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Old 03-11-2011, 13:26   #2056
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

The biggest single part of my interior was the galley (I couldn't really break it into sections) the space to work with after gutting it down to the ceilings was 8'x4'. The galley is the most important as well as usually most poorly thought out part of the cabin.
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Old 03-11-2011, 17:50   #2057
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

you need to get your boat south where is cheeper to work on it and to anchor for a while as you work and stay warm
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Old 03-11-2011, 18:01   #2058
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Pacific coast of Mexico is quite doable on $500 per month. Anchor out, no meals out at the gringo places, but the taco stands are cheap and delicious. If you have to do a haulout or something requiring a boatyard, do it off-season. Yard rates around PV make San Diego seem like a bargain. I had a client get charged $600 for a survey hang for a 41'er.
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Old 03-11-2011, 18:08   #2059
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

puerto vallarta is mexican riviera-not to have work done there--is unholy high
mazatlaan is not that. has a shrimper fleet and off season for them is much better in price.
la paz has easier access to usa for parts.one might might consider there
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Old 03-11-2011, 21:43   #2060
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

zeehag,

Good point about La Paz and parts. It's not so much that the parts are more available, but Baja is considered "frontier" and the duties are less. Plus Shamus or whatever the Scottish Canadian guy in La Paz is named, is probably the most reasonable supplier in Mexico. Mazatlan has a good yard.
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Old 03-11-2011, 21:57   #2061
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

mazatlan has 3 yards-- one singlar/fornatur, which is the local yottie haul yard, and 2 shrimper yards. the singlar yard just raised their rates. the shrimper yard is lowering theirs as is off season for hauling shrimp boats-- they all just went back into water to work. the shrimper yards use a railroad system for hauling boats instead of a sling lift.
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Old 03-11-2011, 23:30   #2062
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

These guys know a thing or two about sailing while keeping costs down.
(search for blue anarchy dot org)

The big question I have, is how much money do you have upfront to prepare to live on $500 or less a month? Does that $500/month have to cover a boat payment, boat repairs, and living expenses until you are ready to go cruising? Can I bring my laptop, camera, bicycle, kayak, snorkeling gear, and hiking boots for activities to do that don't cost anything now that I have paid for them?

My hypothetical quick budget if I needed to live as cheaply as possible.

Food - $25/week, $100/month, $1,300/year. I'm not sure if I would qualify for food stamps by choosing to do this. I would eat the way my grandparents did on the farm, and cooking my own meals most of the time. I would mainly eat a vegetarian diet, and find farms where you can pick your own crops.

I would also get a fishing license in Michigan (where I would spend summer), and possibly during the winter if I stayed anchored someplace for a few months.

Water - $5/month. Clean drinking water, collect rain water for showers, and a little propane or solar water heating.

Clothing - $4/month, $50/year. I would try and keep the temperature between 85-65. I wouldn't need many clothes if any.

Shelter - $50/month, $700/year. Boat in good shape. No property taxes, home owner associations, permit fees, trash, electric, sewer, water bills... As long as the boat is taken care of, and is made out of high quality products...I would still want some toys though. It might blow my budget at first. I would buy maps and other typical gear.

Security - I would have a cell phone. It should be pretty cheap, but I will hope to get it down to $25/month, $300/year. My iPhone as part of a family plan is $65/month, $780/year. I may have to splurge on that.

Health insurance - I wouldn't want to go without it, even though I know tit would be cheaper to get treated in Mexico if something comes up. I haven't needed my health insurance in the past, and I hope to keep it that way. $55/month, $660/year

Boat insurance - $0 I would have to research this some more,and determine if I can keep the boat safe.

Fun - I have listed a few things to do above that are free. I would also spend some time at the beach, since I am beach deprived right now. I would also have to add a budget of $20/month for boat drinks. $240/year. I don't drink very much now, maybe $40/year. But, I would like some drinks on a boat.

There are a lot of 'free' activities to do in different cities. I would have a bicycle to ride, and my laptop has free digital OTA TV when I am close to a city and the weather is bad.

What did I forget? This comes out to $299/month. I'm not sure how much adding a girlfriend to this would cost. maybe that would get up to $500

I would like to go to the Bahamas in the winter, and a few other Caribbean locations. Entry fees will cost about $250/year I think. Plus, I will try and use free anchoring, moorings, or docks most of the time, but I will budget $800/year towards marina fees and other miscellaneous expenses.
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Old 04-11-2011, 04:29   #2063
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

You mentioned cell phone so I thought I'd pipe up with my cheapskate phone solution. PagePlus. They buy time on the Verizon network wholesale and resell it cheaper than Verizon. And actually I use Kitty Wireless (a PagePlus dealer), as they have better customer service than going through PagePlus directly. Same rates, just better service.

