Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Financial details

Thank heavens Mike has a mind foe financial details. When we have vacattioned abroad we used either traveler's checks (how is that for dating myself) , ATMs, or credit cards.  When we lived overseas before we had the military's system of banks to use.

This time we have to figure these things out.  If we don't, the credit card and ATM fees will need to be a line item in our budget!  We have (read Mike) found a credit card that will not charge us a foreign transaction fee.  That means a fortune saved and we won't have to find a place to hide all the cash we need on the boat.  We also get the first year without a membership fee AND we earn free nights at the affiliated hotel that just happens to be DD2's employer.

Now Mike is looking for a bank that will not charge us a foreign currency fee and he thinks he might have found one. Think good thoughts. Saving this money could mean a few more pints at the pub.

My financial contribution is learning to multiply the number of pounds sterling by 1.5 so that I can figure out the cost in dollars.  On vacations I have had a tendency to treat it as if I was paying with Monopoly money. Go figure. Mike would prefer I not do that the entire timewe are over there. Something about needing to make the money last?

I also have to start converting from kilograms to pounds aand grams to ounces. This will be quite a challenge for a mathmaticalli challenged individual such as me. And as for ever knowing what the temperature is,forget about it. Never going to happen!


Downsizing, Oh Yeah!

A narrowboat cruising the wonderful system of canals throughout Great Britain is no more that about 70 feet long and 7 feet wide.  The one we hope to buy will probably be about 62 feet long.  If we get one any longer we won't be able to navigate some of the locks.  Why is that important?  Because we (I) want to see as much of Great Britain as possible.

Our living space will be small.  I am a math midget (just ask my former highschool math teachers) but if I am even somewhat close, I calculate that we will have about 250 square feet to call home.  That number includes the outside space at the bow and stern (and I need to learn which is which without having to think).

Our home now has 3 1/2 bedrooms (the half bedroom is designed to be a nursery), living room, dining room, sun room, kitchen, pantry, attic, basement and garage.  A little bit bigger, right?  And, we have done our best to fill it so as not to be wasteful of space. :)

Luckily, canal boats have what you need built into the boat by creative people who have thought it all through.  They try to put in as much storage as possible but really, you can only stretch the space so far.

That, and the fact that we will be going over with two suitcases, two carry on bags and (if I am lucky and persuasive) one more checked bag that we pay for. We have to think carefully about what we take.

Since we hope to be cruising for two to three years in Great Britain, followed by another two to three years cruising back here in the U.S., and ending by another two or three years exploring North America in an RV, paying to store all we own just won't happen.  So, we are downsizing, and downsizing, and downsizing. 

We plan to leave in October.  Will keep you posted.