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How to pay living expense bills while on the road


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Welcome to the Escapee forums! 

If I understand your question, you are wanting help to take care of your regularly occurring bills, such as utilities, credit cards, and cell phone. There are a number of options. For us we have all of the bills like our cell phone just automatically billed to the bank account for payment, or in some cases to a credit card. We don't auto pay the credit cards as we like to review them against our records of charges first, but we have opted for paperless billing and receive them by email and we then after review we go on the internet and set up payments from the bank account to be collected the day due. Internet is pretty commonly available in RV parks and other places or you can also use cell phone data via a hot spot or phone connection.

Let us know if this is helpful and feel free to ask additional questions. 

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Pretty much the same as Kirk but we auto pay our CC bills. We have the option of every time a charge is made an email is sent to us, we have this done, DEL key is quick to use. That way we don't need to check our bill. Also, life is much simpler if you use 1-2 credit cards. We use one for everyday and 1 for gas since it gives the best kickback.

We also charge everything. We have some cash but rarely use it.

We do carry checks with us, some campgrounds will only take cash or check.

 

 

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Same way we do at home.  Pay them online or via bill pay from your bank.  Using bill pay is just like mailing a check, you just fill out the information on your bank website and they send the check for you. 

I have not even owned a check book for years as I have not had a need.  I know this is not for everyone. 

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bank by mail is easy. even i can do it.

 

i just went into debt buying a new truck. and the dealer wanted a paper check. i had to dig in a couple of areas to even find a book of paper checks. the last one written was back in the summer of 2019.

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A lot of companies now have e-billing. They will send you an email with amount you owe, you can just send the amount owed by e-pay from your bank. Don't like automatic pay because one time wife got on a cleaning supply scam and they billed for the minimum amount even if she did not order anything, took a lot of phone calls to get that straightened out. When I am on a long trip, just have my bank pay a bit more that the anticipated bill, normally have a credit balance when I get home, then I cancel it and go back to normal pay by e-pay.

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Just a word of caution, do not use camp ground wifi to do your banking. Make sure you have a secure connection. I use my cell data on my iPad to go online onto my bank web site when I pay my bills online. 

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Pretty much what others have said.  I don't bank by mail.  I do mobile deposits of checks and have SS and other things set on direct deposit.  All recurring bills (insurance, subscriptions, etc.) and daily expenses including groceries are paid by credit card so that they generate rewards thereby reducing expenses.  I pay the credit card online through my bank's app monthly.  Everything can be done on my phone.  I've wrote about 10 checks in 2020 - primarily gifts.

I'm going to look into SWharton's system of emails when charges are made.  I think that will make for better expense tracking.

Twotoes is spot on about any business being done over open connections.  Don't do it.  Right now i am on cable/internet so I have security.  We have WiFi Ranger to run CG wifi through and that encrypts transactions.

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Most financial websites now use https which is an encrypted communication but you should not use a free, public wifi but your own internet connection. 

EDIT:  Probably the easiest way to know that you have a secure connection is to use a cell phone with hotspot capability and do your financial business using your own cell phone data. 

Edited by Kirk W
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3 hours ago, rschlegel said:

Thanks for the info!

So, where is a safe physical location to go online to make your payments securely?

The best thing to do is to put your bills on AutoPay through the company.  Then they're paid automatically thru whichever method you choose.... credit card, checking account.  Then you don't have to worry about paying manually or using a computer/phone.  You don't have to think about it ever.  They'll be paid.  The companies will have the option when you set it up to send you a text or email when the bill is paid.  It really is super easy.  We've been doing it for years without any problems.

You can set them up right now from your home before you begin traveling.  It's not just for travelers.  Many, many households have their bills paid this way nowadays.  When you return home just keep it set up, as is.  You'll love the ease of it!!

Edited by 2gypsies
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11 hours ago, rschlegel said:

So, where is a safe physical location to go online to make your payments securely?

Directly over your phone, on your computer using the phone as a tethered hotspot, or over your own encrypted network such as Wifi Ranger.

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

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We are going on our first year being full time and get very little mail. We have truck , car, and trailer insurance paid a year at a time to get discounts and registration is only once a year, health insurance is automatically taken out. We use the tsd card for diesel and cash for the smart car. All junk mail gets thrown out before we see it

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21 hours ago, rschlegel said:

So, where is a safe physical location to go online to make your payments securely?

Your actual chances of being hacked on a public wifi like Starbucks are almost zero.  Your bank connection is perfectly secure, it's just the connection from your computer to the router that isn't, which means you have to have the incredibly bad luck to pick a place where a hacker is waiting.  Be as safe as you can, of course, but don't assume that your 10 minutes of activity is in any sort of real jeopardy.

I know the warnings, but I have never seen a report of anyone being hacked.  It's not like some random coffee place is a gold mine waiting to be gutted. 

I think it's prudent to consider the likelihood of something happening, not its possibility.  After all, anything is possible.  I await your scathing criticisms.

Edited by hemsteadc
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Hempsteadc's information was spot on and accurate.  Simply saying "I await your scathing criticisms" doesn't even touch the definition of trolling, and I understand exactly what he was saying with that comment.  

Are you now in charge of the moderating content on the forums??  If so there is a great deal more inaccurate and offensive material to be found than this. 

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3 hours ago, hemsteadc said:

Your actual chances of being hacked on a public wifi like Starbucks are almost zero.  Your bank connection is perfectly secure, it's just the connection from your computer to the router that isn't, which means you have to have the incredibly bad luck to pick a place where a hacker is waiting.

No scathing criticism.  You are right, the risk of being hacked on an open wifi is small.  The results of being hacked can range from annoying to catastrophic.  It all comes down to your individual tolerance for risk.  Personally, I don't have any bills that that won't wait until I have a secure means to pay them.  I am risk averse, at least where the burden of avoiding the risk is not too burdensome.  Today I paid the month's bill on my phone in ten minutes.

Wayne & Jinx
2017 F-350 diesel, dually
2006 Carriage Carri-Lite 36KSQ

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