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Doing the Sums


El Perro Negro
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The £440 pm has to cover all living expenses for me and 2 dogs for 3 years until my State pension kicks in, then I should double my monthly income. That would be for:- food, gas, coal/logs, diesel, water (?), internet/phone, clothes, medical prescriptions and the odd pint in a pub !! I am hoping that the £10k start up buffer will cover all the annual costs of the boat for the 3 years (about £3,300 a year) until my pension kicks in. i.e. licence, insurance, safety cert. (if necessary) and the odd mooring fees.

 

Sounds perfectly doable to me with that buffer in place. £440 sounds like a very low income, but it's probably not exceptionally low as an income after tax, NI and housing costs, which is the right comparison (as anything analogous to 'housing costs', e.g. licence and winter mooring, is included in that buffer). I hope to be leading a similarly frugal-but-happy lifestyle myself in a few years' time!

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Sshhh! I didn't tell him about the money sapping amount of donuts one has to have.

smiley_offtopic.gif Must have passed you today but can't remember which way you were facing. If your heading south you'll pass me

.f your stopping could go for one of those rare pints I mentioned.earlier. Tomorrow is folk night in the Bridge.

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I think it's do able, if you are the right type of person, which it sounds as if you could well be. Forget the winter mooring. Winter cruising can be the best time. Choice of mooring spots, and, in most places you can choose the best day to cruise with a 14 day option. Forage...treat yourself to the book "food for free". It's fun, satisfying, and above all, free! Cook on your woodburner in the winter. If you can get solar to start with, do. Shop in aldi when you can, or end of the day on local markets where possible. Internet, costs vary depending what you need, but EE do 15 g for £20 a month. Try to find a boat with 12v well set up, sockets and fridge etc, it will lessen the charging requirements if you're not inverter reliant. Put some of your boat buying money by for a survey before purchase. Diesel varies depending where you are from around 65p Pl to £1.20, that I know of. Gas around £26. Water points on the system are free. Get a cassette loo to save on pump out costs. Insure your dog's to avoid unexpected vets bills.

If you want it you can do it! We have lived on a shoestring the past year, but it's been a good year!

 

 

Ally

 

Could you please tell me the name of the author of the book " food for free"

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I think it's do able, if you are the right type of person, which it sounds as if you could well be. Forget the winter mooring. Winter cruising can be the best time. Choice of mooring spots, and, in most places you can choose the best day to cruise with a 14 day option. Forage...treat yourself to the book "food for free". It's fun, satisfying, and above all, free! Cook on your woodburner in the winter. If you can get solar to start with, do. Shop in aldi when you can, or end of the day on local markets where possible. Internet, costs vary depending what you need, but EE do 15 g for £20 a month. Try to find a boat with 12v well set up, sockets and fridge etc, it will lessen the charging requirements if you're not inverter reliant. Put some of your boat buying money by for a survey before purchase. Diesel varies depending where you are from around 65p Pl to £1.20, that I know of. Gas around £26. Water points on the system are free. Get a cassette loo to save on pump out costs. Insure your dog's to avoid unexpected vets bills.

If you want it you can do it! We have lived on a shoestring the past year, but it's been a good year!

Ally....sounds as though you've got my type of life style sussed... and thanks for the costings all seems to be pointing to a 'do-able' project.

 

 

As you're 62, you shouldn't be paying for these.

 

I, also managed on a similar amount last year. Completely doable.

 

Good luck!

Essbee...thanks for the heads up on the prescription costs...UK 1 Spain 0...its 65 over here at the moment.

 

 

Sounds perfectly doable to me with that buffer in place. £440 sounds like a very low income, but it's probably not exceptionally low as an income after tax, NI and housing costs, which is the right comparison (as anything analogous to 'housing costs', e.g. licence and winter mooring, is included in that buffer). I hope to be leading a similarly frugal-but-happy lifestyle myself in a few years' time!

magictime...good luck for your future adventure and thanks for thoughts.

 

Ally

 

Could you please tell me the name of the author of the book " food for free"

spannerman.... got there first, its Food for Free by Richard Mabey, I had the book when I was living in Cornwall, all those years ago. I have to content myself here in Spain to scrumping apricots, peaches, broccoli and lettuces and the odd bag of snails to go in the paella..a local dish, sorry to the vegies amongst you.

 

 

and thanks to everyone else who I haven't replied to... Thanks for your input, certainly is helpful... biggrin.png

Sshhh! I didn't tell him about the money sapping amount of donuts one has to have.

