06 February 2017

Cost Of Living Aboard Tickety Boo | December 2016 & January 2017

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 we're currently living while we finish up some boat projects before we head off to the Bahamas for the season.

 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 the details of how much we spent over the past two months, have a look below.

Cost of Living Aboard | December 2016 & January 2017

Overall, we spent $9,983.39 during December and January which is a lot of money, but isn't all that surprising given our long list of boat projects.

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. We renewed our policy for 2017, but as things are up in the air following the election, we'll have to wait and see what happens with coverage this year.
 3 - I've included any shipping and taxes we've paid in what we report. Florida has a 6% sales tax. Boo.

GROCERIES | Total = $1,206.36

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.

Our costs have been a little higher over the past couple of months due to provisioning for our trip to the Bahamas. We found groceries to be really expensive last time we were there, so we're trying to stock up on as much as we can.

PERSONAL & HOUSEHOLD | Total = $100.06

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 = $209.36

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 and going to the movies in this category, as well as the occasional lottery ticket.


Our cell phone is actually one of our biggest non-boat related expenses. We have a $60 monthly GoPhone plan with AT&T which includes 8GB of data and unlimited calls and texts.

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 = $1,176.60

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 = $3,940.53

This category is for all the stuff we've been buying for the boat. And we've bought a lot of stuff over the past couple of months including a generator, LED light bulbs, engine parts (exhaust elbows, impellers, end caps, gaskets, glow plugs etc.), US customs decal, propane cooktop, cup holders for the cockpit, joker valves, PFD re-arming kit, new PFDs for the dinghy, airhorn, used auto-pilot wheel, acrylic for our hatches, screens for our portlights and lots of other miscellaneous bits and bobs.

TRANSPORT | Total = $196.18

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. We spent more over the past couple of months than normal due in part to picking up Scott at the airport in Orlando and our holiday on the Gulf Coast.

MEDICAL EXPENSES | Total = $1,887.59

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 finally got the final bill for my hospital stay way back in March of last year, which accounts for the bulk of the expense over the past two months.

OTHER | Total = $1,316.71

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 in this category was for our week-long holiday cottage rental on the Gulf Coast ($700). We also bought beach chairs, an Aeropress, salad dressing container, storage containers, dragonfly lights for our cockpit and a computer mouse.

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  1. You've finally succumbed to the Aeropress craze! Hopefully we'll all be spending no money once we finally get to the Bahamas.

    1. Oh my goodness! And you have matching dragonfly lights now? Ours have lasted over a year, still going, and means we can find out boat amoungst hundreds since up till now we've been the only cool people.

    2. I didn't realize you had dragonfly lights too. Or did I and I forgot but my subconscious remembered and wanted to imitate you so that I could seem like one of the cool kids :-)

  2. You've been putting a lot of work into the boat, so no wonder those expenses are high.
    Food is expensive in the Bahamas. Noting that now.

    1. Hopefully, once we get to the Bahamas our costs will be much lower.

  3. Working on the boat really does up the costs. We so know how expensive a boat can be.

    I don't think it's anyone's business how much you spend on booze. It's your business. That's the problem now, everyone it up in your business. They won't tend to their business, but they are happy to judge others.

    Have a fabulous day and have a few beers for me. ☺

    1. Some people do like to know what everyone else is up to, that's for sure :-)

  4. I guess you knew it was coming with the boat expense category... :-( Glad the medical bills are settled. Your grocery cost is still relatively low with all the provisioning! We easily spent twice that, I think, before leaving the US or leaving Panama for the South Pacific. Those costs for us did include alcohol and house hod items as well. Your entertainment category is very low. I am about to post our monthly expense report later this week and I am pretty sure our eating out category is much higher, just for one month! Hoping we did better in the other categories this time. :-) Rooting for you to toss the lines soon, so the marina costs disappear!

    1. Getting rid of the marina costs will be a huge savings!

  5. I'm going to tell my husband to stop grumbling about how much we spend on groceries.

  6. Yep, that is pretty high but some of those expenses are one time expenses that hopefully you won't have to pay for again, at least not for a long time with any luck. It is all part of travel and for many people it is still lower that what some people spend in two months just living in a house.

    Bet you are getting excited to get out there on the water again!


    1. That's true - many of them are one time costs (hopefully).

  7. It sounds like a lot until you look where it all went. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

    1. Most of it went on boring boat stuff, not so much on fun stuff :-)


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