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Wednesday
Jul082015

Saving for a Sailboat | Our Fund-o-Metre

I was so happy to read Eric's latest blog post about wanting to buy another boat, because we do, and it was wonderful to read his view on the subject.

People frequently ask us, "so when are you going to buy another boat?" As if boats were just something you picked up at Starbucks when you were feeling parched.

Inspecting a boat for a friend in Oceana who didn't want to fly over unless the boat was worth it.

Boats must be considered very carefully. And when you finally have even an idea of what kind of boat you want, well, you still have to find it. There are not millions of boats out there, like the car lots you drive past day-in-and-day-out. Finding the right boat for you could take as much time as trying to have a baby. You could get pregnant on your first attempt, or it could take months, YEARS even, until it all materializes. And when you do find "the one," don't forget that it may be at a marina in Croatia or something. Yes, somewhere very, very far away. It'll need to pass a survey, be in general good shape, blah blah blah. Buying a boat is not an easy thing to do.

And let's not forget the cost. Boats are a lot more pricey than a soy latte.

Are they cheaper than buying a home? Well, as far as San Diego home prices go, yes.

We are saving. We are waiting.

People ask if we are "boat shopping." Resoundingly, I say NO.

I hate window shopping. What is the point of looking when you can't buy? And we cannot buy. So we wait. We save. We focus on the wonderful life we have in front of us right now, and we keep saving, and keep waiting. See the theme here?

I had the idea of drawing a little fundraising thermometer and posting it on our living room wall. I thought a daily, visual reminder of our saving efforts would be effectual. I tried to hand draw something, but I'm no artist, and when I looked at all the cheesy graphics available online I became discouraged. I wanted something original, something inspiring to keep us motivated. A piece of art, that we'd relish looking at, so I decided to call in the big guns and get an actual artist to design something for us. 

And yes, I get the irony of spending money when you are trying to save money. But you need to pay artists for their work, and saving for a boat is a massive undertaking. It was worth the cost to have something that would keep us focused on the end game.

Enter the Australian cartoonist, Sarah Steenland.

She and her family are currently sailing around the world on their 41' sailboat, Sea Monkey.

She tells stories with cartoons (similar to The Oatmeal). One of my favorite cartoons of Sarah's is entitled Back in 'Nam.

Also, 12 Reasons Why I Love Sailing.

And if you keep reading that one, you'll run smack dab into 10 of the Most Annoying things about Sailing too:

I told Sarah my idea and asked if I could hire her to design something inspiring. She said yes!! And then she drew me this and I fell in love.

See it up there? Top, right. All framed and fancy? 

Here, let me show you a close up.

GENIUS, RIGHT? I'm just gonna pause for a moment and let you soak in the sheer radness of it all.

:::::::::::::::::::::::: PAUSING ::::::::::::::::::::::::

I mean, look at that cocktail I'm holding! And Eric with his spear gun. Hahahaaha. Cora squealed when she saw she was the 'super hero' on top of the mast, and Lyra goes, "that's me, that's me!" every time we talk about it.

Yes, this is our very own Fund-o-metre. I went with the British English spelling (versus "meter") because Sarah is Australian and 'metre' looks fancy, right? Sure it does!

I call it our Fund-o-metre. Pronunciation: fund-ahh-ma-ter.

Eric calls it our Fund-o-meter. Pronunciation: fund-O-meeter.

Cora just keeps asking why the line on the mast isn't going up any faster.

This line I mean:

We divided the mast into measurable goals for the amount we are saving for and I've used washi tape to show our progress. Cora is learning that goals can take time. Part of saving for a goal like this is not spending. The two go hand in hand. When we go shopping we talk about what our budget is for the store we are going into. We discuss in advance that the girls aren't going to get a toy or a coloring book just because they have a Frozen character on them or because they "want" them. Our family is on a budget and we are saving for something important. We involve the girls in these discussions so they'll understand young the importance of fiscal responsibility.

Oh, and I'm sure you've noticed that this new Rebel Heart 2 is a catamaran, because we are fairly certain that a catamaran is what we'll get. We'll see. For now, we are leaning towards a cat.

If you are also saving for a boat, you can get one of these custom fund-o-metres at Sarah's online shop. She can do a monohull image too, of course! Sarah is a freelance cartoonist and is available for a multitude of design work. Her direct website is: www.SarahSteenland.com 

.............................

Happy sailing, and happy saving!

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