Daily Living, Budget Advice, and How to Get Things Done broadband and bills

4. Broadband Internet for Calls

Using broadband internet for international phone calls is a reliable, viable, option and very inexpensive as well. There are various methods of doing this available in the country, including pay services which give you a phone number in your home country; computer to computer calls (SKYPE), which are free; computer to landline calls, which are slightly more expensive; and phone calls made through YAHOO online. These all are good options that are only limited by whatever your personal needs are, your budget, and by your technological prowess.

If you make a lot of international calls, VOIP service gives you a U.S. phone number from which you can call anywhere in the world. There are calling plans available if you call particular countries on a regular basis. With this service, there is no need for anyone to have or use a computer to make the actual call. The service will cost you around US$30.00 per month, depending on what plan you sign up for. There are two main providers of this service, Vonage and Packet 8, each with different strong points. Both services provide unlimited free international calls to U.S. phone numbers, and there is a list of First World countries that can be called for free from your VOIP phone as well. A little research will help you choose which company best suits your needs.

5. How to Pay Your Bills

It seems that I used to spend half my time in America going through mail and paying bills. I was buried in envelopes and stamps; busy writing checks, going over the auto-pays, and so on and so forth…

Life is a lot different around here–bills aren’t paid by check through the mail. Most major malls or banks have bill-paying counters. It is a snap to walk up to the counter with your monthly bills, and pay them all at once.

Some utility companies will send the bill by collector, whom you pay directly–depends on the system in your location. Some subdivisions have staff at the subdivision office who serve as bill collectors for utilities and such.

Although many companies take checks, it is easier to pay bills in cash, just make sure you receive and keep on file all of the receipts. Some folks have a trusted employee their paying bills; in this case, it is usually better to have them use checks for those companies that accept them as payment. In any case, keep and file all of your receipts.

If you get a local credit card–a wise idea—payments by credit card can usually be made in malls, or at banks, which is very easy to do. Online, if your bank and credit card as well as the institution you whose bill you are paying is accredited, you can go to www.bancnetonline.com to pay your bills with your credit card on line.

Explore the option with your bank of obtaining a local credit card that gives you bonus points for flight awards on Philippine Airlines. You have to pay your bills anyway…might as well pay them with the credit card and rack up some bonus points toward air travel, whether domestically (your ticket is free, you pay only the tax and surcharge) or internationally towards a free ticket round trip, or to, or from your country of origin.

“ More and more folks are retiring at an earlier age, while they are still healthy enough to enjoy their lives. The problem is, in the First World, even a couple in their late fifties that have a $500,000 investment portfolio, which includes their home equity and other investments, won’t have enough retirement income to take advantage of their hard-won freedom. ”

By Bruce Silverman
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