Do Tescos still do the jumbo bag of donuts ???

Edited by El Perro Negro
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Ah, sorry, slow to come back spannerman, but your question has been answered, Richard mabey. There is also a Booze for free book lurking somewhere in our boat!

Don't know about the donuts, but tesco, and some other big supermarkets, have reduced sections for food that is being sold off cheap due to expiry dates, damaged packaging etc....usually the first area I check out!

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I've never managed to make booze for free. And I'm absolutely hopeless at making beer.

But I rediscovered a liking for wine during my time in Spain and can make a more than palatable bottle for around 30p each.

 

And if you ask around nearly everyone has some unused/forgotten wine-making kit tucked away in a shed, loft or cupboard.

I got all mine for free

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I must say I'm impressed that some of you can live on such a small amount of money per month/week. £440 per calender month works out at £101.50 a week to cover everything!

 

 

If you read carefully the OP you will see he also was allowing a further £3k a year for boat costs, maintenance etc. That makes a big difference. If he was talking about that including all boat costs I would agree.

I live on a saltwater mooring and therefore no license to pay, just moorings and insurance (drying mud berth so that's cheap as well) That makes a huge difference to my living standards. I could live within that budget for a few years if I had to.....but would prefer not to smile.png

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If you read carefully the OP you will see he also was allowing a further £3k a year for boat costs, maintenance etc. That makes a big difference. If he was talking about that including all boat costs I would agree.

I live on a saltwater mooring and therefore no license to pay, just moorings and insurance (drying mud berth so that's cheap as well) That makes a huge difference to my living standards. I could live within that budget for a few years if I had to.....but would prefer not to smile.png

£3k doesn't go that far anymore!

 

Licence and insurance won't be that far off £1k of that, assuming a narrowboat on CRT waters with a standard licence.

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That amount (excluding the extra 3K) is not much below the state pension. You cook so you know that it is perfectly possible to eat well for very little providing you prepare and cook for yourself and not use convenience foods, lets say £1.2K. A bottle of wine gives 3 large glasses, so a bottle of a drinkable cheap red a week is say £300 a year. So eating and drinking comes to £1500 . As you say license and insurance will absorb another £1K . Heating is a bit of an imponderable as it depends on so many things but £1K should about cover. Pets can be expensive (and insurance essential) but I have no figures on that so will ignore. Maintenance, fuel etc is another hard one to judge but the totals still come out as practicable even if you allow £1.5K.

 

All this assumes no disasters.....but that is what a contingency fund is for

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spannerman.... got there first, its Food for Free by Richard Mabey, I had the book when I was living in Cornwall, all those years ago. I have to content myself here in Spain to scrumping apricots, peaches, broccoli and lettuces and the odd bag of snails to go in the paella..a local dish, sorry to the vegies amongst you

 

]Ah, sorry, slow to come back spannerman, but your question has been answered, Richard mabey. There is also a Booze for free book lurking somewhere in our boat!Don't know about the donuts, but tesco, and some other big supermarkets, have reduced sections for food that is being sold off cheap due to expiry dates, damaged packaging etc....usually the first area I check out!

 

Thanks to you both for your replies

 

Spannerman

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That amount (excluding the extra 3K) is not much below the state pension. You cook so you know that it is perfectly possible to eat well for very little providing you prepare and cook for yourself and not use convenience foods, lets say £1.2K. A bottle of wine gives 3 large glasses, so a bottle of a drinkable cheap red a week is say £300 a year. So eating and drinking comes to £1500 . As you say license and insurance will absorb another £1K . Heating is a bit of an imponderable as it depends on so many things but £1K should about cover. Pets can be expensive (and insurance essential) but I have no figures on that so will ignore. Maintenance, fuel etc is another hard one to judge but the totals still come out as practicable even if you allow £1.5K.

 

All this assumes no disasters.....but that is what a contingency fund is for

One bottle of wine a week!

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How much do your dogs cost you to keep per month, and have you also factored in costs like flea and worming treatments and annual check ups and boosters into this as well as just their food?

Also, if you will not have disposable income or back-up funds, insurance for your dogs for any potential future veterinary costs is likely to be an additional expense you should budget for and that will be an essential unless you can cover potentially costly unforseen veterinary care for all three dogs if needed.

 

There are four things that, in my opinion, you should never scrimp on, even if you're living on ramen noodles and baked beans:

Good coffee.

Nice toilet paper.

Adequate dental care.

Appropriate pet insurance.

