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.

August | Month 2 – $2,713.94 ($286.06 under budget)

After spending the first month getting to know the boat and taking a few daysails, we were ready to start buying key items and making small improvements needed for leaving our homeport on our shakedown sail. We spent three weeks after sailing across Lake Michigan and cruised the west coast of northern Michigan, through Pentwater, Frankfurt, South Manitou Island, Leeland & Charlevoix. Since Kirk’s family was mirroring our travel onshore, we stayed in marinas more than we anticipated to make it easier for them to meet up with us each day. In the end, we spent a total of $2,713.94, which is right around the monthly total we’d budgeted for and would like to stick to long-term.

Top 5 Expense Categories – Month 2: Shakedown Sail

  1. Marina – Even though we had our homeport slip paid for, we stayed at several marinas during our shakedown sail.
  2. Grocery – When we lived on land this was typically our largest expense category (behind housing), now it only makes sense this holds true on the water.
  3. Meals – While we sailed along the west coast of Michigan, Kirk’s family mirrored our travels on land. We ate out several times with them ashore.
  4. Equipment – We purchased a 4TB hard drive to store all the footage we were now capturing, and enough spares to do a complete oil change, fuel filter replacement and impeller swap.
  5. Phone – Northern Michigan has terrible cell service, so we bought a Verizon MiFi device to be able to bounce between Verizon and T-Mobile to ensure connectivity for work.

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. (;