Check out their plans here:
Page Plus Plans Overview

I use the pay-as-you-go -- 4 cents a minute for phone calls, and 5 cents per text, if you put $80 into your account, good for a year. So that's $6.67 a month if you don't go over. The data on that plan is $1 per MB, which is steep in these days of data-hungry phones. I have a Droid, but I keep the 3G data off except when I desperately need it, like for an important weather check when on the boat. Otherwise I get all my data over wifi wherever I can find it.

The $29.95 per month plan gets you 1200 minutes of talking, 3000 texts, and 100mb of data. Too pricy for me, but good for someone who likes to talk & text a lot. . . .
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:15   #2064
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

I only check into this thread once in a while. But it sounds sometimes that people may be alive on this budget ($4/mo for cloths, $25/wk for food, $20/mo for fun), but I wouldn't call it living.

How many people on the thread are posting based on their personal experience of living on $500/mo, recently?
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:50   #2065
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunDevil View Post
The big question I have, is how much money do you have upfront to prepare to live on $500 or less a month? Does that $500/month have to cover a boat payment, boat repairs, and living expenses until you are ready to go cruising?

Can I bring my laptop, camera, bicycle, kayak, snorkeling gear, and hiking boots for activities to do that don't cost anything now that I have paid for them?

My hypothetical quick budget if I needed to live as cheaply as possible.
An interesting list - lots of thought gone into that

Just to make clear, have not done any long term boat cruising (high or low budget)....but have travelled the world a bit, on various budgets.

I would say that a couple of tricks to living on a low budget (not all by any means).

a) know what your unavoidable expenses will be, and when they fall due (not everything can get kicked off into the future, at least not indefinately).

b) have money probably sounds a bit counterintuitive for living cheap, but if you have a pot (working capital) you can take advantage of deals as and when you spot them.....whether that be 50 cans of beans for 10 cents each or a s/h dink at a crazy price (from a cruiser even more broke than you? ) - might not need the dink, but can always sell for a profit if bought well

c) Delude yourself when counting up "How much" and that IMO includes not counting the cost of stuff you bring onboard like "laptop, camera, bicycle, kayak, snorkeling gear, and hiking boots"......albeit some will need to go into the replacement budget.

d) keep a track of your costs / expenses - they don't fall neatly into a weekly or monthly budget, easy to say that had a good (cheap) month and treat yourself with the balance left for that month.....but next month (or the month after) will be a bad (expensive) month.

e) have a few places that you know very well (the ashore bit - go and explore ), and ideally also some locals. Makes life cheaper if you need to hole up somewhere (i.e. two buses away is a superstore that is half the price of anything in walking distance). Always being new somewhere does add to cost.

I would also suggest that the biggest impact on a low budget boat cruiser's finances will be the area(s) chosen.....as the biggest resource is whatever is ashore. Some areas casual work will be more readily available (others not at all), same for cheap food / moorings / whatever.........just all the good stuff not in the same place .......but that I guess is where the "Cruising" part comes in

Oh, and the only way to know if your budget works (for you) is to try. Just have a plan B (if can put together a sorted boat, and, say, $12k in the kitty and planning for 2 years cruising, not a complete disaster if come back potless after "only" 18 months. A week would be ).
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Old 04-11-2011, 19:57   #2066
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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I only check into this thread once in a while. But it sounds sometimes that people may be alive on this budget ($4/mo for cloths, $25/wk for food, $20/mo for fun), but I wouldn't call it living.

How many people on the thread are posting based on their personal experience of living on $500/mo, recently?
I lived on this budget for 6 years during college and at the beginning of my current job. It isn't really as bad as you might think. I would rather live inexpensively than have to worry about debt collectors...

Now, I live on a slightly modified version. I am willing to spend money that I have saved to purchase high quality items. But, I still am afraid that I have too much 'stuff'. Earlier this year I traveled for 3 months on a business trip, and I lived a more interesting life, with just the two suitcases I had.

So, this idea of 'comfortable simplicity' is what is drawing me towards this cruising lifestyle.

And talking about living...I would rather be living on a very restricted budget while sailing in the Caribbean than working 40 hours a week in my cubicle during the cold winter months here.
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:30   #2067
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

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How many people on the thread are posting based on their personal experience of living on $500/mo, recently?
Probably few here but worldwide most people live on an awful lot less.
Poverty Facts and Stats

A lot of the work on living on a budget goes into overcoming a lifetime of having the best advertising geniuses on the planet hammering into your head that you need to have wealth and luxury to be in the least bit happy.
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:12   #2068
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

yes but we are talking cruising, not living
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:25   #2069
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Quote:
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yes but we are talking cruising, not living
Same thing. Break down the unquestioned link that money and luxury are necessary for contentment then living on a budget becomes easier.
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:31   #2070
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Re: Cruising on $500 per Month . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
yes but we are talking cruising, not living
But I thought "living" was your question.

Quote:
How many people on the thread are posting based on their personal experience of living on $500/mo, recently?
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