Voyaging on $500 per month - Page 13 - SailNet Community
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post #121 of 2751 Old 01-08-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

What I'm really curious about is why when someone posts that they have cruised for 37 years for under 500 per month somebody would call BS? Would you say that to their face, or is it just hiding behind the guise of the internet? Its rude, uncalled for and unwarranted anf unappreciated but I guess that were society is today.

I'm 45 years old, when I was 30 there wasn't a human alive that could convince me that I could have lived off of less than $15,000.00 per month but guess what you can. I'm currently in one of the most expensive area's in WA state but its not effecting my budget at all.

I pulled the boat to do some bi annual maintenance, monthly yard bill $44.00, labor $00.00 housing on the beach in a million dollar home $00.00 Yard supplies for 90 days just under $400.00. I have spent 27.50 year to date and expect another 200 to go out the door. On my current budget of $500.00 per month I'm saving an average of $150.00 per month. I'm saving $1,800 per year. I'm just curious how many people here carry Zero debt and are saving over $1,800 per year?

Being debt free is the first big budget saver and cooking from scratch is the second, I suck at cooking but am learning. I don't pay dock fee's and was even invited to stay a month free by the local marina at the end of summer.

Only time will tell my real budget but if you don't think outside of the box I can tell you it will be quite expensive where ever you are. My hope is that as life progresses my budget will get easier and my monthly income higher. I found that selling the car and shutting off the cell phone were two of the healthiest things I have ever done for myself. I also try and avoid processed food's. Sure it costs more to buy from the local farm but their is a ton more nutrients so we eat less and feel fuller so it actually cost less in the long run.

One thing I can tell you for sure back in the days that I was making more in a month than most Americans make in a year I wasn't happy. Now that I live below the US poverty level I live and feel like millionaire. My riches are in quality of life and time to live it as I choose.

If I have to stop and scrub toilets for a month to buy a new piece of gear it beats the hell out of a lifetime of doing 5 MPH in traffic for 2 hours a day. Its our ego that hold us back more than almost any other barrier in life, I have killed mine and now am free of the dock lines in life that bind us
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post #122 of 2751 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

I find it amazing to hear of people living among those who live on $2 a day, arguing whether or not it is possible to live on $500 a month. The people around them are walking encyclopedias on affordable living. Tap into their centuries of experience on affordable living. They would probably be honoured to be asked .

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post #123 of 2751 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

I am just posting to say I looked at your blog and that is a very nice looking 22' boat! Seems to be quite a bit more there than my 22.

You keep mentioning being debt free. Thats a great thing but I don't think anyone means loan payments or personal debt when they talk about cruising budget. They mean simply fuel, food, marina's, repairs,charts, phone bills,misc supplies..... debt is clearly outside of that.

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post #124 of 2751 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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I'm 45 years old, when I was 30 there wasn't a human alive that could convince me that I could have lived off of less than $15,000.00 per month but guess what you can.
When you were 30, in 1999, you were making $180k per year and found that to be minimal? That is way way over median income in WA, and at the time would have put you in about the top 3%. Since the top 1% is very hard to break that is quite impressive.

Based on your profile photo it looks like you smoke. Wouldn't that habit alone take about half of your budget?

I admire a debt free lifestyle and have advocated it myself. However there is a big difference between living debt free and living debt free with a $500/mo income and limited savings. There are basic creature comforts that I enjoy like 2 cups of good coffee a day (about $30-40 in beans per month) and a few quality beers per week (about $50-$60 per month, not going out) that kill such a small budget. It is pretty hard to keep even a small motorless boat in tip-top shape (new sails every 10 years, new bottom paint every 2 years) for less than $200/mo.

When you talk about having spent $27.50 so far this year that doesn't account for spending that you've already made, like food purchased in 2013, correct? That isn't exactly a fair way of looking at it. When accounting this way you could have spent $100k on freeze dried food way back in 1999 when you made close to $200k/year. You would never spend money on food again and claim that your food budget was $0/mo. It would be a miserable lifestyle, but good for internet bragging rights. I'm not saying you've done this, only showing why you can't account this way.

