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How Much It Costs

What We Spend

Ever since we decided to escape the rat race and embrace a nomadic lifestyle, we started tracking every single penny we spent so that we could see where our money was going and, more importantly, where we could cut costs in order to fund our travels. We've definitely embraced a frugal mindset and have found that money doesn't buy happiness, freedom does.

Want to know how much it costs us? Check out these links.

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We're back at Indiantown Marina waiting out hurricane season and working on boat projects.

Cost of Boat Projects & Liveaboard Life | August/September 2017

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We finally got back out on the water again and cruised in Florida and the Bahamas between March-July 2017.

Cost of Cruising in Florida & the Bahamas | July 2017
Cost of Cruising in Florida & the Bahamas | May/June 2017
Cost of Cruising in Florida & the Bahamas | March/April 2017

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We lived aboard our boat at Indiantown Marina in southern Florida while Scott was in Scotland toiling away on work projects and other matters and I slowly ticked things off of our boat project list in Florida. I'm sure it will come as no surprise to many of you, but we're spent far more on Tickety Boo than we did on ourselves!

Cost of Living Aboard Tickety Boo - February 2017
Cost of Living Aboard Tickety Boo - December 2016/January 2017 
Cost of Living Aboard Tickety Boo - October/November 2016
Cost of Living Aboard Tickety Boo - August/September 2016
Cost of Living Aboard Tickety Boo -  June/July 2016
Cost of Living Aboard Tickety Boo - April/May 2016
Cost of Living Aboard Tickety Boo - February/March 2016
Cost of Living Aboard Tickety Boo - December 2015/January 2016 
Cost of Living Aboard Tickety Boo - October/November 2015 
Cost of Living Aboard Tickety Boo - August/September 2015 
Cost of Living Aboard Tickety Boo - June/July 2015

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In April 2015, we bought a new-to-us Moody 346 sailboat. As anyone who has ever owned a boat will tell you, what you pay for a boat is just a drop in the bucket compared to what you end up spending on her. We tracked how much it cost us to get Tickety Boo shipshape and ready to sail, as well as how much we spent on a month-long shakedown cruise in the Bahamas. We definitely spent a lot more getting our boat shipshape than we did cruising in the Bahamas. We love anchoring - it's free!

Cost of Getting a Sailboat Shipshape & Shaking Her Down in the Bahamas | April/May 2015

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In 2014/15, we spent five months traveling around the States in our tiny camper in search of our next sailboat. We discovered that one of the biggest expenses was "renting" a piece of land to park our camper on at night, whether that be in a National or State campground or an RV park. One of the ways we cut our costs was to find free places to boondock/dry camp, which we found wasn't always easy as we made our way to the east coast.

Cost of RVing in Our 13' Scamp Travel Trailer | 2014/15

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In 2013/14, we spent a season living on our first sailboat, a Raven 26, and cruising in New Zealand. We tracked how much it cost us and got a good feel for what our nomadic lifestyle might run us over the longer-term.

 Cost of Cruising in New Zealand | 2013/14

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Deciding whether to pay for health insurance or not is one of the quandaries many RVers and cruisers face, especially if they travel in the States. Because we'll be in the States for part of 2016, we're faced with a quandary - should we pay for health care on the ACA exchange in Oregon and what would it cost us.

The Risks of a Nomadic Lifestyle | Health Insurance Quandaries

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Some thoughts on why people why people pinch pennies, how they go about achieving their financial goals and reflections on our approach to frugal living to date, as well as details of my grocery budget challenge.

Extreme Penny Pinching

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I tried the Eating on $4 a Day SNAP Challenge and utterly failed. It's not easy to live on such a tight food budget.

Eating on $4 a Day

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Some of the frugal things we do to save money and keep the cruising kitty topped up so we can stay out there longer before having to think about getting {gasp} real jobs again.

Five Frugal Things - June 2016
Five Frugal Things - July 2016 
Five Frugal Things - September 2016
Five Frugal Things - January 2017 


What Others Spend

There are a lot of nomads out there (whether they travel on land or water) who track and share their costs. If you're curious what others spend on their nomadic lifestyle, here are a few sites to check out. Let me know if you have any suggestions of other links to add.

