Friday, August 3, 2012

Frugal Fridays - Saving for Cruising!

Some of you may wonder why I write about finances on a cruising site. Well, I think most of you would agree that one of the top questions cruisers are asked is, "How much does cruising cost"? or "How did you manage to afford cruising"?  With the exception of a few lucky folks, I think most of us with the dream of cruising (or any goal for that matter) have to deal with the financial obstacle of sailing away.  For us, actually getting out there and cruising means pinching pennies and cutting costs any way possible.  That's how this "Frugal Fridays" series was started.

Ken and I have always been frugal, but to reach our cruising goal we've really stepped things up the past few years.  We DON'T ... buy new vehicles, go to the movies, take vacations until we've earned enough credit card "miles", indulge in manicures, pedicures or massages (unless lucky enough to receive one as a gift), visit the hair salon very often (no highlights, perms, coloring), drop a lot of money at bars and restaurants, buy new clothes (unless it's boat worthy), buy things for the house (we're gonna sell it).  We DO ... lower our debt, eat whatever is on sale at the store, bring our own lunch to work, eat our leftovers, make our own coffee at home, pick and choose outings with friends (can't make them all), enjoy a lot of free outdoor fun, and stay at home a lot during the week nights! 

    This week I'm going to ask you readers for some financial advice!  What tips do you have for obtaining the goal of cruising, or taking a vacation, or buying a house?  For those of you already cruising, what financial advice do you have for us once we're cruising?   Have input about this series?  We're all ears!  

 Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!

*For those that missed the other posts of this series, check them out below:


Sandee said...

I understand completely because we are boaters. Boating is expensive and then some. We've cut way back since we started boating too. It's the smartest thing to do.

Have a terrific day. :)

shawna said...

I'm almost embarrassed to admit this and no one would guess looking at me: I havent bought new clothes in 2 years except shoes. I buy shoes in winter otherwise in warm weather I wear dollar store/walgreens flip flops. (I have the kind of job that makes this ok.) I have learned to mend clothes. If I have to buy I try to find used first. I have maybe 4 nice designer things, that I pair with my thrift store finds and old clothes, and I get compliments all the time. go figure. said...

I have to admit I am not nearly as frugal as I should be, and I enjoy your Friday posts because they serve to remind me not to spend money on things we don't need. We do have a 'boat kitty' that we put money into frequently. Anytime we sell something, that money goes to the boat kitty, and certain money I earn through my business goes there, too. We, too, have a child in college, and we're in that 'middle' income bracket that means we get no financial help. So we have to get creative about how we find money to squirrel away.

Cathy said...

Hey Shawna, I hear you! I have not gone out and bought new clothes in so long!! In fact, I will be going shopping (frugally) this weekend for a new job but that's the only reason why. I try to make new clothes out of old clothes. Appreciate the small things in life that don't require outside entertainment like playing a board game with a loved one, reading a nice used book, or going outside to enjoy the fresh air. That's sometimes entertainment enough for me!! When I'm planning for a big trip, I like to pick up a second job and while saving money, I always always ask myself, "Do I need this or do I want this?"

Two very important things in life :)

Cathy Trails

Dani said...

We are like you in that we save money anyway we can.

Like I said earlier we sat down and figure out how much we needed each month to spend on food, fun, gas and misc stuff. Once we had that magic number everything else goes into a separate bank account which pays the "bills" (rent, insurance, boat refit stuff). And that's it. the extra goes into savings.

We have to choose wisely each month how we will spend our spending money, because that's all we get, no matter what.

In the past 3 years We've probably spent $800 on new clothes and shoes. I will shop at goodwill first. I always bring my lunch to work. We don't use credit cards at all. In fact we just paid off our last remaining debt yesterday and are now totally debt free! Only debit cards for us, although I know some people like the rewards.

If I had advice it would just be to save as much money as possible and sit down and figure out how much money you want for the boat, and don't spend over that.

Drew Frye said...

Cruising can focus savings. Kids in college. Buying a boat.

I knew this stuff when I was a kid, for got for many years, and am now relearning how far a dollar can stretch.

Keep your focus!

Ken n Cheryl said...

Shawna .. don't be embarrassed! Like us, you're just smart .. LOL!

Drew, you're so right! Cruising definitely helps keep the focus!

Dani, great advice .. we agree!

LCP, don't feel bad! It sounds like you're doing a great job of juggling responsibilities and savings!

Diane, Evan, Maia and Charlie the cat said...

Your really smart living frugally before you leave. Whenever people ask us how much it costs to cruise we ask them about their current lifestyle--because most people tend to try to keep it up. So for each frugal move you make now you both save money, plus you will spend that money more slowly when you are out. Our big money savers were using our land based time to learn how to do as much boat stuff, as possible, ourselves. Anytime we paid someone to work on our boat we paid them a little extra to walk us through maintenance and basic repair steps.

Ken n Cheryl said...

Diane, I think you're right on! I think people have certain money "habits", which will follow them in cruising unless they make a change. Luckily, Ken and I have always been frugal and Ken seems to know how to fix/build just about anything! =)

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