08 July 2019

Cost Of Living Aboard A Broken Boat | May & June 2019

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.

While we had hoped to be in the Bahamas this season on our boat, we're currently at Indiantown Marina in south Florida on the hard in the workyard due to a crack in our hull. We've sorted things out with insurance but we're still working through logistics of how and when to do the repair.

In the meantime, we've basically put everything else on hold. There's no point in spending money on our boat until we're sure the crack can be repaired. So this cost report is going to be a bit dull as there was very little spending on anything besides workyard fees and food.

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.

Living Aboard Costs | May & June 2019

Overall, we spent >>$3,677<< during May and June.

When you look at the nitty-gritty details of what we spent below, here are a few things to keep in mind:

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, whether you get subsidies etc. In case you are curious, while we're back in the States, we do have a high deductible/high out-of-pocket expenses insurance through the health insurance marketplace (aka the Affordable Care Act), primarily to protect our assets and cover us in case of a catastrophic medical condition.
(c) I haven't included any expenses related to my writing projects (e.g., editor, book cover design, publishing expenses, author website).

3 - I've included any shipping and taxes we've paid in what we report - Florida has a 6% sales tax.

All right, now that we've got that out of the way, let's dive into the numbers.

GROCERIES | Total = $554

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.

Although we don't budget (you can read more about that here), I'm happiest when we keep our monthly grocery spend per person under $200. As you can see from the total above, we more than achieved that due in part to focusing on eating up all the provisions we had bought for the Bahamas, which we never ended up getting to this year due to the issues with our boat.


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 = $175

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 spend in this category was higher than I would have liked. We spent way too much on eating out or getting takeout food in May ($94), but managed to cut back a bit in June ($43). I also got a month of CBS All Access ($5.99) so that I could watch the latest season of Star Trek: Discovery. And, as always, I spent a chunk of change on books for my Kindle.


Our cell phone is actually one of our biggest non-boat related expenses. We have a 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 the workyard so we haven't needed to get any diesel or gas.

PROPANE  | Total = $7

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. But we did get some small propane bottles for our Magma grill in June.

MARINA COSTS | Total = $1,810

The workyard isn't cheap - $30 a day which includes water an electric. If you pay for a month in advance, you get a small discount.

BOAT STUFF | Total = $376

This category is for all the stuff we buy for the boat, as well as  repair and maintenance costs. Since our boat is broken, we've put boat projects on hold for now for the most part (there are always a few things you still have to take care of to keep your boat livable). Much of our spend over the past two months was for insurance.

TRANSPORT | Total = $80

This category is for costs related to our vehicle, mostly for gas to drive into the nearby "big city" of Stuart for errands. We typically fill up our vehicle once a month.


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 and prescriptions, as well as doctors visits.
OTHER | Total = $326

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, Amazon Prime, presents, computer parts, postage etc.

Any money saving tips to share? What do you spend the most on each month? Are there any areas you're trying to cut back on?

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  1. I hope you can figure out if you can fix the crack soon.

  2. Oh my goodness. I didn't realize you were still on the hard. Yikes. I hope there is something that can be done to get you back out on the water.

    Have a fabulous day and week, Ellen. ♥

  3. Mercy but i also hope you can get back out to boating soon!

  4. Until I get all my boys raised up and on their own budgets, I don't even want to know where the money goes. Mostly to WVU.

  5. I sure hope your next report includes a hefty amount of boat fuel.

  6. Not bad, considering your biggest expense is for the yard. Yikes! But, it seems to give you plenty of time and resources to write, so that's good. :-) I just posted our last expense report, for June. The camper is always our highest category!

  7. I love that you report on your budget for living aboard a boat! I think that's really neat. I'm trying to track my generic spending (not aboard a boat). I find that writing about it and sharing it helps me be more accountable. (Or at least that is the goal.)

  8. sorry to hear your boat's on the hard being repair. I hope it isn't too serious. I spent the afternoon with the crew I race with on a J24--a beautiful day.

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