How much does it cost and how do we afford to cruise and travel so much?
We keep seeing the question being asked every single week (we kid you not), how much does it cost to cruise? How much does it cost you to live? Everyone spends differently.
There is no simple answer but there are PLENTY of blogs out there detailing their costs so we are not going to regurgitate the same information. It’s out there already. How much do you spend on food? Do you like eating out? Do you have to have new clothes regularly, do they have to be label brands? How can you save money? Simple, here’s just two tips before we go bang our heads against a wall. Stop buying crap you don’t need and stop going out and invite people to your home for dinner….it’s pretty basic really. How much it costs to cruise really is such a personal thing where no two cruisers are the same, just as it is ashore.
Cynical Sailor and his Salty Sidekick have honestly done all the work for this post. Check out their website that lists 14 other cruisers budgets/monthly spending. Otherwise, here are some I think give you an idea of what it can cost.
Cynical Sailor and his Salty Sidekick – How much it costs These guys are liveaboards and are currently alongside in Indiantown, Florida so bear that in mind with their costs since the marina is taking a good bite out of the monthly costs. They seem to average around about $1500 a month with the marina taking 1/3rd of that.
MJ Sailing – COST These guys break it down every single month to the last cent. They are currently on the hard getting their new to them aluminium boat ready for cruising. Go back to their 2014 costs if you want more cruising costs. They have some months that are under $300! We bow to how Jessica and Matt can budget so tightly. I think $300 would be the beer budget for us in the States! Matt and Jessica certainly show that it can be cheap to cruise and liveaboard.
Windtraveler – tips on cruising costs and ways to save Brittany from Windtraveler is inspiring. She’s out there sailing with Scott (her husband) and 3 kids, 3 years old and under (note the youngest two are twins!). She has some great tips on cruising costs and ways to save, without specifically listing their costs. There are six different articles she has written. I really think the article on 10 questions to ponder that will help you determine where you fall in the cruising budget bracket is handy for newbies.
Dos Libras – Things we did today. Yearly costs summarised Tammy and Bruce are from the yacht Dos Libras and blog “Things we did today”. Tammy has listed the cruising costs for the last two years as a yearly summary. Her 1st year was around $50k and their 2nd year just over $60k. This is not uncommon. It just goes to prove that everyone spends differently. They have completed a lot of upgrades to their boat during this time too.
I won’t bother listing anymore for now as Ellen from the Cynical Sailor and his Salty sidekick has done the hard yards! Thanks Ellen.
The next most common question we get is how do we afford what we are doing? We aren’t detailing how much funds we started with, how much rent we get from our properties or how much we have in our savings to keep going. We can just imagine some of the keyboard warriors comments. Some people leave with $10 000 savings, some leave with $100 000, some retires have 10x, 20x that, some very little, still though, we are all out there doing it and that is the most important thing. We get the same anchorages, the same beautiful beaches, the same brilliant sails and low & behold, the same crappy weather. Everyone has different levels of comfort, you just need to figure out what yours is. Some boats are purchased for 3k and are project boats, some 30k, some 300k and more. What is your appetite for projects and do you have the skills or desire to learn or do you just want to sail and pay someone else to do any repairs and upgrades?
We aren’t as some people have asked “trust fund” kids. We didn’t go to private schools. Our parents didn’t pay for us to go to University, though one of us did have Company sponsorship through College which was awarded after exceptionally hard work and good marks in High School. We didn’t suddenly come across some money from lotto or Great Aunt “such and such”. We saved, traveled, saved, saved, spent, traveled and saved some more AND, we still work part time. We sold nearly everything except a few boxes of keeps sakes which contain mostly photos and travel memorabilia. We also kept tools and our two kombis in storage in Australia when we moved aboard Aeolus. We own Aeolus.
This lifestyle suits us to a T. We enjoy our work, so it is not depressing to work from time to time but our focus is on quality of life and every single day we are grateful for what we have. We have what we have because WE made it happen. We believed we could do it and we knuckled down and made it happen. Anyone can do this and it is only you who is stopping you from achieving your dreams.
We have got ourselves to a position where we can afford to not have to work all the time, do quite a fair bit of sailing and travel, slowly sail Aeolus back to Australia over many years of adventures in her and when in Australia and on leave, travel around in Rocky our Kombi. It suits us just fine
This lifestyle keeps our qualifications valid and it means six or twelve months work some years and zero others, like when we travelled around Australia in Rocky. With our professions in the Merchant Navy, to work six months actually means three months at sea (in four week blocks) and three months at home on paid leave (in four week blocks) kicking around in the kombi.
If you want to know more about our professions (not who we are as such), soon we will update the section “Want to join the Merchant Navy?” which will have a post on how to get away to sea as a Ships Deck Officer or Engineering Officer.
If you have any more questions, send us an email or comment below and we will do our best to answer them.