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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/my-biggest-concern-before-i-go-again-is-figuring-20613246.aspx

Subject:  Re: The Florida Trip Date:  4/9/2004  10:16 AM
Author:  Goofyhoofy Number:  1159 of 2392

My biggest concern before I go again is figuring out the best way to do computer hookup. Had a few late charges slapped on me because my son-in-law did not jump on the bills immediately when they came in, so I better handle that myself if I can.

When we were on the road, we switched everything we could to being paid out of our credit card. Nearly all our regular expenses have a way to set that up (we don't have a mortgage, so I don't know about that one, and IIRC either "electric" or "water" didn't, but everybody else did.)

Anyway, that way we only had to worry about the one bill, i.e. "the credit card", and they have a toll-free number which you can call to get the balance. Mark your calendar for the 20th (or whatever is your "pay day" and call, get the total, send it in to them. All they need is your account number and the check. Easy. We used the laptop to transfer money from the Schwab account to the checking account, then sent a check to the credit card company.

Has anyone else on here ever had any issues with forwarded mail? It seems to take a very long time to get to the temporary address. Sometimes even passed the due date.

Yes. That's why we tried to move everything to a single payer - then we only had to deal with the single payer. You might be able to do this with "electronic deposit, electronic pay" at your bank out of a checking account. My bank offers something like that, but I haven't really investigated it so I don't know exactly how it works.

Any good hookup ideas? I tried AOL, but seemed to have a very difficult time getting it to logon properly

Then you have a computer issue, I thnk.

and when you are moving around, it is very difficult to find a good number to use. (Or so it seemed to me).

We had no trouble, it's just a pain in the butt to log on and have to access the toll free number, get a new "local" number, then enter it and redial in.

But we did it. However for casual mail we subscribed to PocketMail, which works from any telephone anywhere, including pay phones. It will even access your AOL (or other) e-mail account, download the mail, and then bring it into the PocketMail unit, which is roughly the size of two cigarette packs laid end to end. Easy enough to carry in a jacket pocket or in your car; operates on batteries which last forever. Costs about $15/mo, I think.

We found it worthwhile, otherwise we were standing in line at the campgrounds, lugging the laptop in, finding access numbers, etc. Much more convenient, but at a price. (www.pocketmail.com)

We would use the pocketmail every day, but only bother to hook up the laptop every week or two.

I had one incident with a tree branch and managed to pop a small hole in the side (sigh), but we filled it in with compound to prevent any water from getting in and I am looking for a decal of a flag or eagle to place over the spot.

I think there could be a good business in designing some of these with a harder "backing" - more than a decal, less than an aluminum panel, for precisely this use. I'd buy about 3 of them myself <grin>.
 

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