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.

March | Month 9 – $2,535.99 ($464.01 Under Budget)

We left Mobile at the beginning of the month and officially began our saltwater cruising. We continued our spendthrift in March after having stocked up on food and wrapping up all of our planned upgrades. It felt good to finally be on the move again, and it was good on our pocketbooks as well.

We didn’t anchor as much as we had hoped, and still racked up quite a bit in marina fees, but part of that was due to having Kirk’s family in town. Our typical top 3 spending categories resumed (Grocery, Meals & Marina) but oddly enough Licensing made it into the top five. This category reflects anything we pay a licensing fee for. Much of this is related to our business activity, but more and more we’re seeing these costs creep up associated with the operation of our YouTube channel as well. In this particular instance the biggest licensing cost was to renew a Dropbox account we use for our photography business.

As of this monthly update, we’ve come in under budget for 3 of the 9 months we’ve been tracking our expenses since buying the boat. Can we make a streak out of it?

Top 5 Expense Categories – March | Month 9 – Cruising the Panhandle

  1. Grocery – We spent a lot more than usual on groceries with Kirk’s parents in town.
  2. Meals – Wer’e gonna blame Kirk’s family for this one again. It’s been said when you’re on vacation, you’re just moving from one restaurant to another; by the time you finish breakfast, it’s time to start looking for the best lunch spot, and then a coffee joint, etc. etc.
  3. Marina – While Kirk’s family was in town we stayed at a marina quite a bit more than anticipated to make it easier to meet for shoreside activities.
  4. License – We license a lot of software, music and other digital components for our various businesses.
  5. Equipment – Even though we’ve been traveling for a good six months, we’re still finding all sorts of things we decide we can’t live without. In this instance it was more electrical components, including replacement LEDs for our navigation lights.

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. (;