Thursday, May 15, 2014



McKinley doesn't look too happy in this portrait.  

Woooo-hoooo, the final installment.  Feels almost as good as making that last house payment.  NOT!  If you missed any of the previous posts in this series you can find them here:

The final category is DISCRETIONARY EXPENSES…discretionary meaning "non-mandatory", "at your discretion", "you have a choice".  This category, along with the MAINTENANCE category, are probably the two most difficult ones to predict, but, unlike the MAINTENANCE category, you have much more control over this one.  

Within this category we have included:

Health Insurance Costs


This is primarily includes the renting of vehicles when traveling inland to countries we are visiting, and our airline travel back to the States to visit every year or so.  For the first couple of years, this will be a minimal amount as we will be cruising the Bahamas and the east coast of the U.S. and we will not be traveling home via the airlines.  

As we get further down the Caribbean, the airline tickets will factor into the equation.  We plan to keep the trips back to the States to a minimum hoping that family and friends will take us up on our invitation to visit the tropics and stay with us.  If we decide to head to the South Pacific and beyond our travel-to-home expenses will increase; but, our frequency may decrease.  

We will occasionally rent a vehicle for inland travel, but hope to do so with another cruising couple to limit our costs.  I can see us renting scooters or motorcycles in some places in the Caribbean, when available and when needed, just to sight-see.   

We don't plan on much (if any) overnight inland travels, so we aren't budgeting for hotel or other such lodging.

We feel pretty confident, based on our own experiences and the research that we have done, that our budgeted amount for TRAVEL of will average $2625 per year or $219/month over the next 5 years.  We think this is a sufficient amount.


Since we have included eating out as a part of our FOOD expense in the LIVING EXPENSE category, our entertainment costs should be rather low.  

Most of the things that we enjoy doing (while cruising) don't require a lot of money.  We both like to snorkel, scuba dive, beach comb, explore, hike, read, etc.  (Well, the scuba diving initial investment is anything but cheap, but we have had our gear for a few years already and it is in excellent condition still.)

We are thinking about a couple of ISUPs (inflatable stand up paddle boards) for additional entertainment and also for the core workout that you can get while using them.

Throw in the spearfishing that I love to do, and our entertainment department is pretty much taken care of.  I am sure we will spend some money on inland excursions, but it should be minimal (until we get to the Med, if we decide to go).  

We have budgeted $1375 annually, or $115 per month for ENTERTAINMENT.


While this is certainly a category that needs to be considered and planned for when thinking about a cruising budget, we are choosing to not carry any additional health insurance.  

I will have coverage thru the military retirement, but the costs are increasing and benefits are being cut almost daily.  As I understand it, the usefulness of our military coverage outside the country will be very limited and the goal is to force all military into the Obummercare Program.    

We will carry the DAN (Diver's Alert Network?) emergency evacuation insurance that will pay for travel back to the states in an emergency situation.  The annual costs is very low and is included in our OTHER sub-category of LIVING EXPENSES.


$4000 annually, or $333/per month for DISCRETIONARY EXPENSES.

 Three of these and…….



LIVING EXPENSES…………$13,000/year



TOTAL:    $29,500/year (budgeted)

Starting in 2015 we will update with our actual expenses to let you know the real costs and see how close we are with our budget.  

Thanks for reading….comments welcome.  

1 comment:

  1. You should be cautious about DAN for medical evacuation -- a recent clarification by DAN President William M. Ziefle essentially rules out evacuation from boat in, say the Carribean, back home to USA. See:

    As for cruising expenses: from our experience during our first year of cruising (i) planning is great (and required) but once out there..., and (ii) first few months will be way over what you expect/planned.

    So far, it is all worth it! So enjoy!

    SV Pelagia