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They say that many people would rather talk about their sex lives than about their bank balance. I’m not going to disclose detailed info on either here right now but I will say that I have been investing a little bit of thought in to the latter of the two subjects (that’s money for those who have trouble keeping up). Here is a bit of what I have been working on.

Many people are very good at working with a budget. I am not. For more than the last two decades whenever I needed more money for something I just found a way to make it. I guess I have the belief that our cruising adventure will follow a similar path. We do have some money tucked away in retirement accounts, but if you had asked me yesterday how much we have there would have been no way I could have told you. Today I rounded up a variety of papers, and checked some online accounts, to come up with a “close-enough” figure. My plan is to meet with a good friend and account manager to consolidate these funds and put them into a relatively safe investment that we can periodically draw from, if necessary.

As I have written about at length here, there are still some boat improvements that we need (want?) to make before departing. How much these will cost and where that money will come from is another subject to be discussed.

How are we going to deal with the day-to-day expenses of cruising? Yet another subject to be sorted out. With credit cards, debit cards and online banking, much of this day-to-day stuff should be similar to how it is at home. We do need to ensure that we have bank cards which will work in the dominant machines down south (outside the USA). Strangely, to me at least, I have heard that a (the?) dominant back in the Bahamas is the Royal Bank. We currently don’t have an account with them but perhaps we should open one. My current bank manager at TD-Canada Trust, who if he is reading this, is the coolest bank manager out there, advised us to drive across the border to the States and open an account at a US bank. We may very well do that later in the spring. It’ll make for a nice weekend outing.

To be continued…


  1. Hi,
    Long-time lurker, first-time poster.
    I work for Scotiabank, and a couple of years ago we just bought a significant amount of the Central American/ Caribbean banks. Some are now actual Scotiabanks, but others are still called Inverlat (among others)…

    I’m not necessarily endorsing my employer over TD and RBC, but if you’re looking for coverage it’s an option.

    And thanks for the great posts so far!

  2. HSBC banks are everywhere. I saw one on Tortola as well. Maybe check them out.

    Also, I am not getting the alerts to a new post in my email. I thought you might be ill or something as the New York one was the last I got an email for.

    Did you change something? Because I don’t think I did.


  3. My experience in the Bahamas has been that there are a lot of ScotiaBank offices.
    it’s the only bank in George Town, Exuma.
    Never had a problem getting my ATM card to work in any bank in BVI/USVI/Bahamas

    As for keeping track of the money,I guess we’re opposites. I practically obsess about the money,and the financial”what if’ scenarios. I keep a log book for boat preparation,and work out a monthly budget for upgrades.
    We’ve made it a game to develop the “cruiser mentality” about money.
    “what would the cruisers buy?” and then we buy the bargain one-unless,of course,it’s for the boat!

  4. To easily transfer between Canadian and US accounts, we opened an RBC USA account (it is an actual US account) and we could open it at RBC Canada branch. You get a preferred rate of transfer from Can to USD funds and can do the transfers without fees online.

  5. ((without fees from RBC Canada to RBC USA of course, not from TD Trust))

  6. I’ve been working in international banking tech for close to 15yrs. A little surprising how many Canadian banks (among others) have so much business down there until you realize that the combination of international/local laws, plus the fantastic weather and sunshine really make a great place to do your laundry in peace.


  7. Hailing from Australia I spend six months each year cruising either Pacific or Mediterranean. Accessing your funds can be challenging either through ATM or banks. The exchange rate is always an issue BUT the greatest issue are the addon costs imposed by your and other banks when you draw money. I have now negotiated a no bank fees card with my Australian bank to use overseas. I saved myself a bundle of money by doing that. Holding cash is always a good negotiating advantage.

    • Hi Harry

      Thanks for the tip. Having lots of cash is always good leverage to use with the banks. I think we may need to use our charming personalities as the cash thing is in short supply. 😉

      I totally hear you about the fees thing though. That can seriously add up. I’ll be sure to pin that down.

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