry to hear about the medical bills! Hopefully you'll have a clean bill of health from now on.

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    1. Thanks Nick - they never did figure out what it was, but I feel fine now.

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  12. Yikes! So sorry to hear of your medical issues. That bill is truly frightening. I hope you're on the mend, Ellen.

    My budget has always been: pay off bills, put everything else in savings, and try not to spend anything. Not sure how effective that is. :)

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