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The term mortgage translated from Old French, literally ‘death pledge,’ from mort (from Latin mortuus ‘dead’) This is a cash and carry boat, neither of us have any form of credit card nor are we willing to extend a single penny on credit, so much for a golden parachute.sailing blog

Budgets are like schedules and we refuse to have one but what we do have is a limited fund and when its gone we have to go back to scrubbing toilets.  Aside from our cash and carry rule cash depletion avoidance is a pretty simple.  Guest docks cost money so with the exception of the need to recharge or batteries they are out as are mooring balls.  I found this boat grounded with its ball still attached.  On our budget we have to work hard at not having too many emergencies that could rob us of the precious and small amount of gold we carry in our treasure chest.

While we don’t budget we do use simple math on a regular basis.  We add all our expenses annually rather than on a one time occurrence to put the real cost of things into perspective.  I am at day 60 on my no poo experiment “shampoo” and my long hair has never felt or looked so good.  I wear the same chlothes for a few days preferring to change my location rather than my clothes.  In the islands its 6 bucks a load for laundry and a buck a minute for a hot shower so these things are luxuries not necessities.

Emily thought I would break when she asked me to switch to Folgers from my premium coffee but I didn’t flinch nor did I when I stopped using sugar and cream, something is always better than nothing.  We use cast iron in our galley which will cook long after the heat is off to save fuel and the less mess we make the less water we use to clean so less hauling and searching for water.  Every upgrade on the boat has been premium and while its costs a bit more upfront it lasts twice as long.  We drink cheap booze “Emily doesn’t drink at all” and ration each can and bottle leaving us a surplus of cash should we need to splurge and pay for a pint in town.

With the exception of my $@% &@*^ motor I install and maintain everything myself.  I threw in the towel on the outboard after 30 frustration days, they have had it 31 and are no closer than I was which is yet another lesson to be learned.  We use two principals for everything on the boat, cost vs worth and pennywise pound foolish.  I could have and still could easily get 800 bucks for our old motor and buy a new one for 1500, I’m 150 into it already, loosing precious days and haven’t seen the bill that will arrive if our outboard ever does run properly again.  Where we sit now we are committed to the project but in hindsight a new one would have made more sense.

Being on a budget also means being creative, we don’t have all the charts we need but we were able to beg, barter or steal enough to get us started, I can and have used hand drawn charts and we will do it again this year with a lot of caution it works just fine in a pinch.  At nearly five bucks a gallon we use the outboard as infrequently as we can although ours is dangerously close becoming our new anchor.

Every season I go through every bit of gear on the boat from rigging to sails to the tools that keep them smart, you know the old saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Buying when its cheep is another big money saver for us.  100% of all food stores with the exception of Chloe’s food which is imported at a premium was purchased at a huge discount.  Two or three times a week all winter long we went scavenging for what we call bug out food.  When its dirt cheap we will buy half a dozen and store them in our huge lockers.

Our tiny budget also keeps us uber healthy.  Well over 80 percent of our food is completely unprocessed and comes packaging free.  Our favorite snack is home made kettle corn that cost about 50 cents a bowl and our drink of choice is water which while you can pay quite a bit for,  ours falls out of the sky.  I have and entire locker of junk food for those days when we just feel the need to eat like crap.  A can of chili with a bit of cheese and a hand full of fresh local onions satisfies that need.  We use Fritos scoops to eat it with and are instantly replenished with all the fat and sodium our healthier diet lacks.  Fritos are pure junk food but still only have three ingredients, corn, corn oil and salt.  They have more calories per ounce than any other food on the planet and are a much needed treat after a long hot and sweaty day in the sun.

Do we need to live like this??? Need has nothing to do with it.  Emily might be batshit crazy but I like her a lot and really enjoy spending as much time with her as I can, the more frugaly we live the more of our very precious time we can spend enriching our lives together rather than enriching someone else’s business.

We both admittedly have much to learn when it comes to being frugal sailors but the challenge and joy we get from it makes our days and lives more fun and interesting.  It also leaves a few bucks in the bank for the occasional special night out.

“Things do not change, we change. Sell your clothes and keep your thoughts.”  ~Henry David Thoreau