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Old 13-08-2008, 17:44   #1
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finances while cruising

After 5 years of living on land in the Caribbean, we are ready to go cruising and looking for suggestions on handling finances. How do cruisers get access to cash? How do you handle paying bills (ie. credit cards)? We will be in the Eastern Caribbean for at least the first year, setting out from the BVI's and probably ending up in Grenada or Trinadad by the start of the 2009 hurricane season. Any suggestions?

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Old 14-08-2008, 05:33   #2
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We have a very responsible daughter-in-law that manages our check book while we are gone. He load is pretty light because we put as much as we can on auto bill pay and pay other bills using online banking when we have Internet access. At least in the Bahamas, it gets easier every year to get a Wi-Fi connections.

There are mail services that will write checks for bills but they will not keep you check register or balance the account.

As for cash, we try to determine how much we will need and carry about twice that amount. We use credit cards whenever we can to conserve the cash reserve. The down side of that is that some locations will hit you an extra 3% or so for the privilege of using the card. It is a call you will have to make whether to pay cash or use plastic.


She took my address and my name
Put my credit to shame
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Old 14-08-2008, 06:13   #3
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Like, George, we used Internet banking and signed up for auto pay on everything possible. We still had our home at the time, so a trusted friend handled our checking account, paying any bills that showed up.

We withdrew cash with our debit card in the local currency whenever needed through the ATMs that are everywhere in the eastern Caribbean. Our credit cards charged a 3% foreign currency conversion fee, so we used cash whenever possible.

If you're planning on selling your house and will have no U.S. address, consider using a mail forwarding service. Your address there is a "Personal Mail Box" (PMB) that will serve as a legal address for financial services like your bank and credit card billing address. Go with e-billing to eliminate paper bills. We've been using St. Brendan's Isle, in Green Cove Springs, FL since we moved to Nevis, and they are very accomodating of any special needs.
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Old 14-08-2008, 17:43   #4
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Thanks to both George and Hud for the advice.
Ralph & Mary
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