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How to pay living expense bills while on the road


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3 hours ago, jcussen said:

Good for you, I don't have the confidence in cell phone companies, utility companies credit card companies etc., that you do, to pay a bill without looking it over first.  Had a water line break underground one time and my bill doubled, luckily I saw the bill and corrected the problem before I could be billed for the same amount again the next month. Auto pay without seeing a real bill could have turned into a disaster.

As I stated above, we see our bill one month before it is AutoPay'd. . plenty of time to review it.  They send it via email.  I use Quicken and every penny we spend I enter it in Quicken (a basic accounting program). Then I reconcile the bill before it's paid so I know if it's correct. It's just like the old-fashioned way of getting a bill in the mail a month before.

I have never had an issue of the companies making errors.

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1 hour ago, Barbaraok said:

I see every bill in detail.  I look at our electric usage in the winter DURING the month, I know how how much it is going to be, and in the summer, since we have power turned of at meter, it is the monthly charge for the account.  The other auto pays that we have are subscriptions that don’t change during during the year.   Alll other bills, like credit cards, I will review before paying and those I pay from bank account.     What utilities bill do you expect to pay if fulltiming?  

If you had read my post, I mentioned  "no internet access"  How can your review your bills before paying them without going online, or actually receiving a paper bill?  I am not full time, but travel a lot so still have a S&B so do have utility bills. The point I am trying to make is, would you use autopay if you had no idea what the bank would withdraw out of your account and just relied on the biller being honest? I know I have made agreements with Directv for a certain monthly charge for a year, only to find the price jacked up after 6 months. If I had no internet access and the ability to see my bill online or be at home and see a paper bill, the bank would just pay that increased amount, no questions asked.

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21 minutes ago, 2gypsies said:

During a month's time you don't have internet?  Don't you ever go near a town to get access?  When you get groceries or fuel? How are you getting it now for your posts?

Actually, I am in the merchant marine, and am ofen without internet for months at a time. My post was for a theoretical rv'er that did not have internet access, say a person that camps in an area without cell phone or wifi access. Just don't like to see people that say, not possible, meet a guy in Oregon, that lives in a trailer with no wifi or cell service, I guess he could drive to some town and park next to a Starbucks with his laptop though. I am at home now so no problem, just pointing out auto pay is not for everybody. I don't take internet for granted.

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9 hours ago, jcussen said:

e point I am trying to make is, would you use autopay if you had no idea what the bank would withdraw out of your account and just relied on the biller being honest?

My gas and electric bills are different every month.  My water company is still in the 19th century and sends monthly paper bills.  It's a real pita vs autopay.

Edited by hemsteadc
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We have internet most of the time where we camp and when we don't, we drive into town to get it..  Even in Alaska we were online every few days and could check and pay bills online.  Your "theoretical rv'er" is not the norm, not to say they do not exist, but I don't think they would be on an internet forum like this one asking questions.  

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9 hours ago, jcussen said:

If you had read my post, I mentioned  "no internet access"  How can your review your bills before paying them without going online, or actually receiving a paper bill?  I am not full time, but travel a lot so still have a S&B so do have utility bills. The point I am trying to make is, would you use autopay if you had no idea what the bank would withdraw out of your account and just relied on the biller being honest? I know I have made agreements with Directv for a certain monthly charge for a year, only to find the price jacked up after 6 months. If I had no internet access and the ability to see my bill online or be at home and see a paper bill, the bank would just pay that increased amount, no questions asked.

We've been doing out since 2006 and there has never been a time that I couldn't drive a few miles and get internet access if we didn't have it at the coach.   When in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, I took the laptop with me to the local library, where for a donation, you plugged into their ethernet line and downloaded email, paid any bills that I hadn't paid ahead of our entering into Nova Scotia, and that was it.    

You are tilting at windmills - so go ahead.  Tilt away.   It is apparent that all of the forces in the universe are aligned against you and you alone are the beacon fighting for a return to what use to be.

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12 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

 

I have never had an issue of the companies making errors.

I think in my lifetime I may have an error or two that was easy to fix.  HOWEVER, last winter I got billed autopay 2months from NM natural gas company. I have never used natural gas in NM or ever had an account with them. They make it difficult to fix it without jumping through hoops.  I dealt with by phone and through my credit union. It cost me $25. to do an assisted stop payment with a challenge and was not billed again.  If I had a paper bill it would have been easier.  The amounts  were in the $30. plus dollar range and I never got it back. They made it too difficult and expensive to deal with.  I would have been happy to donate the money toward one of the funds where you can help people pay bills in the winter but I sure would have liked to know how it happened. AND my guess it can happen with any company. I normally only check my account once per month.

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1 hour ago, Barbaraok said:

there has never been a time that I couldn't drive a few

Sometimes people are just different with different situations. Not now but in the past I could relate to this. When I first started full timing I went over 7 years without a phone.  And did not us a computer until 2002-03.  My first email address was ------@escapees.com until that went away.

