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post #111 of 2782 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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Originally Posted by Brent Swain View Post
I have been cruising the last 37 years on a lot less then $500 a month.
I find this statement pretty hard to believe and call BS. 37 years ago $500 would buy the same as $1,923 in 2013!
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post #112 of 2782 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

Why the Salish Sea? It seems like a really cold place to me.

Great thread. Our family phone/internet bills are close to $500 per month. That's Verizon (4 smart phones and a MiFi) and Cablevision (combined home phone, Internet, and almost-basic cable TV). I'm putting my own cell phone on hold as I get one through work - the plan is so old that it's unlimited data. I ought to lend it to someone instead.

Gas heat and electric combined are another $500 per month. (No A/C.) And that's after getting a programmable thermostat and setting the night time temp down. Next step is to re-do the window film/insulation.

So this thread is especially appealing.

Regards,
Brad
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post #113 of 2782 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

the statement above is true(regarding pay in mexico and ca) for example here in el salvador minimum wage per month is about $160...that is enough for 1 person to live on...

having said that we have massive overpopulation in the cities and the farmland is being abandoned so that leaves you with nice scenery outside cities but NO JOBS

and we all know how that ends up(think the states in the great depression) etc...

as en example I have 3 workers at my restauarant and Im small scale...

they all earn about 3 times that much on a daily basis plus tips, and they work LESS than half of the 6 day normal work schedule here...so they are happy campers...I camt say that for all restaurants or places here...there is massive abuse of power by big companies and small alike regarding worker salaries, and hours.

...in any case back to $500 budgets...I think this will be a key number for myself my newborn and wife during our 2015 cruise of central america...thats the plan at least

so anybody coming down? we can buddy boat! jajaja at least till the wife gets the hang if it! jajajaja

peace

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post #114 of 2782 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
Why the Salish Sea? It seems like a really cold place to me.

Great thread. Our family phone/internet bills are close to $500 per month. That's Verizon (4 smart phones and a MiFi) and Cablevision (combined home phone, Internet, and almost-basic cable TV). I'm putting my own cell phone on hold as I get one through work - the plan is so old that it's unlimited data. I ought to lend it to someone instead.

Gas heat and electric combined are another $500 per month. (No A/C.) And that's after getting a programmable thermostat and setting the night time temp down. Next step is to re-do the window film/insulation.

So this thread is especially appealing.

Regards,
Brad
heat an electric $500!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????????????? say what?

man Im so sorry

down here nice weather all year round and propane is brought to your house for free and electric is always around $30 as its subsidized by the government

then again we make 10% of what you guys do up there so, anywhoo

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post #115 of 2782 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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I find this statement pretty hard to believe and call BS. 37 years ago $500 would buy the same as $1,923 in 2013!
Yeah, that was my first thought, as well...

While I certainly have nothing but admiration for those who manage to liveaboard/cruise on such budgets, I certainly couldn't do it :-) And, I think going engineless with a pretty small boat is likely the only way to be able to do it...

I just don't see how one can manage to do so over the long haul... At some point, you'll need to invest in or replace some big ticket item, sails, or whatever... Pretty easy to drop half a boat buck these days on something close to being essential, or at least very 'nice to have'...

The OP seems to be in a very fortuitous position for the time being, a well-found boat that doesn't need much, his good health, lots of nice cruising close to home, etc... But budgets really start to get stressed when one decides to really start going places, visiting other countries, and so on...

Should he ever desire to transit the Panama Canal, for instance, that's basically gonna be 2 month's budget, right there... Clearance fees around the world continue to rise at a shocking rate, I'm pretty sure it was the Pardeys who recently confessed there's no way they could afford to do today the extent of cruising they've done for decades, on the sort of budget they did... Fatty Goodlander is another who was shocked at the rise in fees between their first circumnavigation, and the second...

For me, one of the biggest potential budget-busters when you actually start sailing further from home, are charts... If the OP wanted to explore a region like Atlantic Canada, for instance, even e-charts alone could easily suck up a month's budget, at least... And if he were like me, and wanted paper charts for such a cruising ground, that adds up to a LOT of charts, he'd probably have to give up eating for about 9 months :-)





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post #116 of 2782 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

Yes, expenses are high here. For instance, the monthly train ticket to work is $240 per month. Then add $4.50 per day for the subway. And millions of people pay that, this is not a special case.

But the public education here is outstanding - top 5 in the state every year. About 30 Advanced Placement college courses are offered in the High School. That's why we and others do it.

Once the kids are done with schooling, we are cruising the Carribean. We just need to make sure we have a good enough cruising kitty.

Regards,
Brad
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post #117 of 2782 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

x2 on the charts guys

I lucked out as my boat came with charlies charts and guides, plus a whole tube of paper charts for mexico down to panama...so if I need anything it will be a simple software program for my laptop...not big just something to back up the paper charts

im "old" school regarding navigation...I learned celestial a ways back but now my preffered navigation is 2 gps, one hardwired and 1 or 2 handhelds with ram mounts...just for lat long and bearing headings...

a couple of rulers and slides and a protractor(cant remember the name in english sorry) and thats that

I do confess that man it does get expensive when you start from zero

but there are many saling clubs and cruisers that happily trade charts from boat to boat...the trick is being nice and keen and see which boats are coming from the direction yo are heading

but again I confess this is kind of a lost art when you see most boats with huge plotters on the wheel

good luck to all! hope to see some of you down here...the season has begun!

