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Old 22-11-2014, 01:26   #106
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

G'Day all,

I just sat and read through this entire thread. I was impressed by the enthusiasm that folks defended their rationalizations for setting their budget limits. Most of the posters were not long term cruisers... in fact, many were not cruisers at all, but they all knew just what they needed to go cruising successfully.

As one who has been cruising for a lot of years now, here's my take on it:

The big question is that of desire. Do you desire to go cruising more than you desire to maintain some arbitrary standard of living? For those who really want to cruise, they will alter their life style demands to meet whatever budget they can support. For those who "need" to have some specified activities (marina stays, dining out, car rentals, etc), the dream may never be realized. For those who say " I want to go cruising and will do whatever it takes to accomplish this", the dream is there to be enjoyed.

Pretty simple, eh?

Living below ones means is how one builds some capital as a working person. Doing so allowed us to start our cruising life at a relatively early age (48 and 46). Didn't have a spreadsheet budget at all, but soon learned to live on what we had... actually on a bit less than what we had, so that some excess built up. We didn't ever stay in marinas in Mexico or on into the Pacific. If we ate ashore, it was in palapa taco stands with the worker class folks. We did (and still do) our own maintenance chores. Our "entertainment" relies mostly on interacting with other yotties or local inhabitants, not on "night life". We have enjoyed this for 28 years now, and still find it rewarding. It is what we desire to do. Our fiscal situation has improved over the years but we still live well below our means, and we don't worry about budgets. And FWIW, we spend between 2 and 2.5 K$ per month these days, all inclusive.

So for Don and the others who are trying to fine tune their budget estimates, give that away if you really want to cruise and just give it a try. In a few years or less, the answer for your style of cruising will be apparent. If it has worked, keep going, if it hasn't go home and pick up the pieces... you won't be the first, and you will likely survive.

If that scheme is too risky for you, then cruising is not likely going to be enjoyable for you on any budget. There is an element of risk in any life style choice. For us, and for many other long term cruisers, the risk was worthwhile.

Jim
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Old 22-11-2014, 07:23   #107
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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Experienced posters offer lots of math and scenarios that do offer a viable picture, but a failure to realize that you cannot budget commitment.
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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
So for Don and the others who are trying to fine tune their budget estimates, give that away if you really want to cruise and just give it a try. In a few years or less, the answer for your style of cruising will be apparent. If it has worked, keep going, if it hasn't go home and pick up the pieces... you won't be the first, and you will likely survive.

If that scheme is too risky for you, then cruising is not likely going to be enjoyable for you on any budget. There is an element of risk in any life style choice. For us, and for many other long term cruisers, the risk was worthwhile.
Thanks guys. These two recent comments exactly sum up how we (my spouse and I) are approaching our cruising life. Well said .
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Old 22-11-2014, 07:28   #108
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

Yes, it feels right. Adjust as necessary to meet the need.

I hope it works for us.
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Old 26-11-2014, 05:38   #109
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

I wonder if the phase "cruising budget" is replaced with "retirement living budget" if so many would consider it a useless question. Because in the end for lots of people this is the same question and I don't believe on retirement forums the question is handled like it is on cruising forums.

I'm sorry if so many feel that the desire to research a major life decision involving boating is such a useless question to ask on a boating forum.
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Old 26-11-2014, 05:45   #110
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

That is a good point but retirement is all about living within your means while a shift to cruising is all about trying to realize your dreams.

That is where the commitment part comes in

3000 is doable if you make it so
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Old 26-11-2014, 07:23   #111
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I wonder if the phase "cruising budget" is replaced with "retirement living budget" if so many would consider it a useless question. Because in the end for lots of people this is the same question and I don't believe on retirement forums the question is handled like it is on cruising forums.

I'm sorry if so many feel that the desire to research a major life decision involving boating is such a useless question to ask on a boating forum.
Don,

I believe you've had your boat long enought o have pretty good idea of the maintenance costs.

Living expenses are going vary widely depending on your life style and the life style you want to lead. If you want to eat lobster and drink champagne every day - well that costs.

If you are like the rest of us - meaning you generally make your own meals, but like go out on occassion then this is going to cost X.

If you want to spend a lot of nights in marinas - then this is a pretty high expense. OTOH if you are willing to stay on the hook and dinghy into the town - then things get a lot cheaper.

I think I've noted it beofre - you probably won't change your lifestyle (re: meals entertainment etc) all that much. SO what you spend now - you will spend while cruising.

Will you want ot fly back home regularly - check flight prices from cheap destinations - that will give you an idea.

Car rental? - yep, gonna cost you can get a good diea by checking rental prices on the island you want to visit.

I have to say, I'm figuring on $3000 per month myself, but we won't be flying home very much so that is one less cost.

