Money and Communication

One problem with trips that last longer than a month is that there will be bills at home that still need to be paid, but we won’t be around to deal with them before they come due. So for each of our utility bills, we made advance payments to cover our future bills.  We followed the same strategy with our house payments, we paid a couple of months in advance. We also paid a huge amount forward on our credit card, since we anticipate using the card a lot. We don’t want to have a balance due on our credit card until after we’ve come home.

Staying on top of communication is much easier than it was just a few years ago. Our home phone has voice mail, so we can check our messages as long as we can get to a phone. With our current Internet plan, we should be able to get online to check email whenever we can plug our laptop into a phone line. So if someone sends us an email or calls us on the phone, it shouldn’t be more than a couple of days before we get the message.

Our long distance service comes with a calling card that we can use to make long distance calls while traveling. We dial an 800 number, key in the number on our card, and then the number we wish to call. The charges show up on our next phone bill. The rates aren’t as good as they are when we make a call from our home phone (there’s an added connection fee for each call), but it’s a lot cheaper and more convenient than constantly dropping coins into pay phones.

We turned in a form at the post office to have our mail held until we get back. Our neighbors will keep the grass cut (we don’t have much anyway, as most of our yard space is garden instead of lawn). Markie will keep Ariel company and make sure the plants don’t dry out. It feels like the home front is well taken care of, and we should have an easy time staying in touch.

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