As longtime readers know, we try to be very transparent with our lives. We have shared the cost of the boat and refit, the birth of our boys, the purchase of our first house, the financial details of our rental property, and the struggles we have been having lately with the sale of the company that I work for. One of the things that was always a mystery to me is how cruisers are able to leave their jobs and shore life and sustain a life on water. I want to document our journey from start to finish so that readers can see how we reached our goals.
Three months ago the company that I work for was sold. I was lucky enough to be one of the first employees at this company and was integral to scaling it from 1 location to 8 with two more under construction. The sale was a surprise to me and instantly tore down years of trust that I had built up in my mind and heart. It was devastating. What followed were several painful weeks of learning about the acquisitions company that purchased us and getting acclimated to their way of doing things. Truth be told, I have never really worked for a corporation and there is definitely a different culture that I have had to adapt to.
This sudden change in our lives brought about all sorts of scary questions. As I am the sole financial provider for our family we were really scared about what would happen to my pay. All sorts of rumors were floating around and there were no direct answers from the leadership of the company. Erin and I panicked a bit and I’m sure it was evident to all of you as well. So for that reason, I’d like to provide an update as to where we are at now.
First off – the panic bought about one good thing: we quickly realized where we were weak. We did not have enough liquid cash on hand because we have been paying down our student loans so aggressively over the last few years. While watching our net worth grow and our debt diminish was amazing, we didn’t realize the vulnerability created by having so little liquid cash. We also realized that our vehicle situation was all out of sorts. I had a company truck that was 100% financed by the company and Erin had a luxury SUV that takes only premium gas and only gets around 18MPG. When the company was sold the truck disappeared and I had no vehicle – I thought about purchasing the truck but with the amount I drive the monthly gas bill would have been insane. I drive over 1,600 miles per month and the truck got 17MPG on a good day. I was forced to make a quick decision to have a vehicle to get to work and purchased a Honda Accord that gets 32MPG. We then started looking at how to un-couple ourselves from purchasing premium gas with Erins Acura and are still in the works on getting rid of that car to try and get our monthly expenses down even further. We were also in very aggressive agreements to pay down our student loans quickly and that $2,000+ monthly bill was quite scary without job security. I immediately refinanced some of our loans and got our monthly payments down there as well – we can always choose to pay more aggressively in the future but aren’t beholden to it. We cut out all of our subscription services like Blue Apron and Thrive Market and were really able to tighten up. As you know, we also started a Patreon to try and get this blog to pay for itself.
While we were running around like crazy people trying to adjust to all the changes and get our monthly expenses down I am really happy to say that, after several months of keeping us in the dark, the new company has decided to keep my pay the same for now. Additionally, instead of overseeing 5 operations I am now overseeing 9 operations and 2 new builds, one of which opens next month. In a crazy turn of events this will actually increase my pay through bonuses. That agreement will expire at the end of this year but it is a huge relief that the company has agreed to honor it for these next few months.
Who knows what the future will bring but I feel like the panic that we went through over these last three months did have some really good benefits. We realized a couple areas that we were weak and we have started to build up a better savings account as a result. We also realized that having two gas guzzling cars was more of a drain on us that we were aware. To be honest, we didn’t even really think about it until recently but now we actually want to un-couple ourselves from gas all together. With the amount I drive, it just doesn’t make sense financially or for the environment.
I’d really like to thank everyone who has shown us so much support. This was a scary time for us and there are several people who really showed up and made us feel loved and cared for. Readers who we have never met in person were there for us and that means so much. Our family has also been such a great help during this challenging time. To all of you: thank you, thank you, thank you! We appreciate you all so much 🙂