Silly question and I can imagine its been talked about many times over, so please forgive the newbie in me. Did you find the money that you had antisapated speanding when you are cruising has truned out to be more or less in reality?
Yes and no.
Ordinary expenses, groceries, routine boat maintenance, fuel etc., can be anticipated and put in the budget. It is the unexpected ones that throw you off. We had unplanned repairs to the boat, unanticipated medical expenses and longer than expected stays in expensive marinas due to weather. Still, over all, throwing out the doctor bills, the engine rebuild and five months in the boatyard in Port Townsend, our expenses over the past four years have been pretty much what we expected. About $1200 a month. We figure we could cut that down to $800 if we could curb our affinity for tying up in marinas, going to restaurants and drinking beer.
Really, since we have a fund set aside for emergencies, even those "Unexpected" expenses fall within reasonable expectations.
The key is to have a back-up plan for topping up the cruising kitty when it runs low. We talked to a lot of experienced cruisers in the run-up to our departure. The advice they gave us has proved invaluable:
Take things as they come.
Embrace the adventure.
Have a back-up plan to your back-up plan.
Be prepared to wing it when the plans fall apart.
Get a part-time job at West Marine.
Make no mistake. I am not giving advice. I am just stating what has worked for us so far.