Thursday, 27 January 2011

FULL TIMING - Dealing with income and other affairs

FULL TIMING - Dealing with income and other affairs-

Over the years dealing with banking and mail has become so much easier because of the Internet and mobile phones.

MAIL

If you don't already have one then set up one of the free E-mail accounts such as Google Mail Hotmail or Yahoo , these can be accessed anywhere in the world from any computer and once you are into your account the script comes up in your chosen language.


No matter what you do it is almost impossible to get rid of all snail mail so you will probably still need an address and someone to check the mail for you.  If you have a relative that has a
computer scanner even better as they can scan important letters and send them to you but if not taking a photo of the document also works quite well.  This saves anyone having to recite the contents and possibly get something wrong.

BANKING

Internet banking means you are in control of your financial affairs.  We have our house rental income paid into our current/checking account and then use ATM's to draw cash wherever we are.

Things you may find useful are a linked savings account (with our Nationwide account funds transferred are available for immediate use.)

Find out if you able to do on line transfers to an account at another bank. We use this method to send gifts to family and pay bills.

If you set up your credit cards so that the full balance is taken from your current/checking account by direct debit you won't have to worry about making payments on time.

With on line banking you soon know the correct exchange rate for the country you are travelling in.

Security is a worry for many but our account gives us a card reader, to transfer funds we must be on line having logged in with the correct security answers and then have the card with us to enable us to put the card into the machine which generates a code.

TELEPHONE CALLS

This information varies widely so make a thorough check with your phone company to get exact prices etc.

We have a mobile phone with a UK SIM card.  When we are abroad it is free for us to receive incoming SMS (text) messages so we tell our family and friends that we will (try to remember to) turn the phone on each morning to receive messages.  You only need a very low signal for a message to come through, far less than for a call.  If your friends have their phones set up for maximum length of message delivery the message will float around for up to 7 days waiting for you to pick up the message.  Invaluable if you are travelling in areas without signals. 

Sending messages and making or receiving calls is very expensive as they are all routed through the UK at our cost.

In many coutries it is possible to buy a local SIM card and often the price of the card include credit.  This is handy for making or receiving calls within the country an is often a cheaper way to send texts.

We use Skype on our computer whenever possible. You need to either have built in microphone and speakers or buy a cheap headset.
It is free to join and with it you can use your computer to chat and make video calls between fellow users.  You can also pay and make phone calls to mobile/call phones worldwide and landlines.
The cost of the call is always based on the destination and free numbers are still free which is a real bonus.  You can also use skype to send SMS/text messages to mobile/cell phones worldwide.
They have many plans available where you can buy ahead for free calls to a certain country at a fixed rate.
Pay as you go can be arranged so that when the balance gets low it is automatically topped up and debited to one of your bank accounts.   



24 comments:

Mark and Lauree said...

We have only been to France one time for 13 days.

I was to new at traveling overseas from the USA. I am comfortable here, no so much in other countries.

This is our first time out for an extended time. Just over 3 months as of today. Will be nearly 5 months before get back to Texas.

I too have some rental income to enable us to travel like this. I just switched them over to depositing with back about 3 months before we headed out. Thats better than going to the rent drop box multiple times then making my own deposits. Smart move.

Enjoy your travels.
Mark

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