It's the TGIFF. The Final Friday of the Thank Goodness it's Friday series (wink wink).
If you're just joining and today is your First Friday with Us then Welcome Aboard!
We've been sharing the What's and Why's of our RV'ing VS Cruising Fridays in June Series. Click here
For Part One, here, for Part Two, La Vie a Deux
, and here, for Part Three, ParTAY
Today is the Fourth, and last, instalment of the Friday Series. We're getting up close and personal again: Just for Fun, Just for You, All About Us, Always on Fridays!
The questions have come at us quickly, and we've tried to theme
them together. Thanks so much to all of you who've played along.
It's been great fun to look at our lifestyle with your set of eyes. So, without any further ado, here's the Fast and Furious on Finances, with some added Fun at the end.
"I don't have the money to live like this" says One. "You're too young to be out here" have commented A Few. "Isn't Sailing/RV'ing expensive?" have queried some. "How do you afford this Lifestyle?" has been asked of us.
It's a response we choose to rarely Divulge in its entirety. Why? Because everyone is different. What pays for you, might not for us. And Vice Versa. Cha Ching!
So, Finances, huh? First of all, IOHO, everyone lives on the edge of what they make, non? Everyone reading this budgets differently. You DO budget, right? Everyone reading this is in a different phase of life: Are you thirty something planning to travel with/without kids? Are you retired with fixed income? Everyone has different circumstances. (Do you own rental property and are living off that income? Did you put your stuff in storage and have that to add as a monthly expense in your budget?) Everyone has different responsibilities to consider. Everyone reading this has different Expenses. There's different Needs and different Wants. Not to mention Different patience levels (I want to leave now vs I will work 5 more years and leave then). Everyone has Different tolerances to debt. (From "I will sell everything and be debt free" to "I will buy the biggest and best and borrow and pay it all off later"). As you can see, and well imagine, the list goes on and on. And on.
Other people's financial habits have absolutely no relevance on whether YOU should get out there and live YOUR dream. Might it help you decide, perhaps? Will it give you options to consider? Absolutely. Should it help you decide whether to Stay or Go? No. Only you can do that, based on your circumstances.
Our best and only piece of advice? Figure out what your Dream is. Then Research the hell out of it. Then start Financing towards it. RV'ing? (One month? One Year?) Sailing? (One Summer? Circumnavigating for five years?) Hiking the Camino? Bikepacking the Baja Divide? HouseSitting your Way across Europe? A new set of OffRoad bikes for our MoHo?
We waited a year before we bought them. Seriously! (That might work for you, or not!) It sure was hard to wait, we wanted them last year! But not having any RV Lifestyle experience with ourselves, or our travels, we didn't want to impulse buy. Questions and Answers on Forums helped us in our Research phase, but the personal variables were just too many. A year in the Life of the RV eventually confirmed that bikes would be *our thing*. So we budgeted. And we waited. And last month we bought. And today? We love them. Because they're totally *US*.
If we told you we spent $5K a month, would you give up? If we told you we spent $500 a month, would it motivate you? We think it's imperative that you figure out what YOU can live with, and what you can't live without. Figure out what it MIGHT cost you per week/month/year. (And then add some, just 'cause). We've read/chatted with many folks as we Adventure along, and we've walked away understanding one thing, the numbers vary from one end of the sea to the other side of the road.
For example, one couple we chatted with divulged they spend less than $100 a week on groceries. I can't for the life of me figure out what they eat. Lesson here? Figure out your own mathematical truth, and then go from there.
The numbers might just surprise you.
A few years before we left we started to downsize. We went from two cars to one. We cancelled our cable TV a year before departure. Having recently made that comment to someone, we got this as a reply:
"Oh I wouldn't go. I just can't live without my TV shows". So there you go. We each have our own baseline of comfort. Neither is right, or wrong. It's just whatever rocks your boat, or makes your wheels go round. Pardon the pun(s).
We didn't get here without working hard. And we didn't get here without some sacrifices. You won't either.
We met some cruisers in an anchorage a few years ago, who had bought a 30+ year old boat. They were totally discouraged as every anchorage, every port, every marina became a repair in progress. We later learned they'd had enough and walked away, vowing to never return to sailing life. You need to know if you can live with the reality of your purchases.
"How much does it cost you to overnight in an RV compared to a Sailboat?" asked a few emailed questions.
When sailing we can anchor almost anywhere and that's comparable to the RV version of boon-docking, i.e.: Free!! Staying in a campground is comparable to staying in a marina. There are cheap ones and not so cheap ones. There's no services to full service. You Pick. You Pay. Your Choice. Both are almost
always choices to be made, based on your budget. We have friends who stay regularly in marina's, based on their budget, and their boat requirements. We can't afford that. But it sure doesn't stop us from anchoring nearby, dinghy'ing ashore, and doing things with them.
I remember a cruiser get-together we had our first year out and someone turned to me and asked where we were going next. I mentioned "Oh, to XYZ Marina...". The lady went into shock, fanning herself, and looked at me like I had two heads: "Oh My, we NEVER go in a marina". I was distraught for days thinking we were doing something wrong by going into a marina. Today? Perish the Thought. We budget for it, and enjoy our time there.
