Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 28-10-2014, 08:14   #1
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,305
$3,000 / Month Cruising Budget Planned

Since the last thread got locked and I'm looking at this again because I need to start making some decisions:

Determining a cruising budget and trying to find out if it will work seems like one of the most important parts of cruising, yet is one of the hardest to find any answers on. Before I got into sailing I spent 2 years researching the cost issues and in the end kind of just gave up and placed myself on a cruising path anyway.

The question frequently becomes all jammed up with "it depends" and "it costs whatever you can afford to spend" answers. Which are true, but of little value for planning. Planning becomes even more important for those not so young as the decision to stop working and go cruising equals an end to a career and little chance of returning to work at anywhere near the level they were when they sailed off. The goal becomes balancing leaving while young enough to get the most of of cruising, while working long enough to not run out of money.

But I'm becoming more and more job burnt out and more and more caught in the dream, so find myself looking for an answer based on some type of reality. To do it I spend lots of time reading through blogs looking for what people are spending and comparing it to what they are doing. I read things like the "Interview with a Cruiser Project", waste my time on the various forums, and just plain taking a guess based on what it costs me to live on land and maintain my boat now and have a budget in mind.

The budget I'm currently planning for is $3000/mo, which has to cover basically everything (turns out this is what I spend on land life once I adjust for house and boat related changes). Now this isn't a down and dirty budget, and it isn't a live high budget. But it is expected to be a comfortable budget that allows sightseeing and not eating out of a can budget. And as an average amount is one that I could cruise on till I no longer an able (that $3000/mo, $36,000/yr budget becomes $52,500 when I'm 75 at 2% inflation).

I'm currently looking at cutting land ties Sept 2015 and it is looking that on Sept 2015 we will have $442k in cash and 401ks. In 2022 & 2023 we each could start collecting about $1300/mo in social security. Had the financial advisor run the projections and he said it all works (was surprised a financial advisor would even say that).

To go or not to go; comments, stories, real examples (not from 30 yo backpacker type cruisers)
__________________

__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 08:18   #2
Registered User
 
Group9's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,599
Images: 7
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

I have found, that most people who really want to cruise, find a way to do it.

If you can't figure out a way to do it with those assets and income, you probably didn't really want to do it that badly, in the first place. I did it on a lot less, and most other people do, too.

Not trying to be hard on you, but you sound like you are just trying to talk yourself into really wanting to do it.
__________________

__________________
Cruising again!
Group9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 08:28   #3
Registered User
 
Wrong's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,702
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Since the last thread got locked and I'm looking at this again because I need to start making some decisions:

Determining a cruising budget and trying to find out if it will work seems like one of the most important parts of cruising, yet is one of the hardest to find any answers on. Before I got into sailing I spent 2 years researching the cost issues and in the end kind of just gave up and placed myself on a cruising path anyway.

The question frequently becomes all jammed up with "it depends" and "it costs whatever you can afford to spend" answers. Which are true, but of little value for planning. Planning becomes even more important for those not so young as the decision to stop working and go cruising equals an end to a career and little chance of returning to work at anywhere near the level they were when they sailed off. The goal becomes balancing leaving while young enough to get the most of of cruising, while working long enough to not run out of money.

But I'm becoming more and more job burnt out and more and more caught in the dream, so find myself looking for an answer based on some type of reality. To do it I spend lots of time reading through blogs looking for what people are spending and comparing it to what they are doing. I read things like the "Interview with a Cruiser Project", waste my time on the various forums, and just plain taking a guess based on what it costs me to live on land and maintain my boat now and have a budget in mind.

The budget I'm currently planning for is $3000/mo, which has to cover basically everything (turns out this is what I spend on land life once I adjust for house and boat related changes). Now this isn't a down and dirty budget, and it isn't a live high budget. But it is expected to be a comfortable budget that allows sightseeing and not eating out of a can budget. And as an average amount is one that I could cruise on till I no longer an able (that $3000/mo, $36,000/yr budget becomes $52,500 when I'm 75 at 2% inflation).

I'm currently looking at cutting land ties Sept 2015 and it is looking that on Sept 2015 we will have $442k in cash and 401ks. In 2022 & 2023 we each could start collecting about $1300/mo in social security. Had the financial advisor run the projections and he said it all works (was surprised a financial advisor would even say that).

To go or not to go; comments, stories, real examples (not from 30 yo backpacker type cruisers)
Seriously. Does this include land-based obligations and expenses you'll still have?

If not, gimme just one month's worth of your planned budget and I'll comfortably cruise for 6 months. And I'm not a "30 yo backpack type cruiser."

I'll just see things in a different way favouring public transport and a bicycle. Plan my own itinerary rather than paying the likes of a 'tour agency' to do it. Got to admit though, in Australia and the U.S. it's hard to see much without a car and I haven't had a driver's licence for 20+ years if that tells you anything.

