freedom > money
John has been researching sailboats for months now, reading blogs and books in all of his free time. I was hesitant to get too excited about it myself until we had actually taken the sailing course together as we could have easily decided it wasn't the life for us. But we made it past all the hurdles on the course that made us feel comfortable moving forward with our grand plan, the most important hurdle was making sure that I wasn't seasick the entire trip. Since I didn't throw up and didn't force myself to replace my seasickness patch after the recommended 3 days, I felt good about everything. After getting back from the trip and getting back to 'normal life' when we're not on vacation I quickly started to realize that this whole live on a boat thing could actually come a reality. How soon it becomes a reality would be up to us since no one is going to put a boat in our lap. So we got to work, researching and crunching the numbers. 📈
We finally met with someone to inquire about a boat loan today and I can now officially say I am excited for our next big adventure. The price tags on these boats are comparable to home sales in counties that actually have a supply of affordable housing stock. Here in St. Johns County our average home price is more like 250,000 to 300,000 so looking to buy a sailboat is actually cheaper than buying a house! Of course that's not why we're doing it, but it certainly puts it in perspective. When we went to talk about the loan, we quickly realized that buying a boat is much like buying a car. But unlike buying a car, a boat is something you can live and be free, free to roam all the corners of the world. 🌏
We recently went over our finances so we could take a look at our current income and expenses and see how they'd be changing over the course of the next few years as we make the necessary transitions from land to sea. There are so many aspects of living on land that increase your expenses. Not to mention the sheer fact that the average American home is around 2,000 square feet and a sailboat maybe has 400 square feet of covered living area. Of course most of the covered areas also have uncovered deck space too so it might be doubled, and if you ask me, the deck space is more valuable than the numerous covered cabins as most of the days are spent on deck rather than indoors.
So I am trying to be rational and think about what is keeping us from doing this now rather than later. John had mentioned maybe waiting until after my Ironman in September but I don't know why. The sooner we are on the boat, the sooner we'll be able to determine what we need versus what we want. For example, if we're living on a sailboat and John is working from 'home' do we really need two cars? We have the scooter as a secondary form of transportation while I'm at work. Of course I say all this and of course we haven't even found a boat yet, but we know that it will be much like buying a house where when you do find it, you have to be ready to jump on the deal and make the transition. It could take us 6 months to a year to even find the right boat, at the right price, and in the right place.
One thing I've learned from John in the short time we've been together is that you really can just 'make it work.' Whatever it is you want to do, there are steps you can take every day to be one step closer to what you want to do. Of course this won't be easy, a lot of the steps you have to take are hard, but 'no one said it would be easy, they just said it would be worth it.' So in order to start really saving for our dream boat, we've started to take simple steps like not go out very often to eat and/or drink with friends but instead always opt for inviting people over to hang out at the house. Also, we've been pretty good about making sure I bring lunch to work rather than eating out like I used to do way too much. We started out doing tuna wraps for a week, then switching to chicken salad wraps and back and forth. Now we're being even more hardcore and having beans and rice. It's not very fancy or exciting, but we've realized that in order to do the fancy and exciting things on our 'vacations' as often as possible, we can buckle down at home in order to live the life we truly want.
I was told by one of my mentors a few years ago that the smartest thing I could ever do is continue to live a budget lifestyle like I did in college even as I continued to grow in my career and compensation. I have held on to this piece of advice and always tucked away the additional funds if I ever got a raise, so I never got accustomed to extravagance. I have never lived alone, I have always had a roommate. Some might say I missed out on a part of living by not experiencing living alone but I chose to save my money rather than have that 'life experience'. I think in the grand scheme of things, I would much rather have had the vacations I have had then to sit at home alone without a roommate but not be able to afford vacation. John and I share this value as well, even though we live together, we also have a roommate since there is a spare room. All of these choices have allowed us to live the life we want, right now and in the future.
We choose freedom.