Ever since we started Cruising over 10 years ago we have faithfully recorded and monitored our monthly expenditures. I use a simple spreadsheet with general categories in hopes of maintaining some semblance of control over our spending and help us continue Cruising as long as we want to.

We have found that several things we once believed we couldn’t live without have become things we don’t need to be happy anymore.  We don’t own a car, we don’t rent a storage space, pay for Cable TV, and our wardrobes are nowhere near what we owned when we had careers.

Once several years ago some Cruiser friends of ours mentioned having a Gold Star Day, a day where they didn’t spend any money.  We immediately adopted the concept and have enjoyed noting Gold Star Days wherever they occur as a way of celebrating the notion that we don’t have to spend money to be happy.

Many of our Gold Star Days are days that occur when we’re underway, but some days we just stay onboard and read or walk around exploring the local area. We almost had one yesterday, but decided to spend $4 for drinks to get some better Internet.

Sure, we have to buy groceries and fuel for the dinghy along with other necessities during the month, but looking for ways to make Gold Star Days happen helps us decide whether some expenses are really worthwhile and helps us to keep our spending under control.