08 December 2017

Cost Of Boat Projects & Liveaboard Life | October & November 2017

We track and report every penny we spend living aboard and cruising on Tickety Boo, our Moody 346 sailboat for a couple of reasons.

1 - It helps us see where our money is going, helps us make informed choices about where to spend our money, which in turn helps us stretch our money further so that we can keep adventuring longer.

2 - We found it really useful to check out other people's cost of cruising when we were starting out, so we figure we can return favor by sharing ours.

We're currently at Indiantown Marina in Florida waiting out hurricane season and working on boat projects/upgrades to get Tickety Boo ready to head to the Western Caribbean this coming season. You can find details of how much we spent during October and November 2017 below.

You can find links to other cost updates from ourselves (on Tickety Boo, camping across the States and our previous boat in New Zealand) and others on this page, as well as on The Monkey's Fist.


Cost of Boat Projects & Liveaboard Life  | October & November 2017

 We spent >> $3,000.27 during October and November <<, which is about $1,800 less than we spent during the previous two months.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of the 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 costs.
(b) 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.
3 - I've included any shipping and taxes we've paid in what we report. Florida has a 6% sales tax.

GROCERIES | Total = $445.20

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.

This is down quite a bit from the previous two months ($749) due in part to the fact that Scott headed back to Scotland in mid-October and because I ate out more than usual.

Although we won't be heading out cruising until sometime next year, I started to do a little provisioning, getting some more dehydrated vegetables from Harmony House when they were having a sale. We really found these to be useful when we were cruising in the Bahamas (especially the bell peppers), so I stocked up on some more.

PERSONAL & HOUSEHOLD | Total = $57.40

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 = $173.07

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.

Little Caesar's dominated at the beginning of October. We had a power outage for a few days at the marina due to flooding. Little Caesar's saved the day a couple of times during that episode. And there was another day when boat projects had us so tuckered out that pizza was calling our name. Generally, we try our best to avoid getting take-out food, but sometimes we succumb to temptation.

The other reason our entertainment costs were so high is that I went out to eat five times during November. Even though four of those times were at Taco Tuesday, which is relatively inexpensive, it all adds up.

COMMUNICATIONS | Total = $120.00

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

BOAT FUEL | Total = Nil

Tickety Boo has been sitting in her slip so we haven't needed to get any fuel.

PROPANE  | Total = Nil

We have a propane/LPG cooker on our boat, which we need to replace as the stove no longer works and replacement parts aren't available. While we're at Indiantown Marina, we use an electric hotplate and a crockpot for cooking, so we haven't had to spend any money on filling our propane 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' boat is $572.40. The guys at the marina will also come pump out our holding tank on demand - $5.30 for each visit - which we tend to do two times a month.

BOAT STUFF | Total = $153.04

This category is for all the stuff we buy for the boat, as well as repairs and maintenance costs. I got a new Customs & Border Protection decal ($27.50) which allows us to clear back into the States over the phone, rather than go to the office. I also bought supplies for some varnishing projects, none of which I've started yet. And we stocked up on some more Gorilla tape, which is like duct tape on steroids.

TRANSPORT | Total = $145.79

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 quite a bit on gas ($103.30), partly due to putting miles on the car driving Scott to the airport in Orlando.

We also bought a new blower motor ($42.49). Scott took the old one out before he left and I installed the new one. I was so excited to have air conditioning again only to experience water gushing into the car on the passenger side as I was coming back from Stuart one day. Turns out the drain hose for the air conditioning is clogged, but I need a compressor to blast air into it and clear the clog, something that I don't have. Oh well, at least the fan is working.


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. Thankfully, we haven't had to spend anything in this category over the past two months.

OTHER | Total = $739.77

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.

The big ticket items over the past two months included an airplane ticket to Portland to see my family ($464.60), a printer and ink ($56.10), and new walking shoes for me ($55.47). Other items included a haircut (my first in ages), a tank top on sale ($3.18), new flip-flops ($2.00), highlighters, and a spare USB plug.

Did we spend more or less than you would have expected? Do you track your expenses? Any frugal living tips to share?

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  1. Nothing wrong with getting a pizza now and then!
    No medical expenses is good.

    1. It's always a good month when there's no medical spending

  2. I track our spending. I think you need to if you want to know where your money goes. I also think you did really well for those two months too. Summer is always more expensive.

    Have a fabulous day and weekend. ♥

    1. If I didn't track our spending I'd have no idea where it was going and that would not be a good thing.

  3. I agree, you're doing great. Now, let's talk about cruising the western Caribbean! We are so do e with Florida attitude...

    1. I still can't believe that citation you got. Oh, wait, I can. That's what they do here :-(

    2. Every cruising ground has its ups and downs. Even the Western Caribbean. :-) But, I agree, you all should leave Florida and head back to the islands. Any islands. :-)

  4. You are so organized with your spending and good for you. I'm afraid I'm not good with budgets but am careful with money. I know I spend far too much on coffee and cake, but that saves me seeing a therapist I always say. It's what makes me happy and happiness is good, right?

    Denise :-)

    1. I think coffee and cake is always a good way to spend your money :-)

  5. My hubby and I have always followed a budget. Our breakdown of costs isn't quite as detailed as yours, but I can't imagine NOT following a budget. Paying attention to our outgo and savings is what allowed us to retire comfortably.

    1. Tracking our spending is what helped us lead our current lifestyle. Couldn't be doing it without it.

    2. Exactly! The land-folks who exclaim "You're so lucky! I want your life!" have No. Freaking. Clue. ;-)

  6. I remain amazed at how little you spend on groceries!! I assume that it is just for yourself with Scott off the boat, but still. Pretty good months on the spending front, especially including your plane ticket, I'd say. I'm sure you can't wait to be at anchor again and cut that biggest expense out. :-)

    1. I think this was a really exceptional month. Usually, I spend way more.


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