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1 hour ago, Barbaraok said:

We've been doing out since 2006 and there has never been a time that I couldn't drive a few miles and get internet access if we didn't have it at the coach.   When in Baddeck, Nova Scotia, I took the laptop with me to the local library, where for a donation, you plugged into their ethernet line and downloaded email, paid any bills that I hadn't paid ahead of our entering into Nova Scotia, and that was it.    

You are tilting at windmills - so go ahead.  Tilt away.   It is apparent that all of the forces in the universe are aligned against you and you alone are the beacon fighting for a return to what use to be.

"  17 hours ago, Wkjordan2 said:

Yes , never had an issue and that way I never foget or pay the wrong amount... ESPECIALLY if I’m out in the boonies or forget to check "

Wish people would read every post before commenting, my reply was to the post above.  I read it as saying if he cannot get internet or forgets to check, but still uses autopay.  Not tilting at windmills, just do not have the blind trust in technology that you do. But as Kirk says "do what you are comfortable with" and I will do the same.

 

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Jcussen I agree , if the person you describe never has internet or very infrequently then sure. I suppose I wouldn’t blindly trust and find out months later, but for most people that just doesn’t exist. That’s all others are saying . Being in the gone merchant marines isn’t normal. Being in a remote area of Oregon for weeks isn’t normal. If your that remote how do you know what the bill is or find a way to pay? ( how does one even have bills :)) 
I trust but verify .as already said I get the email well ahead  I’ve never been away from cell service more than a day or two and we’ve camped in some “remote” locations. Most people fit into that category. Those that don’t , well , go a different way , but I’m tech savvy and fully involved in my finances .. for those like minded , I think auto pay is the way to go .

Some people seem to always have issues etc with billing. I don’t know why but we have never been in that position. I have had credit card numbers stolen sure , again one call and charges reversed  new card issued  ( next day to my camp location)  no questions. But even that was 8 years ago before I went full time. Since then , full time , and over $5000 in charges and autopays   a month to multiple cards ...  it’s worked out great. Lucky ? Maybe. 
as you say everyone needs to find their happy place, I can only add my experience to the thought process. 

Edited by Wkjordan2
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2 hours ago, bigjim said:

Sometimes people are just different with different situations. Not now but in the past I could relate to this. When I first started full timing I went over 7 years without a phone.  And did not us a computer until 2002-03.  My first email address was ------@escapees.com until that went away.

We got our first computer for home in 1981 or so.  Our first Mac in 1984.  Started paying bills using telephone in the early 1990s with several preset at the time as auto-pays, first cell phones in the late '90s.   Started full timing in 2006 with 2 cell phones and a computer with an aircard.  This is 2021, we aren't talking about anything earth shaking or new!   

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I've heard all kinds of 'I don't trust it' stories over the years. 

In the 90s my credit union was the first bank I heard of to go online.  I jumped on that immediately, but most everyone was nervous about it. I thought.. "why would a respected financial institution do this if it was fraught with errors?"  Answer: they wouldn't.

Then came Amazon, and all the fears about having your credit card numbers "out there" for all to see.  Again, no problem.

Just a few months ago I talked to a man who mentioned he had to visit the bank. I made a comment about "who goes into banks anymore?". Well, he does, because the online stuff scares him. 

In 25 years of online banking, online shopping, depositing checks over the phone, I've had exactly ONE error, where the bank credited a $600 check as $60.  I guess I can live with that. 

Edited by hemsteadc
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Usually the only checks I write are at Escapees Co-Op parks and our dentist, plus the yearly rent on the Park Model lot.  If I write 15 per year, that is a really large number.  Wrote 6 last year because the pandemic hit and no traveling.   Don't even send money to daughter or son-in-law by check, now just a  direct transfer from our account to theirs or an e-gift card at Amazon or whatever store they want.   And with my "wallet" on my phone, I very rarely pull out a credit card, just hold phone close and hit the fingerprint authorization button and it is done.  

 

Edited by Barbaraok
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14 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

  And with my "wallet" on my phone, I very rarely pull out a credit card, just hold phone close and hit the fingerprint authorization button and it is done.  

 

That's cool.. I gotta learn how to do that.

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1 minute ago, hemsteadc said:

That's cool.. I gotta learn how to do that.

The safe thing about it is that a temporary card number is created just for that transaction and after you've made the purchase, that card number can't be used again with your account.   The Wallet can also contain any loyalty cards that you have with a barcode for scanning at register, also airline boarding passes (love that feature), concert and ball game tickets (use that one during spring training), and will have pictures of our vaccination cards when we get them.   

image.png.dd89051e730b7c581e691500480cd161.pngLook for this symbol for contactless payments.  A lot of times your credit card will have it so you don't have to put it into the machine.  I just like not having to pull the card out at all.  

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