Archive for the Category »Finance «

A “Gold Star” Week!

We’ve coined those days where we don’t spend any money, “Gold Star Days”. And we try to have as many of them as possible while not limiting our experiences.

We haven’t spent one cent in the past nine days, earning ourselves a whopping “Gold Star WEEK”.

Now granted, there’s been nothing to spend money on in the remote, uninhabited places we’ve visited the past week but we’re celebrating nonetheless.

Since moving aboard “Kaleo”, our typical expenses include fuel (though we sail as often as possible), groceries (expensive in the Bahamas), dining out (local cuisine tastings and date nights are a must), internet (ranges between not available and $15 a day), laundry (anywhere from $2.50 to $12 a load so far), and the occasional mooring ball or marina visit.

We don’t have a mortgage nor rent payments (we fully own our floating home). No utilities (we’re off the grid with engine and generator charging our battery-powered electricity and make our own fresh water from the sea*).  No car payments (we sold one and fully own the other that is tucked away in storage). No cable bills (no tv). No retail therapy (what the islands lack in retail, they make up tenfold in beauty and adventure). No gym memberships (would love to start a Bahamas Y). And so on. And so on.

Now that we’re back in Long Island, our spend-free spree will come to an end in the morning as we plan to hit up the grocery store (fresh produce!), top off our fuel (thanks to motoring into headwinds), and will enjoy a pool-side dinner at Long Island Breeze Resort tomorrow evening. It was a good run while it lasted but we’re going to savor the night out tomorrow.

*friends have shared the use of their watermakers until we install our new CruiseRO 20GPH watermaker.

Looking Forward While Celebrating 2010

As we look forward to what 2011 has in store for us, we reflected on our blessed-beyond-belief 2010. This has been a year of big changes, new beginnings and celebrations galore.

Looking forward to a walk like this soon

The first part of our year was filled with starting more projects than we finished on Kaleo, learning as much as we could aboard, as well as through Seven Seas University courses, and spending a few freezing weekends planning for warmer weather projects.

Spring brought warmer weather, some great sailing in Galveston Bay, the wedding of our dear friends, Amy & Jeph, and Christie’s parents’ 35th wedding anniversary in April.

May was a landmark month as we became officially debt free, gaining financial freedom. We also moved from our 1,400 square foot townhome to a 650 square foot studio apartment to better prepare for our life aboard Kaleo. And, we celebrated our first wedding anniversary at The Joule, were we stayed on our wedding night. Of course, we spent a few weekends completing some boat projects along the way.

With the Texas summer heat came lots of family and friends visiting the boat, marina BBQ’s, and more boat projects. And in June, the “Cyclin’ Sailors” geared up for our 4th annual Urban Assault Race in Austin!

The Fourth of July was shared with the Wilborns by sailing and watching incredible fireworks shows while anchored out in the bay. Then, we jetted to Coeur D’ Alene, ID to celebrate the newest Butchers, as Matt’s brother Jeff married his bride, Meloney. We topped off the trip to the Northwest with an incredible experience of sleeping 50′ off the ground in the boughs of a giant, old Washington Red Cedar Tree at Cedar Creek Treehouse and touring Mt. Rainier National Park. Of course, we spent a few weekends completing some boat projects along the way.

While the summer heat continued to bake us, we enjoyed a shakedown cruise to Galveston with the Kryzaks and a sailing weekend with The Powers. Of course, we spent a few weekends completing some boat projects along the way.

The fall brought a trip to Minneapolis to celebrate Grandma Butcher’s 90th birthday, visit with family and to Trader Joe’s to stock up on our favorite snacks. The realization that we were now within one month of tossing the docklines helped us get a lot of boat projects wrapped up almost every weekend.

October was a big month as Matt took his leave of absence from work, Christie resigned from her job, we moved out of our land home and aboard Kaleo full-time, sold a car and put another one in storage along with our belongings. We soaked up treasured time with loved ones and were given three outstanding Bon Voyage parties. We also got to celebrate the marriage of Ben and Carly (Matt’s cousin) and spent time with family in San Diego. Of course, we managed another trip to Trader Joe’s for more provisions.

November 8th marked the beginning of our cruising life. Before leaving the dock, we met up with some cruising mentors, The Sittons, and celebrated Christie’s birthday with family and a dear friend, Crystal, aboard. The month was filled with a host of new experiences – from adjusting to life aboard to overcoming unknown challenges and navigating new waters to connecting with new friends along the way. We topped it off with a roadtrip from Mississippi to Texas to spend Thanksgiving with family.

The year wrapped up by crossing the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and into Florida. It was on those passages that we learned to love the open ocean, more fully appreciate warm days and spent time digging our toes into our first white sandy beach. Christmas with shared with family and friends in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida and we were back home aboard Kaleo on New Year’s Eve.

We welcomed the new decade with the most unusual of celebrations for us at this time of year. The clock struck midnight as we pushed two carts down the isles of a 24-hour Walmart. We laughed and shared a little “Happy New Year” smooch in the canned goods aisle and continued provisioning in preparation for the Bahamas and beyond. Yes, really. Oh, the cruising life ;o).

Thank you for joining us as virtual crew along this adventure. It means a lot to us. We wish you peace, blessings and togetherness in your new year!

We’re ready for 2011 and believe the best is yet to come. God has even more amazing things He wants to do in and through our lives so we’re straining to what is ahead. (Philippians 3:13-14)

A Big 0 Means We’re 1 Step Closer

We recently had a red-letter day in pursuing the cruising dream! As of April 29, 2010 we officially own Kaleo and no longer owe the bank a dime on it. More importantly, it was a red-letter day in life – We are officially debt free! We don’t owe a dime to anyone. No ifs, ands, or asterisks involved.

Screen shot of our loan account

Not only is it great to have paid off the boat, it feels even better because we did it earlier than planned (thanks to the payback of a generous interest-free loan we gave the government last year – aka our tax return) and a dedicated savings plan outlined by Crown.

Since before our marriage we have both been following the biblically-based Money Map (which is available for free right now) from Crown Financial Ministries. Following its steps have guided us to this liberating day of being debt free. The Money Map outlines specific steps to not only becoming debt free, but achieving true financial freedom (being able to use the resources we’ve been given to help others and live enjoyably).

Of course, our intention is to stay debt free as we follow the remaining steps of saving for a future land house, our future children’s college funds, and … well you’ll just have to order a Money Map to find out!

Obviously, we’re big fans of Crown, their Money Map and the daily money management tool we use, Crown Mvelopes. Whether you’re 6 or 60, Crown has advice, tools and live counsel to help you easily manage money successfully.

We are shifting our boat payment into the cruising fund and will build it up as much as possible before we take off. Now we just need to keep working on all the boat projects!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...