You can easily throw a wad of money at organized safaris and tours.

You've got the money, why not?
__________________
Wrong is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 08:28   #4
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,022
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

I'm in almost exactly the same boat.
When you figure it out, let me know please.
One of my concerns is the inevitable things that are hard to plan for, storm damage, engine swallowing it's own arse, etc.
How do you budget for things that may or may not happen, but if they do, they are real expensive?
__________________
a64pilot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 08:30   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Sailing the Caribbean
Boat: Switch 51
Posts: 1,498
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

We have a different budget, but it cost more than we budgeted by 30% or so.
__________________
SVNeko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 08:33   #6
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,305
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
How do you budget for things that may or may not happen, but if they do, they are real expensive?
They have to be part of the budget and you have to have a cash cushion built into the budget for them. A $3k/mo budget doesn't mean you spend $3k/mo cruising all the time, some of that money has to go into the refit/big item fund.
__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 08:37   #7
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,022
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

It's the boat expenses I can't get a hand on, other things like food, entertainment, marina's etc. can be controlled, but how do you handle boat maintenance like bottom jobs, etc., put $100 a month, $200, $300 what?
Or just save heavily for a couple of months before and just deal with it?
How much set back for a catastrophe fund? Engine, tranny, dismasting?
__________________
a64pilot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 08:42   #8
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,022
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVNeko View Post
We have a different budget, but it cost more than we budgeted by 30% or so.
Care to share? Not specifics maybe if you don't want to, but what were the surprises, what expense were you not prepared for, how do you make up the 30%?
Of course we wanna bees fear coming up 30% short, without the money to fill in the 30%.
__________________
a64pilot is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 08:45   #9
Registered User
 
wolfesmy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Winnipeg Manitoba Canada , Florida, Bahamas
Boat: Morgan 383, C&C 34, Kirby 25
Posts: 67
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

Question, is this a vacation or a lifestyle? that's the first question you have to answer. if it's a vacation metality that you are leaving with then stayed tied to the dock and working cause you'll never make it on that budget. If it's a lifestyle choice then you have more than enough. If you plan to live on the hook mostly(free), fish (free except for local licenses). Boats paid (free except for maintenance and upgrades). Next budget your expenses like insurance (yourselves and boat), Groceries, entry fees and taxes, intoxicating fluids (this one is hard) I think you'll see that you can easily do this.
If you planning marinas and mooring balls regularly, guided tours, eating out and other vacation events you will be challenged.
We can manage on a budget like yours and still take in the occasional marina and mooring ball, yes and even go out for dinner.
It's all on how you manage it.
I suggest go with your plan, keep a log of expenses,review and adjust m,onthly till you get a good fit. I think you'll be pleasently surprised.
__________________
wolfesmy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 08:46   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,368
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

One way to go about it is start with the very basic, bare minimum it takes to stay alive and go up from that.

During my first stint as a full time live aboard there were times when I was pretty broke. I can assure you from personal experience that, at least short term and anchored out, you can live on whatever it costs to buy food at the local grocery or market plus an occasional tank of cooking fuel of your choice. Some months (this was about 1975) I got buy on $50-$100 but I was drawing on a large stock of dried and canned food to supplement plus whatever fish or lobster I could catch.


Now start adding the additional expenses.

- Boat Insurance, pick your flavor: basic liability or full hull coverage.
- Personal Insurance.
- Personal taxes and any other ongoing personal expenses.
- Occasional marina stays, dinners out, side trips. This expense is totally controllable based on how much extra you have to spend or want to spend.
- The periodic but predictable large boat bills: Hauling and bottom paint every 1-2 years, new sails 5-10 years, new rig 5-10 years, running rigging, anchor chain. In my case 42' cutter in very round numbers for each of these: haul and paint - $500-$1000. New sails $3000 each. New standing rigging $3000. New running rigging - $1000 every year or three. Anchor chain $1000-$3000 every 5-10 years.
- The occasional, unpredictable catastrophe like blown engine, lost mast, etc. All you can do is sock away a chunk of money for rainy days. Hard to account for something like a blown engine. With luck it will never happen but if it does get ready to shell out $5-$10-$20 thousand (rebuild vs used vs new).

Miscellaneous stuff. Depending on where you visit: customs fees, local taxes, airplane tickets home.

Once a year buy a couple of t-shirts, one pair of shorts, one swimsuit, 2-3 pairs of cheap flip-flops and you're good to go.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 08:53   #11
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,305
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
It's the boat expenses I can't get a hand on, other things like food, entertainment, marina's etc. can be controlled, but how do you handle boat maintenance like bottom jobs, etc., put $100 a month, $200, $300 what?
Or just save heavily for a couple of months before and just deal with it?
How much set back for a catastrophe fund? Engine, tranny, dismasting?
I asked one of CFs members who has done a circumnavigator about his budget and he spent between $3-3.5k/mo during it. But he has been in a nice Caribbean location the past year living on around $1200/mo while allowing the cruising kitty to feed savings to do some refit items.

