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Frugal Retiring News, Issue 36, May 2012
May 19, 2012

Living large on less

To celebrate, my frugal wife's 60th birthday we took a 14 day cruise from Ft Lauderdale to Rome...where we spent three additional days.

How can such a trip be frugal?

The cruise cost $899 per person which works out to $64 a day per person which includes lodging, food and entertainment

How is this cruise so inexpensive?

In the spring and fall cruise lines move their ships to the most popular, Europe in the summer, the Caribbean in the winter.

Getting the boat from one area to another is called a repositioning cruise.

This offers you a great opportunity to save money...

Why? A lot of folks like to have a different port every day... our cruise started out with eight days at about relaxing... and knowing that you are saving 40 to 50% makes it all the sweeter.

Take a good look at a repositioning cruise... in spring and fall and you can save too.

Frugal tips once on board the cruise

There are many ways to save once you're on board.

1) You are allowed two bottles of alcohol per person on most cruise lines...make your drinks in your room and take them to dinner.

2)You can opt out of the automatic tipping with a simple request... on our cruise it was $23 a day... it is better to tip individually to the persons that provide you with excellent service... not everyone uses the bar, not everyone uses the spa, tip individually.

3) Avoid the cruise ship sponsored shore excursions... you can almost always save big by organizing your own tour with one or two couples you meet on the boat. For instance, on a previous cruise, the bus tour from Alexandria Egypt to the Pyramids and the Cairo Museum cost $400 per person. We split a cab, Mercedes no less, with another couple for $100 plus a $20 tip. We saw the same sites... with the ticket purchase for the museum it worked out to $40 a person... a little cheaper than $400 a person.

4) Take public transport... for instance instead of taking a taxi from our hotel in Rome to the Rome airport, which would've cost about $60 US... we walked to the train station, with our luggage, and took a train direct to the airport for $18 for both of us.

For a special occasion, I think you'll find cruising to be a very cost effective way to go. is a good place to look for bargains

Where do you find such savings before you go

Quite simply, enter exactly what you're looking for in the Google search engine box.

Some of the specific searches we entered included:

"train from Cittavechia (the Rome cruise port) to the downtown Rome train station"

"Public transportation passes for Rome"

"Budget hotels close to Rome train station"

Expedia, Priceline, and are all similar sites

"Bus tours of Barcelona"

"What to see in Gibraltar"

Mother Google is a free resource folks... use it.

Before starting this site, I had to replace a color wheel on my Samsung DLP television... it was $400 at the repair shop... type these words into the Google search box..."replace color wheel on Samsung DLP TV" there are three YouTube videos that are very easy to follow... the part cost $90... it took me an hour but I saved over $300 by doing it myself.

Amaze yourself at how much information is available on Google... try it yourself... be very specific about what you're looking for.

Another tip... the sites on top of the Google search page and on the right side are paid ads... start your search at the top two or three sites underneath the ads... you are certainly welcome!

How do Facebook and Google make their money

I am sure that you have noticed that Facebook went public last week... Which will make a certain 28-year-old a multibillionaire.

Google stock closed last week at $600 a share.

Do you ever wonder how these companies are so valuable and earn their money?

The answer is in advertising revenue... You see it on both Facebook and on almost every webpage you visit.

The ads by Google are usually underlined in blue... When you click on a Google ad... Google charges the advertiser that owns the page that you are directed to after the click.

Google shares a portion of the revenue with the owner of the website where the ad appearsthe.

Incidentally, this is the number one way that this website earns its money and keeps me going.

While we're on the cruise, I never touched the site for over three weeks... The income from site visitors remain constant, earning while I was on vacation.

Find out how you too can earn on vacation at This page on my site .

Is easiest way to earn and still appear fully retired... I am as enthusiastic about site build it now as I was over three years ago when I started the site.

Ebook's by the author

For a list of all the ebooks I have written click here .

So how much weight did I gain on the cruise?

We have been on 15 or 16 previous cruises, and your humble correspondent usually gained a pound a day.

Was I ever pleasantly surprised to find out that I've gained only 2 pounds being gone 17 days from home.

If you have not yet signed up for 15 weight loss tips delivered over five days click here .

If you want to cut to the chase, and use the program that shows you a custom-made eating plan designed specifically for you go here .

It is a cruise ship proof eating plan...and yes I had two lobsters with drawn butter and the picture above proves it.

Refinance now

Fixed rate mortgages had never been lower than they are right now...3.50% for a 30 year loan.

If there is a faster way to save big money, I have not yet found it... I have refinanced three times in the last two years... You should too.

The talk I gave while on board ship

I was given an opportunity to deliver my talk..." How a shore excursion changed my life"...

You can get the same e-book, containing more detail that was in my talk click here.

Since we were on a Princess cruise, I should've entitled the talk..."Why settle for an ordinary lifestyle... Escape completely"

Here's your humble correspondent... With the A/V guy prior to my talk.

I really had no idea that there would be such interest in our story about going from no sailing experience to living on a sailboat in four years.

Lots of Jimmy Buffett fans out there... At least on the cruise ship we were on.

In closing

Pray for the jet lag to leave me...we have been messed up for the last four days... But I can't wait to do it again.

Until next month, stay healthy and stay frugal.

All the best,

Gary and Julie

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