graphic of ATM machine

Somehow, it seems that RVers are always spending money, either for fuel or that hard-to-break habit called eating. Nowadays it is not practical to leave home with a stash of cash that is supposed to last throughout your current trip.

So what is an RVer expected to do?

Have a Current Credit Card

First, be sure you have either a Visa or Mastercard that has a several thousand dollar limit (for emergencies). While on the road, use your credit card for as many purchases as posible—saving the green stuff for little things or when you cannot use your credit card. (If you have a credit card that gives you free air miles for each dollar of purchases, you can eventually build up enough air miles to fly to wherever your children and grandchildren are residing.)

The major credit card companies all have an Internet presence, and it is quite easy for you to log-on to their web site, pull up your account information, and know how much you owe at the end of your monthly billing period (know what that date is).

However, be sure that you pay off the entire balance at the end of the month, so that you don't pay interest on your credit card purchases.

Use a Major Bank With Multiple Branches

Next, have a current bank account (or accounts) at one of the major banking institutions that has multiple branches in the area that you frequent in your travels (for those necessary ATM withdrawals to replenish the green stuff in your wallet).

Be sure that this same bank has free On-Line Banking and free On-Line Bill Paying. Usually if a bank has one service, it will also have the other.

Arrange to have all your "income" checks—such as Social Security, Pension, and Annuity checks—deposited directly into one of your bank accounts, preferrably a Savings account that pays some interest.

Use On-Line Banking

On-Line Banking allows you to access your account balances, transfer funds from one account to another, and sometimes pay a credit card bill (if it comes from that bank).

By logging onto your account from the Internet, you can check your account balances, transfer funds from your Savings account to your Checking account and your Bill Pay account—using your laptop computer or a computer at the local library.

Use On-Line Banking and On-Line Bill Paying Together

By using On-Line Banking and On-Line Bill Paying together, you easily keep enough money in your Checking account, your bills are paid on time, and the best part is that you rarely find a need to step into a branch of your bank. Life is so much easier, less stressful, and certainly much more relaxing.

Now, you can think of your computer as a one-stop financial center. Nifty!

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