come on down! jajaja

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post #118 of 2782 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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This thread has legs for a reason. From the poorest among us to the richest, we all seem committed to the general theme of "stepping off". I had an offer to do so in 1999 and I politely declined. I was in South Texas and had just sailed back from a year in Belize, which was an adventure in, and of, itself. The boat was heading out through the Canal to points South on a planned three year sail. I was turning 30 and had a decent career ahead of me and, sadly, I succumbed to the societal pressure to "grow up and plant some roots". I'm 45 now, and although my "roots" may not be as deep as some, I am the father of two beautiful children and the financial obligations that come with that. Nevertheless, I bought a damned boat. And when I sit in the cockpit on a Saturday night with a drink in my hand, I imagine a solo circumnavigation of Catalina Island, a mere 26 miles offshore. And, sometimes, when I've drank more than I probably should, I imagine that journey "down south" and I convince myself that it's not too late to make that trip. If not this year, then maybe the next, or the year after that...
Thanks for these thoughtful comments Eric. I feel the same roots taking hold. As a 20+ year self-employed freelance writer/designer/photographer/whatever-the-heck-needs-doing I've never had a large income. However, at 46 I now find myself wealthier than I've ever been -- still below the average income for Canadians, but financially richer, and more professionally successful, than I've ever been.

My plan remains to move on board our boat next summer and begin our extended cruise, but I too feel the roots of this life taking hold. It is comfortable here. Safe... When we leave the financial "success" I've had will be shaken, and while I don't feel old yet, I am beginning to hear the whispers of mortality.

It does get harder to leave...
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post #119 of 2782 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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While I certainly have nothing but admiration for those who manage to liveaboard/cruise on such budgets, I certainly couldn't do it :-) And, I think going engineless with a pretty small boat is likely the only way to be able to do it...
I really don't know if $500/month is doable. I certainly think it is almost impossible in rich parts of the world. The cost of living here in Canada, and most parts of the US, is simply too high for this to be possible. But as has been said by others, people in most parts of the world live on far less than we do here. For most of the world, $500/month would be rich.

That said, I agree with you Jon that costs are real, and they appear to be increasing for cruisers. Boats, like homes, are not cheap. Maintenance is a must, and unexpected breakage will set us back big time. I hope that going slow and carefully will allow us to minimize these costs. We'll see... But I don't get hung up on the $500/month number. It's aspirational, not specific. Some months will certainly be more, some months hopefully less. I can tell you it costs us far less than $500/month when we do our seasonal cruises on Lake Superior. Too bad the water turns hard for 6 months of every year .

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For me, one of the biggest potential budget-busters when you actually start sailing further from home, are charts... If the OP wanted to explore a region like Atlantic Canada, for instance, even e-charts alone could easily suck up a month's budget, at least... And if he were like me, and wanted paper charts for such a cruising ground, that adds up to a LOT of charts, he'd probably have to give up eating for about 9 months :-)
Agreed, although I can tell you that digital has become incredibly cheap. Not that I'm an advocate of 100% digital, but I purchased all the digital charts for Canada, and part of the US eastern coast for a total cost of ~$100. iNavx and their Navionics package (I think) gives me everything, so it is possible.
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post #120 of 2782 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

My booze bill is nearly $500 a month! As for the cell phone, you can get unlimited plans for under $50 a month, and that includes internet access. Most of the time, though, you can get free internet access with the aid of a $19 USB antenna - that's what I did all the way down the ICW to Florida.

If I were cruising in South Florida, the winds are usually sufficient that I would rarely run the engine, which would really cut costs quite a bit. As for food there, I can catch all the fish I want, but you get tired of fish every night for dinner. I bought a case of Ravioli for the trip, and purchased another case while in the keys - that stuff is cheap and very filling. Egg beaters went pretty far, I like them better than real eggs, and they're much less expensive. Sausage is cheap too.

I enjoyed eating hotdogs fresh from the grill most days, lot of toppings make them taste a lot better. Loved fresh Vidalia onions, relish, cheese, sometimes even a little chili. Oh yeah! Grilled cheese sandwich sprinkled with bacon bits made a good lunch as well.

For beverages, Coors Light can be found at discount prices just about everywhere, and I found a Wallgreen Liquor store at the east end of Marathon Key that had the cheapest booze prices in the U.S.. A bottle of melon liquor was only $4, offbrand coconut rum $7 for a big bottle, and the grocery stores had Margaretta mix for just $6 for a large bottle. Sure makes great Green Coconut Margarettas.

Gas was outrageously expensive at the marinas, $512 a gallon, while at the same time the nearby gas stations were selling regular gasoline for $3.15 a gallon. It took a couple trips with a grocery store basket and three 5-gallon jerry cans to top off the boat's 35-gallon tank.

I got to watch moves on the PC using the free WI-FI access I found throughout the trip south. Just go to www.crackle.com and the movies are all free and even on a 12-inch laptop screen they were enjoyable to watch while anchored in some remote, secluded cove during nasty weather.

I used 20-pounds of propane during the entire 6 months trip, which cost me about $30 at a local gas station. I used it for heat a couple times, but I was very cautious about doing this as it could easily burn all of the oxygen out of the cabin in just a few hours. My cabin seals up pretty tightly. When I had electricity, my heat pump did a great job for both air conditioning and heat, but as anyone knows, electricity in marinas is very expensive.

Good Luck,

Gary
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