This month I stepped up my boat budget game. If you’ve been following our blog, you know we’ve been posting our expense reports for a few months now. Last month, I mentioned that I would *try* to be more comprehensive this month and I think I’m succeeding here. Let me know what you think! 🙂
This may not have been the best month to start trying to really track every penny … it certainly wasn’t a “normal” month for us financially. But, I’m posting it because, I figure, the more we know, the better we’ll do. And we can definitely do better!
For those of you that don’t know us, we’re a family of four living aboard our 40-foot sailboat in Portland Oregon. We’ve been living here in a marina for a couple years now, and we’ve got plans to leave the area and head up to the Puget Sound next spring or summer.
October 2018 Income
We had some extra income this month: I sold my beloved Mazda 3 which I’d owned for the past decade. It was our third car, though, and we definitely didn’t need to keep it. So that helped with an extra income of $2,900 and plus the $42 that we’ll save every month on the car insurance.
In addition, in my attempt to be more accurate with my tracking, we’re now also including the $460/month that goes directly from Brenden’s paychecks to pay for our medical insurance. So that is tracked in income and expenses both.
Here’s our October 2018 total income: $8,180
This feels good to me. The expenses … hurt.
October 2018 Expenses
Total: $10,335 – ouch.
OK, because we had extra income, we put extra onto our debts. We ended up spending a little more than $2,000 more this month than we made. Honestly, we’re not exactly sure where that came from. We buy almost everything we buy each month on a nice travel rewards credit card that we have. Of course, with how much we’ve been spending this year on the boat, we have run up the balance on this credit card … so this is our next major debt that we’re attacking. We did manage to kill off our other major credit card this month (which had a $10,000+ balance at the beginning of the year).
All said and done, we paid $5,485 onto debts this month. Whoa. Yeah, debt sucks! This is one major reason that we’re getting into this lifestyle is to start living beneath our means and not be slaves to our debt. Right now, we’re paying for poor financial choices from our past and some damn sh*tty medical bills. Yes, our healthcare system is broken here in the US.
So here’s the breakdown:
Boat Expenses: $1,571
- Moorage, electricity bill, cell phone bill, boat loan, paid pump-outs, boat project costs, navigation/wind prediction tech, consultation, laundry
Car Expenses: $772
- Car insurance, car loan*, gas, licensing & registration *Brenden drives for Uber on the side so this extra income justifies the car loan for us.
Medical Expenses: $730
- Medical/Dental/Vision insurance, outstanding interest-free hospital bills, dentist and medical appointments
Work Expenses: $371
- Daycare, AT&T data wifi plan, parking fees for downtown Portland where Brenden works
Entertainment Expenses: $221
- Netflix, Hulu, Serius Satelite Radio, gym membership, Halloween costumes, Audible subscription/purchases, etc.
Debt Expenses: $5,485
- US Bank credit card payments, Travel Rewards credit card payments, interest accrued
Food Expenses: $1,132
- Groceries, eating out, fast food, pizza, alcohol purchases
Miscellaneous Expenses: $53
- Schooling expenses, etc.
Where can we do better in our budgeting?
Short answer, everywhere!
I’m choosing to put my focus right now on our food expenses. This month, we spent an average of $36 per day on all of our food. My goal is to get this down to $20/day for November. I don’t know if we’ll be able to hit that but we’ll be giving it a shot! Do you see other potential places that we could scrape off some expenses? Leave a comment! 🙂
As always, thanks for reading. Please be gentle with us here on this post … it’s a bit uncomfortable to put it all out there for the world to see. Hopefully, we can help somebody understand what it is like, for us at least, to live on our sailboat while paying down debt and preparing to go cruising. Give us some encouragement and follow our adventures on Facebook and Instagram! Cheers! ~Rachel