The Little Things All Add Up

I came back to the cabin today after going to Zumba and our room steward had been there to tidy the room. The sheets had been changed, our bed was made, we had fresh towels, the floor was vacuumed, there were fresh hand towels, wash clothes, and a new role of toilet paper. As I was lying in bed I started thinking, how much of the little things add up while we are on board to savings?

Let’s start going through the big stuff:

Electricity – to operate TV’s, power laptops, cell phones, hot water for your shower, washer, lights in the cabin.

While we still have to pay for the electric hook up and basic electric supply to our homes, we save on the usage. For instance, in Vermont our difference is about $45 per month when we are home for usage versus when we aren’t home.

Estimated yearly savings: $270 (minimum)

Air Conditioning/Heating: Not having to heat (fully heat) our house in Vermont saves us from having to fill our oil tank more than once a year. In Scotland as it doesn’t get as cold we are able to drain the pipes and shut the heat off entirely at that house.

Estimated yearly savings: $600 (minimum)

Food: Imagine not having to go grocery shopping for 6 months out of your year. Imagine not having to pay for groceries for 6 months out of the year. Imagine not having to cook for 6 months out of the year. I am saying all of these in the positive – and most of the time it is. Every once and awhile you crave foods that remind you of home, sometimes you wish you could just cook exactly what you want – but most of the time it is really nice to not have to cook and especially wonderful to not have to do the dishes. And, while most days it’s great, somedays you don’t want crepes and poached eggs with hollandaise sauce and instead you go for a bowl of Raisin Bran.

And last night when I had lobster mac and cheese? Oh yes, oh yes, I was okay with it then.

Estimated yearly savings (for what we would buy at home – not all the fancy stuff we eat onboard): $1,800-$2,400 (depending on how fancy we feel like getting)

Dish soap: When you don’t have to do the dishes, you don’t have to buy the dish soap!

Estimated yearly savings: $10 a year (a small amount but it all adds up!)

Look at those towels, pillows, and toilet paper that we didn’t have to buy. Ahh, the simple joys.

Laundry Detergent – for bedding and towels. (We wash our own clothes and supply our own laundry detergent to do so).

Estimated yearly savings: $15-$20

Paper products: toilet paper, tissues

Estimated yearly savings: $30-$35

Gas for our car:

Estimated yearly savings: $480

We save on wear and tear of our own things at home, such as:

  • Mattress
  • Sheets/duvet/pillowcases
  • Pillows
  • Towels/washcloths/hand towels
  • Washer and dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Stove/Range
  • Vacuum
  • Mileage on our cars

If you think of it – a mattress is generally said to last for 10 years – if we are sleeping on a ship mattress for 6 months out of the year, that means that our mattresses at home might last for up to twenty years! Holy goodness! Doubling our value on our mattress!

That same concept goes with everything else on this list. We are using our own things less, so we are extending the longevity of those items and appliances so it will be longer before we have to replace them.

This all adds up to about $3,380 per year + less wear and tear on our appliances and furnishings! 

In addition to all of these savings, for me we have the added bonus of having access to a pool (Stuart is not able to use the pool most of the time – specific crew rules apply), access to a gym, to entertainment, and if we want to go out for a few drinks we never have to pay for a taxi home. It’s hard to quantify the savings on these (because for instance at home I don’t pay for a gym or pool membership.) However, these are nice things to have available to us that do add up to benefits, even if they are harder to financially quantify.

When I was working onboard and had a bad day I would grab an extra dessert and call it my “bonus”. Some days it helps to think of the little extras that you get from a job. In this case these little extras add up to far more than just an extra dessert – but, just in case I think I’ll go to the Lido and see if there are any yummy desserts. 🙂

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