I'm a good amatuer cook - so we'll make most of our own meals. Having said that we do enjoy going out for dinner, but don't feel the need to visit michelin star restaurants. We also enjoy going out for a drink or two - but we're happy at the lower cost places.

We could afford to have a cruising (retirement) budget of 6-7000 per month, but hell, we don't spend that today and we live in the center of Copenhagen.

Everyone I've talked to (and I've talked to lots) say that $3000 will let you lead a good retirement life while cruising.

But in the end - you have to decide what is important to you.

We like G&T's, but don't feel the need to use Hendricks or other premium brands of gin - the cheapo stuff is just fine with us (can't taste the difference when mixed with tonic anyway).

Wine - well we absolutely love good wine - but we drink less expensive wine daily and only splurge on the good stuff for a special occasion.

Clothes? It's the tropics. shorts, polo's etc. A pair of long white ducks for going formal for me, a couple of skirts for my wife.

What exactly is it that has you puzzled? To me - the real uncertainty is boat maintenance. But I've figured $1000 per month and that should cover it-

carsten
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Old 26-11-2014, 07:33   #112
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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What exactly is it that has you puzzled? To me - the real uncertainty is boat maintenance. But I've figured $1000 per month and that should cover it-
I'm not puzzled at all. But there could be people other than me interested in the thread.

I think $1000/mo for just boat maintenance is a lot. But if you say $1000/mo for overall boat costs that include marinas, maintenance, saving for the big items that are needed every few years, insurance, then I agree.
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Old 26-11-2014, 07:51   #113
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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I wonder if the phase "cruising budget" is replaced with "retirement living budget" if so many would consider it a useless question. Because in the end for lots of people this is the same question and I don't believe on retirement forums the question is handled like it is on cruising forums.

I'm sorry if so many feel that the desire to research a major life decision involving boating is such a useless question to ask on a boating forum.

The difference is most of us have real good experience with living on land and have a real good ideas as to costs. I don't need to ask many questions if I were to retire in the house I live in now.
But those of us that currently live on land and have never done extended cruising, do not have a good experience base of costs, everything is guessed at, so we ask questions of those that have experience.
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Old 26-11-2014, 09:15   #114
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

I have trouble wrapping my head around the idea anyone sailing alone would need - on the outside - $1,000 per month to support their cruising expenses. I've completed the best part of two global circumnavigations and managed on about $300/month the first voyage. The second ran about $800/month due to an engine replacement in Australia. Because I do my own maintenance, from applying bottom paint to removing the old and installing the new engine my costs for maintenance when compared to others who pay othets to do everything is very low. The engine replacement would have easily cost $10,000 in Australia if I'd farmed it out. The Yanmar 2YM15 cost $8,000. While costs when more than one person is aboard will be higher, these costs are typically incremental and should not contribute in a huge way to the bottom line.

In 23 years of living aboard and cruising I've only spent about two and a half of those in marinas. Two of them were because I hadn't considered the alternative of hanging on the hook. The balance of the time was spent in marinas because there was no other choice. You might say I 'discovered' the value of using my boat's ground tackle after the axe fell on my sneakaboard lifestyle with a memo from the marina saying they "had reason to believe..." Best thing that ever happened considering savings over the many years I've anchored out.

Food? Sure, I've maintained what many people will consider a pretty boring menu while cruising. But my food choices allowed me to avoid the cost of fuel, investment in refrigeration and related maintenance expenses. The thought that folks on boats can't adapt to low cost food that requires no refrigeration for even short periods of time during passagemaking suggests to me they're unsuited for the rigors of cruising. More sailors end up spending huge wads of money when their 'integrated systems' fail and they're forced to wait in port while parts are obtained. This leads to possible complications with immigration and customs requirements and limitations. Then there's the cost of labour, rarely if ever related to the average of local standards. You pay the same rate Onan or any other company who makes generators, refrigeration or any other complicated system charges in their countries of origin.

People will spend what their accustomed to on cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and what have you. These costs can be significant and were people more rational about their behaviour and health the consequences of smoking and alcohol consumption, a logical decision to eliminate these from their lifestyle will reduce their cost for cruising. Entirely too many alcoholics in the cruising community who's first objective upon arrival at a destination is to find a local bar.

Flights home during the 'off season', especially for female crew is typically going to contribute to a more successful cruising experience. Were it not for my relatively limited financial resources, I'd probably fly home for Thanksgiving. But, in addition to the expense of flying I'd need to either put my boat in a marina or on the hard for safekeeping. Just not affordable unless I bank funds specifically earmarked for this purpose before leaving home. Which brings me to the subject of known as opposed to unknown expenses we'll encounter along the way.

