“All of our wages have gone into paying off our rentalproperties and into investments; we live very well off our tips and manage atleast six weeks vacation a year,” writes a captain and chef team in Dockwalk.com’s money management poll.“Working on yachts has completely transformed our retirement horizon. Knowingwe can retire any time makes this job ever more pleasant. This is truly anextraordinary industry.”
That it is, indeed. With no rent, utilities, car payments ormonthly groceries to pay, crew wallets may be a little fatter than thoseworking the typical 9-to-5 grind. But are you frivolous or frugal when it comesto managing your money?
It seems that most at least attempt to save. The majority ofDockwalk.com respondents save roughly$1,200 to $5,000 a month, with several saving slightly more or upwards of fivefigures.
As one master puts it, “I save as much as is painful.”
But just because most are saving doesn’t mean they’reputting away all they could be. For 34.8 percent of respondents, there are nochallenges to saving money, but for others it’s not so easy. Temptation to buystuff was cited as the biggest challenge (30.4 percent), followed by the desireto travel (23.9 percent), spending too much when going out (21.7 percent),earning enough (19.6 percent) and paying off debt (15.2 percent). Thirteenpercent cited other.
In fact, 21.7 percent of those polled felt that the exposureto the excesses of the yachting lifestyle made it harder for them to savemoney. However, 30.8 percent did not feel this way and 47.8 percent only sometimesfelt that way.
With such challenges to saving money, does budgeting comeinto play?
“I don’t have a set budget,” comments one mate/stew. “At themoment, I’m living off my savings and just started looking for a job again. Sothe earnings from winter 2014 have just vanished, but I had a great summer withlots of fun and time to live for a change!”
While roughly 32 percent of respondents were of a similarmindset and lacked a budget, the majority of respondents do have a financialsystem.
“Predominantly all of my salary goes to my savings account,”says a stewardess. “I allow about twentypercent of my salary to go to a fun fund, which can be for travel, drinking,shopping, whatever. I am paying off a loan each year, hoping to complete thiswithin the next two years.”
Most budgeting respondents operate along similar lines,putting away a good portion of their paycheck into savings, investments andbills if necessary. As one captain puts it, “Strict and to the penny. Don’thave it in my operating account, don’t spend it.”
Also included in the poll was the top five spendingcategories. At the top, 82.6 percent of respondents allocate money toward theirsavings. It may be no surprise that the second highest category is food andalcohol (80.4 percent), next to entertainment (76.1 percent), travel andleisure (73.9 percent) and shopping/splurges (65.2 percent). More than halfbudget money toward investments (54.3 percent) and a clever 80.2 percent haveno debt.