Friday, December 4, 2009

Three months later, I'm back

Obviously, I haven't posted here for several months. The main reason is that we've had an insane number of big-ticket expenses lately, and I just wasn't up for talking about them. They drained our savings account and prompted us to re-evaluate our sailing goals.

Basically, we've decided that as much as we love sailing and as confident as we are in our belief that we'd love the liveaboard lifestyle, sailing will have to wait. I don't know how long, but for the next five or 10 years, it's not going to be a pressing goal. What we've learned is that sailing is extremely expensive, and the boat is just one part of that. Boats need places to live. Boats need parts and repairs. Boats have to meet certain government standards and requirements. We started to understand the oft-repeated assertion that boats are essentially drains in the ocean.

We've also learned that we aren't willing to give up everything to save for this dream. We like to travel; we like to explore new places. Are we going to stop doing that for five or 10 years in the hope that we might be able to do it by boat? Apparently, the answer to that question is no. For New Year's, we're going to New Orleans with some of our friends, and next June, all three of us are going to celebrate Trent and my 10th anniversary with a trip to western Montana (a special place to us, as that is where our son was born). I am excited about these excursions, and I don't feel guilty about spending money on them. I grew up taking yearly roadtrips with my parents; those are among my happiest childhood memories. Those adventures were learning opportunities. I want the same for my son. (We've been careful to pay for these trips with money we actually have.)

Like I said, we've had a lot of unexpected expenses in the last few months: dental work to the tune of $3000, a water-damaged wall, a broken sink, a broken toilet, an ER visit for a deep gash to the forehead, visits to the doctor, increased health insurance premiums, etc. etc. etc. It's been discouraging, but I think we're back on track.

That said, despite the obstacles, we're still on the right track. I am happy to report that while we've used our credit cards, we've paid them off in full every month. We still have a cushion in our emergency fund. We're now documenting each and every expense. Our credit scores have increased. Our school loans have decreased (albeit by only a small amount). We've been contributing ~15% of our income to our 401Ks. Trent found a new contract gig and a side gig, too.  

I like writing about money and finances, so I'm going to start writing here again. Some of our goals might have changed, but what hasn't changed is that we're still dedicated to pursuing financial freedom.


  1. I'm glad you're blogging again! I always really liked your blog. I am too- but I moved over to a new blog called if you want to check it out!

  2. I'm sorry to hear you have put off the dream. Just remember, the money that you spend on a house is the same as the money you spend on a boat. The only difference is that you need to learn to do most of it yourself and save the fees. Learn to live on the hook. It is the cheapest way to live and many do it.
    However, my respect for becoming financially stable and have a good time in New Orleans. We lived there and it is a very fun place. Oh - for the best pizza - go to Mona Lisa's. For the best cheese fries and juke box, go to Check Point Charlies.
    Enjoy life. Seize the fish. Good luck.

  3. Hi Admin,

    I am Carol. I have visited your website and I would like to congratulate you on building such a valuable online resource. I am sure your visitors find your site as useful as I did.
    My site also has relevant information in the same context, which I am sure your visitors will really appreciate. It would be great if we exchange links with each other. It would boost your search engine rankings, as relevant inbound links is the most important criteria for ranking on most search engines. It would also help bring targeted traffic to your site and reach out to a valuable, relevant audience.

    If you are interested then please revert back to me ASAP. If you are not the concerned person then would request to kindly forward the mail to the respective person.
    Waiting for your quick and positive reply.
    Have a great day.

    Thanks and regards

  4. Hey, my friend and I are trying to do almost the same thing - liveaboard sailing for cheap. We've just suffered a (minor) setback too, due to weather and unpreparedness, so I know how discouraging that can be.

    In the meantime, I could use all the advice I can get. If you're bored, you could check out my blog and see if any of your experiences could benefit someone as green as me ;)