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I want to buy a boat.  I’ve told a few people, and every one of them has replied back with, “Don’t you know that the two best days of boat ownership are the day you buy it and the day you sell it!” Literally, every…single… one has said this to me.

Why is that?  Well, each person went on to tell me a sob story of the upkeep and hidden costs.  As much as I dislike feeling dissuasion, I’m happy for each of these conversations.  With each chat, I further understood the true cost of boat ownership.

Frequently, after we are sold (or sell ourselves) on the purchase of a major physical asset, we think about the monthly payment alone.  For example, many first-time homeowners find themselves being “house poor” because they only thought about the mortgage payment while shopping.  They forgot about property taxes, home insurance, and the ongoing maintenance of the house, the yard, and the many appliances.

I know first-hand the discomfort of being house poor, and don’t want to relive that for anything – not a car, a vacation home, a camper, or a boat.  Therefore, I’m counting the costs!  

As my conversations unfolded I learned about:

  • Boat insurance
  • Monthly storage
  • Annual maintenance
  • Fuel
  • Property tax and/or registration
  • And many enticing add-ons and extras

The boat won’t simply cost the $15,000 purchase price, but all of these additional items to boot.  I’m still very interested in purchasing a boat because I embrace lake life, and I hope to find a bargain as the season ends. Plus, I have great confidence that I’m making an informed decision – not an emotional one. 

Are you thinking of making a large purchase? Have you counted the costs?  Be sure to do your research and shop around so that you find the best value for your hard earned money, but also to make sure you aren’t surprised by unanticipated burdens! 

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