Interstellar Orchard
Becky is a young RVer in a Casita camper (the Scamp travel trailer's cousin) who writes about being out on the road full-time in your pre-retirement years. Not only does she report her costs, she also shares her income.
MJ Sailing
Matt and Jessica have been sharing how much they spend ever since set out to explore the world on their sailboat.
RV Sue & Her Canine Crew
Another Casita owner, Sue travels in her tiny camper with some adorable dogs. Her motto is to live on less and enjoy life more. She shares how much she spends each month, as well as how much she earns from Amazon.
Sailing with Terrapin
The crew of Terrapin are out cruising full-time with their two daughters. They share their monthly cost to cruise on their blog.
Sundowner Sails Again
Detailed breakdown of what it cost to refit their Westsail 32, as well as monthly costs now that they're out cruising. 
S/V Del Viento
Another family out their cruising full time who keeps a detailed accounting of how much they've spent each month since they set out in 2010.
The Retirement Project - TJ and Deb post their monthly costs, have links to other cruisers who track their costs and have also written an interesting post on the anatomy of a cruising budget where they dissect the true costs of cruising.
Technomadia
Chris and Cherie are full-time RVers who work from the road. In addition to sharing their costs, they also have a lot of great information and resources on mobile technology.
Travel with Kevin & Ruth
RVers from Cananda, Kevin and Ruth share their monthly expenses on their blog including how much they earn from Amazon.
Pacific Sailors
If you're curious how much it costs to cruise in Mexico, check this site out.
Impetuous Too
Ruth and Duncan share their expenses on their 10,000 mile journey from Guatemala to New Zealand. They're frugal sailors and one of the ways they cut their expenses was to transit the Panama Canal without an agent. Impressive!
Sailing Saga Sea
Steve and Tracy left Houston in 2014 and headed down to Mexico on S/V Saga Sea have been tracking their expenses along the way.
Dos Libras
The crew of Dos Libras has yearly summaries of their cruising costs on their blog.
Estrellita 5.10B
You can find a comprehensive list of cruising costs links on Team Giddyup's site.
Calm Seas, Gentle Breeze
Younger travelers often get asked the question, "How can you afford this lifestyle?" Kate and Chris share their thoughts on how they afford to cruise and travel in this post.
Sea Biscuit
As the crew at Sea Biscuit point out, even though they're taking some time off to cruise in the Bahamas and Caribbean, they're definitely not millionaires.
Roaming About
Liesbet and Mark used to be boaties and are now semi-settled on land, where they manage their Wirie business. One of the ways they cut their expenses is by house and pet sitting.
MV Viking Star
MV Viking Star document their monthly expenses, along with monthly and yearly averages.


Frugal Living & Other Resources

If you're interested in embracing a frugal lifestyle and/or making some extra money, here are some sites you might find interesting.

The Non-Consumer Advocate
Katy's philosophy is "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." She lives in Portland, OR (great city - we used to live there!) and blogs regularly about the frugal things she does to save money.
The Prudent Homemaker
Brandy's website focuses on making life beautiful for less. She has lots of great frugal recipes, gardening ideas and shopping tips.
Blonde on a Budget
In order to eliminate debt and increase her savings, Cait banned shopping for two years and got rid of tons of her stuff.
Blissful and Domestic
On her blog, Danielle shares how she changed her financial mindset so that her family of four were able to live on $14,000 a year and achieve their goal of buying their own home outright.
Saving to Sail
Melody focuses on how she makes money on the side through freelance work, affiliate income and "side hustles".
Sail Loot
Check out this fascinating podcast series from folks who are living the sailing dream and how they finance it.


Looking for other great blog posts on the cost of cruising? Check out The Monkey's Fist, where you can find links to all sorts of sailing and cruising bloggers who share how much they actually spend and their thoughts on cruising budgets.

The Monkey's Fist


2 comments:

  1. I'd like to know the cost of the trailer. How much did the trailer cost you before you ever took a trip with it?

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    Replies
    1. When we bought ours new the standard 13' Scamp travel trailers were starting at around $9,300. You can add on extra options which will bring your costs up. If you contact Scamp, they can send you a current price list or you can look for a used one, although they tend to get snapped up right away, often sight unseen. They're great little travel trailers!

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