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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