Debt Freedom (original post)

This original post inspired this page that tracks my progress towards debt freedom. Please check it out!

debt freedom

I need to save approximately $27K to achieve debt freedom and begin my journey as a ‘professional nomad’.

For the last six months, I’ve been working hard to get my sailboat safe, fully functional, and livable. I am happy to announce that I have achieved all the goals I set out, and now, as of April 1st, I am officially living aboard full time.

Living aboard a boat has been a long-time goal of mine because it is a ‘lily pad’, creating jumping off point for so many more adventures. For instance, I have been greatly inspired by Ken Ilgunas’ book Walden on Wheels as well as Glenn’s blog, To Simplify. Both aspired to be ‘professional nomads’, free to wander the world and like Thoreau to “live deep and suck out all the marrow of life”. I too wish to be a professional nomad some day; to break free of the cubical and to sail up and down the Inside Passage in time with the seasons. My ultimate goal is to achieve a lifestyle where I can spend three to six months every year sailing the islands and work six to nine months of the year, comfortably covering my living expenses while still saving for retirement and the costs of old age.

Achieving the goal of living aboard is simply a milestone on a long road ahead of me. The key to achieving these life goals will be to control my debt and cash flow. The carefree life of boat travel isn’t very practical if I have to worry about making enough money every month to service my debt. Not paying back my debts isn’t an option, as people I care about would suffer. Living aboard provides the base for a three prong attack:

  1. I am able to work on the boat while living on it, continuing to make it a seaworthy vessel.
  2. I spend most weekends away from the dock, sailing and improving my skill as a sailor.
  3. I am living a frugal lifestyle allowing me to aggressively pay down my debt.


Over the last few months I have managed to consolidate my credit cards into two, zero interest accounts. This consolidation has saved me a little more than $200 a month. Additionally, living aboard instead of renting a room is saving me an additional $400 per month. Starting this month, I am now able to devote $1000 of my monthly income to paying down my debt. At my present rate, it’s going to take me about three years to get debt free and save up a cruising kitty.

I hope to speed up this time table by a year. I’m not completely sure how yet, but I have set aside a small section of my storage unit as work-shop. I am hoping to make extra money by building electronics and selling them online. I will also begin working on a second book this summer. Time will tell, and right now it’s a low priority. For the next few months I plan to adjust to full-time life aboard and focus on establishing a routine of saving and paying down debt. I will also continue to whittle down my cost of living in every way I can.

Life After Debt

My goal is to be debt free by June 2016. If possible, I also hope to save up an additional $10K for a cruising kitty. If I meet these goals, I plan to take my first full summer off to sail from Anacortes, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. This route is known as the Inside Passage because the majority of the route passes between islands and avoids the unprotected coast of the Pacific Ocean.

This summer, I will be taking three weeks in September to sail up to Texada Island. A trip of approximately 250 miles. It will be my first excursion into the Canadian Gulf Islands. Although I’ve gotten comfortable with crossing Rosario Strait, a 5.25 mile wide body of water, this summer trip will require me to cross the Strait of Georgia, a 20 mile wide body of water; which will make it the largest, open area of water I’ve ever crossed.

In saving, as in sailing, I am trying to take it one step at a time, knocking down each milestone as I slowly creep closer to my life goals.

Related posts:

Transitioning to a Liveaboard
Sailing the Gulf Islands, Part 11 (The End)
Routine is Heaven and Hell
8 Responses to “Debt Freedom (original post)”
  1. Nice Chris! Not many folks out there fully articulate their dreams, set up a detailed plan and timeline, then punch through to achieving them. You have an admirable goal and we’re stoked for you. Hopefully we can assist by pitching in lots of homegrown veggies, goat milk and eggs to lower your grocery bills! Thanks again for coming to visit a few weeks ago.

    – Katie and Mark

    • Chris says:

      Thanks you guys! It’s exciting to watch you two carve out a niche in the Northwest and pursue your life goals too! I’ll take home grown goodness any day.



  2. Alan says:

    Chris, this is your best fucking post ever! Read your money or your life, you won’t regret it.

    • Chris says:

      Wow! Thanks Stormy. I have read that book, when I was a teenager. It has been a big inspiration in my life. Did you know one (maybe both) of the authors live on Whidbey Island?

      • Alan says:

        I think you should pick up the kids and come visit the islands. I’m having motor issues but still hope to launch in the next week or two. Its time for a island madness party.

        • Chris says:

          Aye! I think a rendezvous is in order to break in this spring. I think I may just be heading over to your port on Friday if the weather holds.

  3. Kevin says:

    Just found you, by way of Alan, Stormy, Art of Hookie, what ever he calls himself. 😉
    I wanted to encourage you in your plan to be debt free. Our home is our final debt, and it is for sale right now.
    As an aside, we are looking for an Albin Vega 27, or Cape Dory (less than 30′) in the San Juan area. You should have my e-mail. Thanks!

    • Chris says:

      Thanks for the support Kevin! Congrats on your own road to debt freedom.

      A buddy of mine has an Albin 27 and loves it. Good luck on your hunt. If you come across someone selling just the sails and/or masts, let me know. He is looking for a replacement.

Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright 2017 · RSS Feed · Log in

Website Design by Pacific Online Promotion Strategies

Organic Themes