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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 death, knocking.


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 Recipes page.


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
Peachy Chicken 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.


Without a 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 walk.


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 one 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 dinghy.

Skipper certainly enjoys boat rides in Algae.


I simply do not shop. And if I do, it is not retail.

Mostly 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 anyway...

I am 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 not spend.

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. [The 3x5 Cards 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 prevalent ashore.

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.


Summary:  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:

  1. Do not smoke.
  2. Do not drink alcohol nor even soda pop often. Tea and coffee are less costly.
  3. Cooking is fun and more economical than eating out.
  4. Without a car, neither maintenance nor insurance exist.
  5. 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 for me?

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2014, 2023

Categories: Boats, Characters, Locations, Money, Unmentionables

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