As the day of flying out drew ever closer, the realization that you have less and less time to ensure things are packed sets in. While I had plenty of time to get things prepared, it was still the same. I had prepared many things to ensure I wouldn’t be missing anything vital, but there were still a few last minute preparations that I had to take care of before I left. Below were some of the things I took care of within the last week before I left.
- Rent/Utilities – I have a roommate, so just because I was gone doesn’t mean the bills magically will be as well! I had to ensure that I left back money for rent and bills such as the utilities and internet for the time I was gone. Essentially, I just mass paid these things in advance and left them with the roommate to take care of.
- Car Insurance – I have total coverage, but learned that if the vehicle intends to stay parked (which mine did), then its possible to fully drop collision coverage and increase liability, and wind up with a cheaper bill over the months I would be gone. My average monthly cost is nearly 100 dollars…. after I dropped collision and raised liability, for about 5 months, it was a bit under 250 dollars.
- Cell Phone – Here is something I took a while to consider about. I was intending to take my cell phone and use it as a camera, but didn’t need the service. So I had 2 options… suspend for 90 days, or shut it off completely. Suspending was good, but it wouldn’t be for long enough (might still have to pay for up to 3 months of service), and while shutting it off would be cheaper, you stand a chance of losing your number when you re-activate the phone. As I like my number, I actually went with the 90 suspension, meaning they essentially shut off service to the phone for 90 days and then will automatically turn it back on. I’m hoping I can suspend again, but will have to see when I get to that point.
- Classes – As I am a prior member of the military, I go to school on the G.I. Bill. To do this, I have to fill out paperwork ahead of time when I enroll, as well as have my academic advisor sign off on it, and deliver it to my financial person to send to Uncle Sam so I get paid for my classes and my tuition gets taken care of. Since I wouldn’t be around to do this, I had to get my advisor to sign a blank paper ahead of time, as well as get the information for who I send the stuff to, so I could email or fax it when I could finally enroll…. which is just over 2 weeks after I get to japan!
Depending on your particular life, you may have other bills or things that you need to take care of. It is always a good idea to check into the information as early as possible, though as I stated, this is stuff I put into effect within the same week that I left (I changed car coverage, cell phone and everything to shut off the night before I left). Remember, just because your in a foreign country doesn’t mean stuff back home just magically vanishes for that time! So make sure you take these bills into consideration.