In any major venture in life, honest and objective evaluation must constantly be part of the planning. That is especially true for us as we try to make decisions regarding our finances and how best to provide for our dream of cruising. When we first started making plans for cruising, we estimated that we would require approximately $1000-$1500 per month for basic necessities and boat maintenance. Using this estimate, we calculated that we would like to have around $70,000 in hard savings in addition to whatever money we decided to use for a decent boat. That would give us a very comfortable 4-5 years of savings that gave us plenty of options for continuing just by adding small amounts of income from scuba diving and other odd jobs.

Then came the wait. Three to four years starts to feel extremely far away when you are constantly reading and learning about how amazing that life could be, and when the cruising experts all say to go cheap, simple, and as soon as possible. And so, we decided to move up our intended departure date to the fall of 2013. We would sell our house and use the equity to buy a boat, and hopefully save enough money to have only two years instead of five in reserves.

That brings us to today, when the honest evaluation comes in. Our house has sold and we are six months into this phase of saving. At closing, we will be receiving around $40,000 from the equity of our house. We have also saved just under $10,000 in additional cash for our kitty. It might sound like a lot to be sitting on, but we’re honestly a little less than excited about it. If you’ve ever been boat shopping, you will note that there aren’t many family friendly boats on the market for only $40,000, especially if we want to do more than coastal cruising.

After the long, hard look at our money, we’ve decided that we need to make our money work a little harder to be able to meet our goals. The way we plan to do that is by purchasing two houses immediately which we will rent out to increase our monthly income while cruising. We will live in one while saving our kitty and rent the other as soon as possible. If all goes well, we will add 2-3 more by the end of the year. The much lower mortgage payment will also allow us to save more every month towards our goals.

While our new plan may not get us on a boat in the next year, we are very confident that it will give us much a higher chance of success and that still within the original time frame. What do you think about our new plan? Let us know in the comments below!