Where Did We Get All This Money!?
In Feb 2017 Quincey and I committed to starting QM Travels and making it our lifestyle business. I estimated, roughly, that we would need between $150,000-$170,000 to buy the boat and get the business sailing on the right tack. But where would we get this money? We hadn’t saved that much, we didn’t have many assets, and we doubted a bank would give us all of it. So, now, 13 months later, where did we get the money to get this going? How have we bought a boat in Panama, over 4000 nautical miles away from San Francisco? Well, we set a goal and made it happen! We’ve raised $150,132.59. Make no mistake, this has been a lot of work and Q & I agree, we’ve never been so stressed!
If you put your mind to it, dreams will come true. Manifest daily.
For the sake of length, I’m going to leave out a lot of the figurings that brought us to the estimated amount we would need, Basically, I worked backwards. If we can raise that money, how will we put it to use? We started with the boat, which would account for about $120-$130k, rather we bought one in ready-to-charter shape, or we bought one for much less and spent the money getting her ready to voyage. We ended up spending $124,900 for Esprit and she’ll need little more investment to get her ready for guests. We did have to look as far as Panama to find the right boat, though, and there is cost in getting her home.
We knew our best chance at raising the money, or a big chunk of it, would be to finance the boat (collateral) through a bank. USAA loaned us $75k at 6.4% for 15 years (clearly, buying a house is a better deal). So, immediately, we’re half way there. Great news, but we didn’t have the rest. We do still have Windrose (also through a loan from USAA) which is our only real asset. She’ll be for sale soon but she has been our home the last three years, so if we sold her to use our equity, we’d be ‘out on the dock’ so to speak. It would be a mistake not to mention that we’ve spent about $8k of our savings in the process of building this business, but we’re leaving that off the ‘money raised’ list.
Thankfully, we know a lot of wonderful people who want to help us see our dreams through. Here is how we got the rest, working from the top down.
First, we turned to the people who had already offered to help us out, rather it was a small gift, private loan, equity in the company, or pre-purchased trips. Some of them were slow to take action, though, giving us some sleepless nights!
$57,000 was raised by equity investments and private loans.
$16,000 was raised by pre-purchased trips, not involved with the below fundraising. All of these people have sailed with us in the past.
Then we turned to the masses, creating two campaigns. The GoFundMe was set up for two reasons; in-kind donations and pre-purchased trips. At first, we were shooting for for the stars, setting our goal at $30,000. Then we dropped it to $20,000. Finally, we received some great feedback and decided to create a raffle. Both of these campaigns had fees involved so the numbers below reflect what was deposited into our bank account.
$1,430.77 from GoFundMe
$701.82 from the raffle.
Raising $2,100 from the internet in two months is pretty inspiring. These efforts were driven by word of mouth and our Facebook and Instagram accounts. While we didn’t raise the $20k form the internet we were shooting for, we still hit the low end of our overall goal of $150k. We’re in good shape financially. We’ve saved enough of our own money to survive for a few months and we have just enough in the business account to also last a few months without making any income. I’d say we hit the mark! We’ll have the boat home in May and will start taking charters just before our money runs out!
I can’t thank enough those who have helped us out. I am so, so grateful for all the wonderful friends and family that believe in us and this leap we’ve taken. Please stay tuned for more updates. For those of you who we owe trips, give us an idea of when you’d like to go sailing and we’ll put you on the calendar, you get first dibs to sail with us on Esprit.
P.S., there is still a ‘donate’ button on our site if you feel so compelled. Tell your friends!