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post #125 of 2751 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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...I should be content. The truth is that I am not. But, damn! I'm not yet ready to walk (or sail) away from a guaranteed money stream. ...
Wanting a steady income does not make anyone less worthy as a human being.

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post #126 of 2751 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

In an effort to keep this thread on track, can I suggest that people continue to share ideas or experiences about how they were able to voyage on a small budget. Sailors are prone to exaggerate -- we all know that. Instead of trying to find fault with other other people's contributions, how about explaining how you tried to do something, or how you've thought of something.
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post #127 of 2751 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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When you were 30, in 1999, you were making $180k per year and found that to be minimal? That is way way over median income in WA, and at the time would have put you in about the top 3%. Since the top 1% is very hard to break that is quite impressive.

Based on your profile photo it looks like you smoke. Wouldn't that habit along take about half of your budget?

I admire a debt free lifestyle and have advocated it myself. However there is a big difference between living debt free and living debt free with a $500/mo income and limited savings. There are basic creature comforts that I enjoy like 2 cups of good coffee a day (about $30-40 in beans per month) and a few quality beers per week (about $50-$60 per month, not going out) that kill such a small budget. It is pretty hard to keep even a small motorless boat in tip-top shape (new sails every 10 years, new bottom paint every 2 years) for less than $200/mo.

When you talk about having spent $27.50 so far this year that doesn't account for spending that you've already made, like food purchased in 2013, correct? That isn't exactly a fair way of looking at it. When accounting this way you could have spent $100k on freeze dried food way back in 1999 when you made close to $200k/year. You would never spend money on food again and claim that your food budget was $0/mo. It would be a miserable lifestyle, but good for internet bragging rights. I'm not saying you've done this, only showing why you can't account this way.
Your maintenance cost estimate works out to around $4800 per haul out. That's extremely high. You are being ripped off ,if you are paying that much. I use only tide grids . I have hauled out my boat only twice in 29 years, only because I was in Tonga, with not enough tidal range, and 4,000 mile windward trips ahead of me. Cost, around $200 per haul out.
Otherwise, my maintenance costs are less then $50 a year. I never pay moorage, nor any other regular fees. I don't drink and have never smoked. I get far more enjoyment out of the freedom that gives me, than I could ever get out of such expensive self poisoning.
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post #128 of 2751 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 find it amazing to hear of people living among those who live on $2 a day, arguing whether or not it is possible to live on $500 a month. The people around them are walking encyclopedias on affordable living. Tap into their centuries of experience on affordable living. They would probably be honoured to be asked .
HERE HERE!

btw...I should edit my post on minimum wage down here...it has recently been incremented to $220 month for 5.5 days of work 9 hours a day...

so that is a nice boost for our people!

Islander 36 now FOR SALE!
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post #129 of 2751 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

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Your maintenance cost estimate works out to around $4800 per haul out.
You did not read my maintenance estimate very closely. I wasn't only talking about bottom paint. I also called out sail costs as an example.

New quality sails today are about $3,000 for a small cruising boat (that is one main and one genoa from a quality loft, or perhaps a main, jib and genoa that I'd consider minimal for cruising from a discount loft). 10 years is longer than you can realistically use sails on a boat being cruised heavily.

Running rigging and standing rigging together would also have a service life of less than 10 years for a cruiser being sailed daily. They combine at about $3000 on a small boat. I'm assuming a <10000lb sloop, no engine, no furler, basic running rigging.

Canvas, rebedding deck hardware and ports, blocks for rigging, navigation electronics, all add up. $200/mo is on the high end for an engineless boat, but probably on the low end for one with a diesel inboard that is getting regular use.

My basic point is that it is cheating to count money already spent as not part of your ongoing budget. The Golden Globe sailors each spent close to a year on the water for $0/mo, but their budget in the year leading up to the race was clearly well above the average sailing budget.

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post #130 of 2751 Old 01-08-2014
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Re: Voyaging on $500 per month

Gary, you just summed up my entire retirement dream in one post.
You are my hero!
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