Thursday, May 3, 2012

Costs for April

This month we actually did rather well, just about in the middle of our $2-3K/mo goal.  And especially when we consider there were a few Extra larger expenses then normal.  Maintenance/Upgrades included a radiator and fittings to be installed in the main cabin, this should help out during the Shoulder Seasons by allowing the Hurricane a way to get more heat actually delivered into the main cabin area. (And perhaps reduce the number of days on the Dickinson).  For once Medical came in 'low', in fact it contains only the insurance payments for our ‘catastrophic’ healthcare coverage.  That one that if we were NOT in the USA we could get for around $400/YEAR.

Groceries were high, this is in part of us stocking up before all the local stores liquor get sold off – I am sure prices will be lower at the Booze Barn and Costco.  However that small store front on Orcas island, who will now need to carry the inventory themselves,  I suspect will not be seeing Rock Bottom Prices here in the Islands J   Even so our grocery costs seem to be trending up over time.  We had noticed last time we were in Anacortes that things seemed more costly, but do not have an item-by-item receipt to compare - just a overall feeling..  Perhaps that accounts for some of this months increase as well???

Communication was a bit higher in April as I needed to use the Sprint iDEN phone several times (at a pay-per-minute).  But it has allowed us to cruise into areas that would not be possible using just the Verizon or Skype solutions.  Not to worry, Sprint is starting to take these iDEN transmission towers off-line in preparation for redeploying the spectrum for their LTE roll-out.  This iDEN spectrum is a valuable frequency, as it has lots of penetration capability.

Next month we will be again filling the tanks, and we expect to take on 300+ gallons   - it is the ‘Price To Pay’ to keep warm up here, guess we could just put on more jackets if we really wanted.  And I we are getting rather serious about installing 400-500w of Solar Panels.  This will be a large expense; but I figure will ROI in less than 2 years.  Plus it should cut down dramatically on the generator run-time.  Not that that is too costly, but it is a bit noisy!

In a couple more months we will be 1 year, and I will do some comparisons with other cruisers who track costs – look to see where we are the same, and where we differ.  Have already been looking some, and you might be surprised and what we can see!  One thing is for sure, we likely will not make the $2-3K/month goal this year….

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