"On the boat I can sail, the wind is free. In the RV, there's fuel to have to pay for
" Ah yes, the whole sailing is total freedom discussion. We totally understand, and can totally relate, having lived both sides of the coin. Depending on passages, sailing is usually free
, yes. We know of one family who refuses to start their engine. Ever. They sail off their anchor, and come to anchor, all under sail. Sure their fuel bill is probably less than nil, but it's somehow just not in my realm of patience. Does that make me any less of a sailor?
On the road, the fuel bills can add up, sometimes we fuel up twice a day if we're trying to get from place to place. It's not like we have any other choice, right? It's all part and parcel of Our Journey and The Budget.
"Is it more expensive to run the RV or the sailboat?"
asks Sandy on FB.
I think, in general, boat maintenance is more expensive. They don't refer to them as BOAT (Break Out Another Thousand) Bucks for nothing. As for the RV, other than a broken windshield, we haven't (knock on wood
) really had occasion to deal with repair issues. However, we should point out that back in 2011 we chose to buy a rather new(-ish) boat. It was a significant purchase initially but we were confident with the knowledge that there would be less maintenance for the first few years. We wanted to be out there exploring, not out there repairing in foreign ports. And the RV is new. But stay tuned...
As for food, well you have to eat whether you're on land, or on the water. In the RV, the access to great provisions is only a block away (which has me currently in a sate of giddy joy!) When on the Boat, it can be both frustrating (in the Bahamas the supply boat arrives once a week if the weather is good) to utterly delectable (the French Islands? OhEmGee...). I could write a whole blog post on just that!
And then there's just general Boat vs RV maintenance: there's shopping for Stainless Steel polish to RV Exterior Car Wax. There's Sails vs Tires. Changing Oil on the boat to Car Shop Appt's for Wheel Alignments. We have solar panels and generators on both Banyan and the MoHo, so we make our own power and have the maintenance on each to consider. I could go on, and on, and on... don't get me started (wink wink).
And it certainly costs more to haul the boat for H-Season storage than it does to park the RV.
"How do you like your Leisure Travel Van? We are considering downsizing from a 35 foot coach in which we live four months each year. We've RVed for 31 years." from CLPa on FB
our LTV. It's absolutely perfect for What, and How, we want to explore. The 25 feet of small size of the Coach allows us to get into and all places easily, from gas stations to campgrounds to twisty-windy-narrow mountain roads. We've recently had a few conversations with couples looking to downsize, and mostly all for the same reason: maneuverability.
We love to move around. A lot. Our LTV is our car really. It's manoeuvrable like one, and we dont' need to tow one. It allows us to Adventure with great mileage, in comfort and style, with our home on wheels behind us. And we're ready to Park N Play at a moments notice. But, that's how we're
looking to Adventure at the moment.
For those that like to stay in one spot for longer? Entertain a lot? Have guests? We might suggest something a tad larger...
And then, as if on cue, Izzy's question pops up: "Do you ever feel "cramped" inside on a cool rainy day in the MoHo?"
The first Day usually no. Because the forced confinement is a time for us to sit back and get caught up on news, Facebook. Blog. Clean up a bit. Dust. And ew, what's hiding in the frosty fridge? But then, if we go to Rainy Day Two in a Row? We might Bump into each other a few too many times.
Sunny asks: "Is playing Wizard more fun on the water, or on land? And what type of hat does the "land" champion get to wear?"
Well, ha, that's one for the What Happens at the Wizard Table stays at the Wizard Table type of answer. We think, however, that the Hog takes the Prize Beer in this case.
"Do you feel you have the "perfect life", home in the summer away in the winter?"
We sure feel like we're living the Perfect Life, and are so humbled by our experiences, and in love with our life, it makes us giddy with excitement. At the moment we've got two nomadic lifestyles on the go, which is making life rather... exciting. And last but not least, the reality of not shovelling snow is a dream come true.
"If you had to pick the cruising life or the RV one, which one would you choose and why?" asks David.
Ah, now that gets asked often and is one of the most difficult to answer. And the answer sure don't come easily. At the moment, they are both *the* vehicle by which we get to fulfill our Dream Made to Reality to explore this wonderful land we live on. But to have to pick one? We're trying to sort that out ourselves. So apologies David & Janice, at the moment, we're still trying to decide and have no answer for you.
One thing we do know for sure. Whether RVing, Sailing, Hiking, or Cycling: we're meeting others who are all out here enjoying a common interest. The love of adventure. We've all sacrificed to get here, and perhaps that's what bonds us into a tight-knit community of adventurers.
So there you go, our Fast and Furious on Finances. There's SO much to talk about, SO much to write, that it really is hard to condense it all to a few general type sentences hoping it answers your specific questions. Not knowing particulars makes it hard to pinpoint just what to say. Feel free to email us, we're always happy to chat.
But, for those of you in the planning stages, why not get your Finances On? Start working towards making your Dreams Come True. It'll be worth it, we can guarantee you that.