Sunday, December 10, 2017

Boat Rich, Cash Poor

Moon over the boatyard.
Long ago, I decided that I'm not interested in getting ahead, I just want to break even. It's a good thing because I tried to go broke -- again. It's okay, it's part of my plan but I got caught up short; shouldn't have but I got distracted. First confession: I took too long to adjust my lifestyle from full time to part time. Worse yet, full time life on the road is different than just full time. Life out there is more expensive and less convenient. Because of all that, it's harder to recognize that you're eating out too often. I love cooking for myself but more than occasionally, while I was running here or there, I rationalized stopping at one of my favorite spots.

Earlier this month, I had a plan. My overarching philosophy is to spend whatever I need to spend, to continue the boatwork; while holding back enough for next months rent.

I have a fairly large check coming -- drivers escrow. The last company I worked for held back 50 bucks a week, up to $750, to cover minor damages to company equipment or their deductible in the event of something more serious. If all went well, the driver gets the escrow back upon leaving me company. I don't know if I'm getting every nickel back but I have a receipt from when I turned my truck in that shows the initial inspection was fine. I'm hoping, of course, for the entire balance.

In my memory of the drivers handbook, I was supposed to call 45 days after my termination to request the return of the escrow. Forty five days was the Monday of Thanksgiving week. I decided the Payroll Office would be busy enough that week that I would call the following week (I am too nice to a fault).

Two things became excruciatingly important a couple weeks later. One: I had counted on the arrival of the escrow monies in my plans. And two -- of course -- I forgot to call that next week.

Everything was going along fine. I was buying boat stuff and preparing for the engine install. I made a new dropboard for the companionway out of some decent plywood. Then I had to think about paying my rent. Wait a minute!! According to my plan, I should have had a lot more in my accounts then I did just then. The escrow!

When I called, I found out the escrow return would have been automatic but an email they had sent me, the day after I quit, was missing a letter in my email address. Its all straightened out now, just needs to be processed, but in the meantime I am squeaking by.

This is actually the plan. When I bought Emma, I basically spent all the money I had
Home Sweet Boatyard.
on her (she was that important). When I quit my Midwest job, the last two or three paychecks were just enough for me to move and get established in Florida. I had a job in Fort Pierce before I left Michigan. That Florida job paid for her mooring, and then storage, while I was saving up for the refit.

I bought a 50 horsepower diesel engine, new fuel tanks, and all the bits and pieces to install all of that. And in October, I switched to part time. I have a great gig that is going to fund the rest of the refit. It would all be going swimmingly if not for the couple grand I spent at the dentist in the last 4 or 5 months.

To twist an old saw for my own purposes: I'm boat rich and cash poor (this month). This is just exactly where and how I want to live. I continue to doggedly pursue my righteous cause. Don't worry about me, find your own cause.

Homeward Epilogue

sv Ruth Ann in Beaufort, SC, 12/23 Ruth Ann is the last in a series of boats on which I was attempting to escape. I found her when I found a...