The Cost Of Living Aboard
23 July 2013 | is More than the Cost of Cruising in Mexico!
After living so comfortably on what we only half-jokingly called an “Under a Bridge Budget” in Mexico, the big question about living aboard in the States revolved around our budget. We knew our expenses would go up and they certainly have, but we have also discovered that our cheap living skills gained in Mexico have gone a long way to keeping our stateside budget under control. With our biggest expense being the loss of any free time, we simply don’t have time to log our daily expenses like we did in Mexico and break things up into nice easy categories. However, partly so the NSA has to work harder to spy on us and partly because our time in Mexico reacquainted us with the old school practice of carrying and paying for things in cash, it is very easy to look at our monthly cash withdrawals and simple add up the monthly budget.
With $1400 being a fair monthly expenditure for the last few years in Mexico, our stateside monthly expenses have jumped up to an average of $2400 per month. The list of “new” expenses isn’t that large, but when you add them up it’s easy to see where the extra money goes. The top new expenditure is without a doubt our two cars! Insurance, gas and maintenance for a 1998 Honda CR-V and 2004 Buick Lesabre add up quick, with gas alone ranging from $300-$400/mo. Groceries are about the same but we are eating less meat (I guess that could be a good thing or so Lori tells me). Eating out consists of Costco pizza and hot dogs followed by the dollar menu, which you might as well not even waste your time doing unless TIME is the reason you are doing it in the first place. Two extra cell phone bills at $40ea and throw in the need for some decent cloths for the kids and bingo…there you have the extra $1000/month without any noticeable increase in our standard of living. In fact, it’s easy to say that the extra $1000 has bought us a lower standard of living than we enjoyed in Mexico.
Factoring into our still low monthly cost of living aboard is our “Free” rent. Well of course we spend money each month on boat maintenance and new equipment but our Port San Luis Mooring costs us $400/yr and we spent $400/month for a few months when we rented a slip last winter in Morro Bay. With the new Mooring we purchased in Morro Bay with “live aboard fees” our costs to keep THIRD DAY on either the Port San Luis or Morro Bay moorings will be about $100/mo. You can’t even get a hotel room in this area for less than that and a crappy apartment would cost at least $2000, so the boat looks pretty good at this point, not to mention we still like living aboard.