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.

May | Month 11 – $3.211.83 ($211.83 Over Budget)

April and May were odd months if we were “normal” cruisers. Since we consider ourselves more ‘slow travelers’ who happen to live and work on a sailboat, it was just more of the same for us. We knew back in March that we were going to have a big work trip in the middle of May, and that it would throw a huge wrench into our sailing plans. Then, when our raw water pump started leaking and we decided to stop in Ft. Myers for a while to make repairs, we knew our cruising season was slowly coming to an end.

But we did our best to make the most of it! We sailed into Key West and booked a month at Stock Island Marina, by far the nicest marina we’ve ever stayed at. We flew to Moab, Utah for our work trip, and in total were gone for about two weeks, but spent the rest of our time exploring Key West and enjoying drinks by the pool.

It was absolutely not what we expected to be doing, but it was quite enjoyable all the same. Fortunately we paid for most of our air travel with rewards points, and my business partner agreed to pay for our marina fees, so while “Business Travel” (taxis & rental cars) was still our third largest area of spending, it could of been much more expensive. Even still we were only slightly over budget for the month, so I’d call that a win!

We’ve now been over budget for 7 of the 11 months we’ve been tracking our expenses since buying the boat. That said, for a number of those months, like this one, we were within a couple hundred dollars of the budget which we consider totally acceptable.

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

  1. Meals – Stock Island Marina had two — TWO! — Happy Hours each week night. One at the pool bar, and then the other in the hotel restaurant. It would have been a shame not to compare the two wouldn’t it? Not to mention all the fun bars and restaurants to try out in Key West.
  2. Business Travel – Fortunately we were able to cover airfare with points, this was really just for rental cars and taxis while traveling for business to Moab, Utah.
  3. Marina – My business partner agreed to pay for our slip at Stock Island, as it was quite pricey! So the marina fees paid this month are a bit of an oddity. Seeing as hurricane season was drawing near, we had started looking for boatyards to haul out for hurricane season. We actually ended up paying two deposits at two boatyards (because we thought we were going to the first yard but ended up at the second) to get hauled out. Then we paid for unstepping our mast as well.
  4. Grocery – Even when we are traveling for business for two weeks, we still need to eat!
  5. Professional Service – The majority of this went to the sub-contractor we use in our photography business.

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

Patrons get full access to our Monthly Cruising Budget Reports »

Get full access to our all our financial tools — including the Monthly Cruising Budget Reports, with downloadable templates to create your own budget, and line-item detail of every dollar spent to keep the boat afloat & travel full-time — by becoming a patron here.

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. (;