A friend of mine from high school asked me a few questions about how we afford to travel and do what we do. I realized that these are questions Carrie and I get asked pretty frequently. So I’m posting the answers to her seven questions in a series of posts on our site here.
Every person has to find their own path to getting whatever they want from life. At the same time, it’s helpful in that path to have the knowledge and experience of others. Some of this is worded pretty strongly, but as always, take what works for you and leave the rest for someone else.
5) how do you handle money? Do you just change banks everywhere you go?
We have our local bank in Colorado.
All of our banking is together (we both have access to our accounts – unless Carrie has some hidden account that I know nothing about. But if she does, that’s actually a good thing since I’m the spender in the relationship).
Most of our income is based on direct deposit or payment into PayPal.
Visa and Mastercard are accepted most places in the world.
ATM’s are generally good around the world, though the ones we used in Central America were frequently out of money.
Frequently we end up paying a little fee (usually $1-$3) to withdraw money, but that’s not a big deal and could just as easily be happening anywhere in the US.
Since we’re not earning income from the countries we’re visiting, we don’t really have any need to make deposits.
We have an assistant in Colorado whom we pay on an hourly basis. Our mail goes to our PO Box with EarthClassMail, where it is scanned. We can view our mail scans from anywhere. Checks and bills needing to be paid get forwarded from EarthClassMail to our assistant. We trust her 100% as she’s also a personal friend. She deposits the few checks we get, and pays the few bills that can’t be paid via debit card.
And that is how we do our banking while traveling.
This is surprisingly simple, but it does help to have people working at the bank who know us by name and voice. Traveling or not, having a good relationship with a good person at (at least one branch of) your bank is definitely highly recommended.