Paying the bills

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Haven't updated the blog for a while now... and thought it was about time to do so. My laptop is having keyboard problems (no spacebar unless I hold the shift key - You try and see and how much fun that is!) so that's been my excuse.

We had a good long chat to the Graces a while ago and sorted out some of the ground rules about who pays for what and what we are leaving for each other, etc. It was very useful to have this chat, and it helped a lot. For anyone planning an exchange I recommend you get Skype and then you and your partner can keep the regular contact going. It's been really useful.

Anyway, we worked out that we will each take responsibility for paying the phone, water, electricity, and gas bills - basically all the user-pays type stuff - but we will each continue to pay for those things that would just continue on at the same rate, like internet, cable TV, council rates, etc. We were actually going to the cable TV disconnected, but then Dave told us that they have cable so we figured we'd just leave it connected for them. I'm sure that neither of us are doing an exchange to watch TV but I'm sure it will be good to have more channels to choose from when we do watch it. We figured that we'd each pay to keep our own internet services going, since it was pretty much a fixed expense anyway.

We compared the costs for things like phone, water, power (they call it hydro) and while their costs seem more or less comparable in our two countries, it makes more sense to pay the bills as they arrive since these costs are based on how much you use.

We did refinance our home loan and restructure a few things financially so I've been making lots of calls to cancel old automatic payments, rearrange new automatic payments, and arrange to have the relevant paper bills sent to the house. We have been getting all our bills electronically via internet banking so we never thought too much about this stuff... it just kind of happened. It takes a while to rearrange all this too, so leave enough time to get it all done.

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