coinsYou’ve quit your jobs to sail around the Bahamas and Caribbean for a year or two? Cool. You must be millionaires!

Not even close.

In this new life of ours, we’re actually quite frugal. The more cash we can save, the longer we get to stay out and play. It’s a pretty good incentive, no?

To give you an idea of how we spend our money, I’ll be sharing a monthly itemized review of our spending and my thoughts on our financial burn in general. Here’s what we spent in February.

Summary of expenses for February 2016, Exhumas, Bahamas

Grand total: $ 1,973.51

Biggest ticket items
Food, eating out, and miscellaneous items

  • We had two opportunities to spend money this month – patronizing businesses in George Town, and ordering things online for Eric and Thea to bring in a suitcase.
  • Seven weeks of cruising around the Exhumas depleted resources we’d stockpiled in the US. As predicted, we spent considerably more on food, booze, and gasoline than we did during the month of January.
  • February has been a very social month for us and we dropped more cash on eating out with friends this time around. Eating local food and spending time with people we like is an important part of this journey for us.
  • The miscellaneous bill accounts for items about which we repeatedly said, “damn we really need [insert item name]!” – like rechargeable batteries for the SSB radio, bags for the FoodSaver, additional turkish towels, and charger cords for our phones to replace the ones Nico chewed through (6 so far on this trip – what an asshole). It’s small stuff that makes a difference in our day-to-day.

Good Investments for longer term
New snorkel fins, cedar plug lures, new anchor light

  • Ten years ago, Brian and I bought our own masks and fins for snorkeling and that equipment is wearing out. We’ve purchased some new fins that Eric and Thea brought in for us, and we hope to get another ten years out of them. I also bought a new mask while we were in George Town.
  • Prior to our big mahi-mahi score last week, we’d gone three months without catching an edible fish – but not for lack of trying! In the course of many failed attempts, we lost some lures. Cedar plug lures are supposed to be the best for catching mahi-mahi, so we decided to buy six of those.
  • We often forget to turn our anchor light on at dusk, especially if we are off doing something fun that bleeds into evening hours. We will replace our old light with one that has a solar sensor and turns itself on automatically. No more returning to an unlit boat in the dark.

Costly Mistakes
Data

It hurts me in the gut to see such a big bill in the phone/data category again this month. We only purchased a couple gigs of BTC data which worked pretty well for us, in addition to our slooooow T Mobile hotspot coverage. When we have a strong signal, we use our old numbers to call the US using gchat to save money, and we love Facebook Messenger for texting, which requires almost no signal to use. So why the big bill? Residual charges from AT&T, the penalty for getting out of our contracts, which they refused to freeze for more than 6 months, the bastards. 

What’s missing
Diesel, water, insurance

  • We were patient sailors this month. We waited for favorable winds and sailed whenever we could. As a result, we only burned 15 gallons of diesel this entire month – no need to refuel. Go us!
  • George Town’s amazing dinghy drive-thru water system is free and we were able to get 40 additional gallons into our tanks while we were there. We’re pretty psyched that we’ve only used ~85 gallons in the entire month of February.
  • Our insurance company charges us quarterly, so we don’t see a bill each month. We are looking into changing insurance carriers now, so this may change in the future.

Itemized expenses – February 2016, Exhuma, Bahamas

boat parts/maintenence

100

new anchor light, new interior LEDs, spark plugs
booze

100

2 bottles of rum, 1 bottle of fernet branca, 1 case of Kalik
cleaning supplies
clothing

58

customs fees
diesel
eating out

200

food and drinks @ 5F, George Town, Staniel Cay
fishing supplies

33

cedar plug lures
food

500

groceries in Black Point, Groceries in George Town, online restocking of provisions and snacks from King Arthur Flour and amazon.com
gasoline

75

18 gallons – dinghy gas
laundry

23

insurance
marinas
miscellaneous

350

towels, clothespins, padlocks, new duffel bag, vac seal bags, battery charger, guitar strings, iphone cords, red Luci light
mooring balls
pet supplies
phone/data

296.51

delorme, Final ATT bill, 2GB from BTC, spotify
toiletries

18

moisturizer
toys/games

200

snorkel mask, fins
trash

20

BP, GT
water
grand total

1973.51

Looking for more cruising costs? Check out the archives:

January 2016 – Exhumas, Bahamas
February 2016 – Exhumas, Bahamas
March 2016 – Exhumas & Out Islands, Bahamas
April 2016 – Turks&Caicos, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, BVI
May 2016 – US Virgin Islands, BVI, St. Martin