Also keep in mind that you don't necessarily have to have funds in pocket to handle emergencies, just have to have a way to handle them if they happen. So credit cards etc could be part of a plan if you have a cash flow but don't have the funds already in an account. This really isn't any different than owning a house and needing to replace your roof etc.
__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 08:56   #12
Registered User
 
Group9's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1,599
Images: 7
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I'm in almost exactly the same boat.
When you figure it out, let me know please.
One of my concerns is the inevitable things that are hard to plan for, storm damage, engine swallowing it's own arse, etc.
How do you budget for things that may or may not happen, but if they do, they are real expensive?
But, how do you do that in life?

In my lifetime, most of the things I worried about happening, never happened, while several bad things I never even considered, did happen.

I always worried about getting cancer, and dying or being ruined financially. I got it twice and didn't die either time, and insurance covered everything. I didn't worry about being divorced (thought I had a happy marriage) and did, and it cost me a half a million dollars.
__________________
Cruising again!
Group9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 08:59   #13
Registered User
 
wolfesmy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Winnipeg Manitoba Canada , Florida, Bahamas
Boat: Morgan 383, C&C 34, Kirby 25
Posts: 67
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

Boat Maintenance is one that is tough to handle, I agree. It is another multiple answer issue. Can you do the work yourself?, Do you need to hire others. There are still DIY yards where you can do your own work, relatively cheap, haul, spend a week doing a bottom and relaunch. As for the other catastrophies, rigging and mechanical failure all I can say here is maintenance. Keep the fluids up on your mechanicals, do the service and they go for a long time, reliably. Rigging failure, Inspection, Inspection, Inspection. Check it regularly and replace suspicious parts ASAP. Carry Insurance is another option. If you plan to self insure you need cash in the bank ahead of time. How much depends on age and size of the boat.
If you need to hire riggers and mechanics, it gets expensive in a hurry. When we first started I didn't know enough about diesels and paid for mechanics. I learned a lot in a hurry and can now troubleshoot and repair all but an engine rebuild I think.

CARRY SPARES!!!
__________________
wolfesmy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 09:06   #14
Registered User
 
JK n Smitty's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Hingham, MA
Boat: Catalina 310
Posts: 637
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

I think you are making a big mistake by first thinking that social security will continue to pay at the level you put down and second only thinking there will be 2% inflation per year moving forward. That being said, I still think you should go and just find a way to make it work.

So here is how I see our budget breaking out:
  • Food - $100 per week for $400 a month;
  • Insurance - $200 per month;
  • Fuel - Dingy and big boat $200 per month
  • Eating out - shouldn't but I am sure we will $400 per month
  • Entertainment - local travel, movies, etc. $400 per month
  • Cell Phone - including some data $100 per month
  • Boat Maintenance - won't be this every month of for budget $200 per month
  • Moorings/Slips - $200 per month
  • Annual costs split out per month (flying home once a year, storage while we fly home, birthdays and holidays, excise tax, USCG fee, vet bill for the dog, mooring fee for home port) $350 per month
  • Alcohol - $100 per month
  • Laundry - $20 per month
  • Water - (if we don't add a water maker) Avg. of $0.25 per gallon for 200 gallons (50 gallons per week) for $50 per month
So that's $2,420 per month. We have been budgeting based on $2,500. Our plan to be as cheap as possible when we get out there and hopefully be less than half of this. We would rather budget high and work to be low than budget low and work to meet it. It's a mental thing and everyone is different.

Just cutting our eating out and entertainment in half and going a little less on the alcohol and cell phones and we can be below $2,000. That's a savings of over $5K per year.

We also know that our not working is only temporary. A couple of years probably. After that we will have to go back to work.

What is the breakdown of how you got to $3,000 per month?
__________________
http://svsmitty.wordpress.com/
JK n Smitty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-10-2014, 09:06   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: panama
Boat: solaris 42 1978
Posts: 170
Re: $3,000/mo cruising budget planned

i am on a mooring in panama .. i know cruisers that have lived on their boats 12 to 15 years that are on the hook ,, they eat out about 3 to 4 times a week pizza beer etc, go to concerts ,, ride the bus , musuems etc, on 1200 to 1700 a month and still put away enough for emergencies ,, we did my bottom on the beach " advantage to a cat " and i beach her about every 3 months to clean and touch her up ,, i know mono hull sailors here that careen their boat and do the same thing ,, i got bad diesel on one motor and will spend over 5000 grand on injector pump and injectors on a motor with less than 1000 hours on it ,, so there is a 6 month budget for me ,,
__________________

__________________
svfraidknot is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
budget, cruising

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:17.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.