Date: 6 September 2014. Ten Dollars a Day.
A website visitor asked about how
I manage to live on $10 a day. And quite frankly I live very well
aboard Seaweed even on a limited budget. Because I have always been
broke this is something I am more comfortable with than an individual
who has grown up with a ready supply of Stuff. Still, there are a
few things I do that help keep expenses down so I can afford to live
this decadent life.
I do not smoke.
I did, nor am I rabid that you quit. I will say that if you
look at the costs associated with burning tobacco (or
marijuana) that it would not take too long to buy something
tangible. I wish I had quit sooner. Much sooner!
I have heard the arguments that
rolling pipe tobacco and smoking it is economical. And it is less
costly than buying filtered cigarettes. However if you listen, the
roll 'em yourself crowd has a particularly harsh cough. That's
I do not drink alcohol nor even soda pop very often.
A glass of wine is a treat and although I enjoy a glass now
and then, it is not a daily occurrence. Besides, I enjoy my
world as it is and do not require the addition of mind
altering anything to live this life afloat.
Buying alcohol is not in my budget.
Tea and coffee are less
expensive choices. I add cocoa powder to my coffee quite often. The addition of a
level teaspoon of cocoa makes my coffee fancy -- just like that sold
in bistros, and out here, the view is amazing!
Still, a bottle of something like
Tia-Maria or Kaluha is a lovely thing. I remember making those
two aboard our boat when I was a kid. So far I have tried one recipe (it
failed) and will attempt again someday. The taste should be identical
to the branded stuff, with the same coat your glass qualities found
in the real liqueur.
Aboard our 40'er, we made a batch in
the first week of January and again in July. The previous gallon
would be opened once the new one was made. It did take six months for
the flavors to meld properly and the proper body to develop.
Once I get it right, of course I'll post the How-To. I suspect that
recipe will be rather popular. As an aside, recipes are noted with
links to the various articles on the
Cooking is fun and economical.
Most of the
time when I used to eat out, I was disappointed. If I can make
it better, what is the point of paying perfectly good money
for something that is not superior? I can buy a magnificent
piece of beef for less than $10 and enjoy it at home,
barefoot, and dressed comfortably.
Aboard Seaweed I can and do
purchase good quality food stuffs and have the pleasure of trying
new things. I discovered I can add a package (kid's lunchbox size)
of fruit to a piece of chicken I can make a scrumptious meal for
very little cash. The
article has the specifics.
I have eaten out twice in the past year. First in Carrabelle
at the Fisherman's Wife restaurant where I had a good hamburger
cooked the just way I like it with all the fixings. Fisherman's Wife is one of those small town
places with reasonable prices, friendly staff and plentiful tasty
food that the locals frequent. I enjoyed it as a Treat. Were the
budget larger I could enjoy going there more frequently.
The Fisherman's Wife is worth visiting when in
Carrabelle. Say hello to Pat.
The second outing this year was in
Steinhatchee. There, a pizza place is directly on the Steinhatchee
River and has a
pier available so boaters can dock and dine. I ate at Hungry Howie's Pizza place with the Bear and Drew.
One secret I learned years ago is
to telephone ahead and ask about any specials. Sometimes by going on
a different day the prices are lower. Hungry Howie's in Steinhatchee
had a $9 price on any one topping large pizza. There were other
bargains however I wanted a sausage pizza so...
Eating in a restaurant is a real
treat. Although I enjoy the outings, they are special occasions, and
thus more enjoyable. The everyday loses its novelty, and I
do not want that to happen to me.
car, fuel, maintenance nor insurance costs exist.
Even before I bought Seaweed I had given up
our automobile. It was an expensive luxury and in the town I
lived in, unnecessary. Oh, I missed it, but when I did the
math it was less costly to take buses wherever I could not
It was not always convenient but a lot can be accomplished with the
money not spent on a fancy car, or even an economical one. Although
I missed driving a lot at first the
lowered expenses meant I could occasionally rent a car and still be
ahead of the game.
Of course, without an automobile and
on a boat means I do have a "car" now, except mine is named Algae.
She gets me back and forth to shore. Algae takes Skipper and I
on expeditions. Another "family car" even brought friends Drew and Bear over for a
visit one day.
They had come by on a Garbage Run.
Taking trash to shore and depositing it in approved receptacles is
part of the glamour side of boating. Usually permission is granted at
local marinas, even for those of us living on the hook. In any
event, Thursday's Child (aka Bear's Westsail32) stopped by and
took my trash in with theirs.
As you can see, the "Family Car"
aka dinghy gets used in a variety of ways. It is not all trips along
a seashore looking at wildlife. The mundane is even fun in your own
Skipper certainly enjoys boat rides in Algae.
I simply do not shop. And if I do,
it is not retail.
without stores to meander around in, I cannot shop. I will
confess to missing the joy of wandering around one of those
large thrift stores found in major towns. Thrift stores
supply the majority of my clothing.
There is no need to pay retail for
brand new duds. Spending less than $50 per year on
clothing by purchasing used works for me. You see, out here I do not
have to impress anyone with the latest fashions. Owning the newest gizmos
or some odd "must have" item of the year are of no interest
to me. I probably am clueless regarding what is new and popular
already where I want to be, so am satisfied for the most part with
what I have. Not that I do not want more mind
you, but I am willing to wait until I can afford it. Mostly, I simply do
There is little I
need and if I do WANT something I utilize my 3x5 cards. Eventually I know I
will find what I want at a price I can manage.
article explains how that system works.]
I have not seen much of the Keeping
Up With the Jones' syndrome along the waterways. All of us are
here, essentially on vacation. There is a level of sharing not so
In marinas you know your
dock-mates and talk to
them. It is more social than many dirt neighborhoods. Folks are not so isolated.
Thus you tend to
care about them and their success. I think it is friendlier.
Life aboard Seaweed on $10 a day.
I am blessed, and you too can be. Yes there are
sacrifices and I am willing to make them for this life afloat.
If I can do it, so too can you. In five easy steps:
- Do not
- Do not
drink alcohol nor even soda pop often. Tea and coffee
are less costly.
Cooking is fun and more economical than eating out.
Without a car, neither maintenance nor insurance
Simply don't shop. When I do buy, it's not retail.
Paying full price won't keep me out here, so I don't do it.
As many of us know: When getting spare
parts, you can get them (pick two) cheap, fast, in good
condition. This applies to everything.
This is a wonderful life and I
know how fortunate I am.
Economize a bit and you can enjoy this
view, just like me:
Everyday Man in his piece
Unconventional Money Making
offered insights into a variety of ways to
earn money. Many were new to me. You might find his article useful and
informative, as I did.
I'd love to hear what you do to economize.
And, do you have any suggestions on how you cut expenses that will work
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freedom, that comes with that. But once you get much beyond that, I
have to tell you, it's the same hamburger. Bill Gates.