Before buying our boat, we set a monthly spending goal of less than $3,000 a month / $100 a day. We’re sharing our Monthly Cruising Budget report every month to give some insight into what it costs to live, work and cruise aboard a sailboat.

June | Month 12 – $4,754.41 ($1,754.41 Over Budget)

Where as April and May were normal-ish, June was an absolutely wild ride: It completed our first full year living aboard the boat; we bought a van and named him Chip; we hauled the boat out of the water for hurricane season, drove north to Wisconsin to help Lauren’s parents move out of her childhood home,and attended our first electronic music festival.

While we don’t include the purchase price or the monthly payments for the van, we will include the ongoing monthly costs associated with it. (We financed the van just like the boat, and just like the boat we have the money we would have spent on the purchase price invested and earning money for us.) Our biggest expense this month was insurance — we renewed our annual boat insurance, and paid for 6 months of auto insurance for the new van. These were one-time expenses and were expected. We also spent quite a bit in the “Professional Services – Marine” category for hauling the boat and unstepping the mast.

We’ve now been over budget for 8 of the 12 months we’ve been tracking our expenses since buying the boat. And if you’ve been keeping a running log that puts us over budget on the year… no surprise there. However, we’re quite happy, we’ve managed to successfully convert our normal 9-5 life into one of sustainable slow travel. We are confident that as the months continue to move along our expenses will come down a bit.

Top 5 Expense Categories – May | Month 11 – Key West & A Business Trip

  1. Insurance – We paid annual insurance for our boat and for the first six months of the van all at once.
  2. Grocery – Not much to say here, this is pretty common.
  3. Supplies – Hauling the boat out for storage was a new task for us, so there were a bunch of odds and ends that we needed to pick up to clean up the boat and put her away for a few months.
  4. Professional Service – Marine – This was money paid to the marina for hauling the boat and unstepping the mast.
  5. Meals – Most of the meal expenses came from our last few days in Key West, we wanted to try a few more restaurants before heading out.

Included below is a chart that breaks down all expenses into their respective categories.

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Keep in mind…

Every person’s experience will be unique. We’ve decided to make long-term travel a lifestyle instead of a long sabbatical. Therefore, we are continuing to work while we travel, and have certain expenses associated with that work. It forces us to do things we otherwise wouldn’t if we were traveling for pure pleasure, but also gives us flexibility in other ways, too. We’re careful to not spend frivolously, but we’re not trying to travel as cheaply as possible. You won’t catch us trying to prove how frugal we are. (;