Edited by Starcoaster
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£440 a month is about £100 a month more than a single person would get in Jobseekers Allowance so in those terms I suppose a person could survive on it if they were happy to live frugally. If you aren't paying for a mooring then I'd say £3,300 a year would be more than enough to cover the cost of running the boat.

 

Personally, I reckon I could do it on your figures.

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How much do your dogs cost you to keep per month, and have you also factored in costs like flea and worming treatments and annual check ups and boosters into this as well as just their food?

Also, if you will not have disposable income or back-up funds, insurance for your dogs for any potential future veterinary costs is likely to be an additional expense you should budget for and that will be an essential unless you can cover potentially costly unforseen veterinary care for all three dogs if needed.

 

There are four things that, in my opinion, you should never scrimp on, even if you're living on ramen noodles and baked beans:

Good coffee.

Nice toilet paper.

Adequate dental care.

Appropriate pet insurance.

Well over here in Spain, my 2 dogs costs me 8 Euros a month in food (£6 uk) I bulk buy a good quality 15 kilo bag. Their flea collars costs 50 Euros (£37) a year, £3 a month and worming cost per month works out at £6 a month....so £15 a month would be the total equivalent in Uk costs of what I pay over here. Annual check ups and boosters I deem to be a bit over the top. No doubt (and from past experience) the veterinary fees and products in the UK are more expensive, I'm sure you are aware of that.... but I will still have access to the Spanish products I use over here.

 

Good Coffee, thats one thing I will miss from Spain.... you cant get good coffee in the UK...ask any expat that back in the UK.

Toilet paper....dont use it...soap, water and a bidet does fine for me over here

Dental care....brush twice a day and if it hurts....hoick it out

Pet Insurance....That I will have to consider, for 2 dogs not 3....

 

Happy days

If you MUST have a steel boat then fine! But if you can use a GRP cruiser your purchase price will be much less.

 

Question does a plast...GRP boat go through all the locks in the system??, i honestly dont know.

£440 a month is about £100 a month more than a single person would get in Jobseekers Allowance so in those terms I suppose a person could survive on it if they were happy to live frugally. If you aren't paying for a mooring then I'd say £3,300 a year would be more than enough to cover the cost of running the boat.

 

Personally, I reckon I could do it on your figures.

Frugal is a good word Mr Southern Star... I think I can do frugal...Thanks

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That amount (excluding the extra 3K) is not much below the state pension. You cook so you know that it is perfectly possible to eat well for very little providing you prepare and cook for yourself and not use convenience foods, lets say £1.2K. A bottle of wine gives 3 large glasses, so a bottle of a drinkable cheap red a week is say £300 a year. So eating and drinking comes to £1500 . As you say license and insurance will absorb another £1K . Heating is a bit of an imponderable as it depends on so many things but £1K should about cover. Pets can be expensive (and insurance essential) but I have no figures on that so will ignore. Maintenance, fuel etc is another hard one to judge but the totals still come out as practicable even if you allow £1.5K.

 

All this assumes no disasters.....but that is what a contingency fund is for

 

Hi John..I hope to avoid disasters but sh*1* t does happen, and I haven't figured that bit out yet... also and luckily I managed to leave the convenience food back UK side when I left, all home cooked peasant/camposino food here. Drinkable cheap wine could be a challenge, good local red wine is only 2 Euros a bottle. The pet insurance I will definitely have to look into. ....Thanks for your thoughts, most valuable.

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GRP boats include some intended to cruise the narrow canals and some intended to plane over big waters, a little careful looking should get you a good canal cruiser for £5K but that gets you nothing (that floats!) in steel, Just moves funds from capital to current funds. They have their own modes of failure which are different. Probably less easy to fit a solid fuel heater in a GRP boat.

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snip< Probably less easy to fit a solid fuel heater in a GRP boat.

 

CraftyCarper has one in his yoghurt pot and might give you tips, there are probably others with experience in that.

 

My Yoghurt pot (pleasure not liveaboard) is 6'4" beam (but only 25' so tight for a liveaboard add 2 dogs and wacko.png )

There are bigger GRP's around that are still narrow beam but for a liveaboard I would suggest that an inboard diesel engine would be an advantage (some are outboard powered and that would limit the amount of battery charging available)

 

smiley_offtopic.gif I wont start the pro/anti leg versus shaft drive up again smile.png ( my opinion is pretty well on record )

 

 

 

Edit for additional thought......some GRP boats for canal use were built very much with fine weather use in mind and are rather mean in the insulation stakes

Edited by John V
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