Much of what we'll spend is predictable AND subject to adjustment based upon our priorities. Too many folks are reluctant or don't even consider adjusting their priorities up or down, but presents the greatest potential for savings. Other expenses like replacing sails, rigging, steering and possibly even engines, generators and refrigeration systems are possible. The best way to prepare for these possible expenses is to calculate each based upon costs you'd pay at home plus, say 25 - 50% over and above for incidentals and bank the amount before ever leaving home. Then forget about it as a proportion of your monthly expense for cruising.

There are other ways I diverge from 'normal' expectations of what's required to support a cruising lifestyle, but I'm not wanting to start a firestorm of disagreement and class warfare by my post. Anyway, 'normal' is an ever changing term in the cruising environment as more people with more financial resources enter the game. Hardly what it once was.
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Old 26-11-2014, 10:59   #115
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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G'Day all,

...
Living below ones means is how one builds some capital as a working person. Doing so allowed us to start our cruising life at a relatively early age (48 and 46). ...

We have enjoyed this for 28 years now, and still find it rewarding.

...

Jim
Ok, I hate to do this to you Jim but does 48+28 really mean you are in your mid 70s?

Age is part of the budget calculation, it drives people into boats and eventually, ages them out of the boat.

The latest boat book I am reading is Kretschmer's, "Sailing a Serious Ocean" and he mentions his clients who are hearing the Tick Tock of their biological clocks. We are hearing our Bio Clock Tick Tock and while we are middle aged, we know we are on the downhill run, not only in age, but in the number of years left with good health.

With all of my reading here and there, it seems that most/many people jump on the boat at 60ish and last about 10 years before they have done most/all of their bucket list and/or have aged off the boat. There are too many boats and half built boats for sail where the owner's health declined and the dream ended.

I figure we would be likely to have the 10 year boat run though I am not sure we can do what we want to do in 10 years. Now, if health, physical and MENTAL, allows us to continue boating into our 70s, well we might get that bucket list mostly done.

I hope we are still on the boat in our mid 70s. I think we will have to the money to do so.

Later,
Dan
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Old 26-11-2014, 13:41   #116
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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Ok, I hate to do this to you Jim but does 48+28 really mean you are in your mid 70s?
G'Day Dan...

Well, YOU didn't do it to me, the calendar did! Yes, I'm 76 and Ann is 74, and yes, we're slowing down in our cruising style and accomplishments. And we ain't happy about it! But, we still enjoy our sailing and our travels and living aboard.

How long will this endure? Who knows? We realize that at some point we will either fall off our perches or move off the boat, but we will go unwillinglyin either case.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 26-11-2014, 15:48   #117
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

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We have a different budget, but it cost more than we budgeted by 30% or so.
What were the overruns? Why were you not able to budget accurately? Were they controllable overruns -- for example, maybe you budgeted $X for eating out but then decided you wanted to eat out twice as often? Or in that example, was the cost of eating out twice what you expected? How can others establish a more accurate budget?
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Old 27-11-2014, 09:06   #118
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

my soc sec is a little over 1600 a month with a little other income . it cost 193 a year for permits to keep a boat in panama but this gives you a year to year visa as well. i pay 200 a month for a mooring in the bay i was on the hook first year but we had 70 knot winds and a friend saved my boat from the rocks ,, 4 or 5 boats went aground that day including on on a mooring.
the bottom here is really rotten and when you pull you anchor it takes 2 people an hour because of the gunk on your chain because 150 to 200 foot of chain is needed to keep you in place sometimes .. i made it many months on 1700 a month as i had no major issues with my boat having spent everything i had making her livable ,, now an issue withe the motor and another 3 to 5 grand needed to get her back cruising and i never set anything aside for that kind of outlay ,, anyway the unexpected is to be expected ,, a new buyer or a partner ?? would be great ?? any takers ?
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Old 27-11-2014, 09:28   #119
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

If you need to live on $3000 you'll manage
If you need to live on $2000 you'll manage
If you need to live on $1000 you'll manage

Just don't leave it until its too late!
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:34   #120
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Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

I agree with sailbeat, you ll spend what you have.
We have a forty ft boat, for the most part rebuilt in the last four years and I won't put on a lot of the nav systems until a year before departure which is in four years, that ll make me 54 . We are budgeting. 3000 grand a month, 2000 of that for living and put the other 1000 aside for emergencies. We also feel 2000 a month is a lot for us and we could most likely live on 1500 and still be comfortable. Just because we can afford to spend that much doesn't mean we have to. We have lots of friends who love on 1000 a month comfortably who are out there, but it takes self discipline .
We all have the same needs for survival, food, water, a dry warm space , everything else is really a choice after that, so it's up to each individual. There is no magic number. Beth Evans feels you need 33 % of you re gross on shore income, so if you're use to making 100 grand 3000 a month would be you're number


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