Monday 5 February 2018

Stop procrastinating and get things done

I don't procrastinate through choice. I just get overwhelmed with life and things that happen outside of my control that I'm left to deal with. I do work better with a deadline and sadly if I wait till the deadline to do something which I think I have fully under control, then fate plays a cruel hand and I up end up having to deal with other stuff that's often hard to deal with, complicated or has external factors beyond my control. Things like renewal policies and birthdays are marked in my diary and I plan ahead for these dates, but then I find I need a one time pin for my UK phone to renew policies in the UK or for online banking as something has changed and my UK sim doesn't work in Dubai, so it complicates matters by having to find alternate ways to pay and often foreign credit cards aren't accepted, especially British ones in Dubai, if I happen to be trying to do something the other way round. It cause me great stress and can physically make me ill.

In June last year I headed to the UK for 4 months, my mission was to support the teen into work and try and knock some sense into my dad about downsizing. Sadly my dad died 3 weeks later and the teen was sidelined.

I spent the next 5 months downsizing with my mum which involved getting rid of 77 years of my dads collections, selling her home and helping her purchase a flat.

I’m pleased to say my mum moved into her new home last week and all went well.

Thankfully my dad was a very organized person and when I’d been in the UK in April I’d asked him if his affairs were in order and although he didn’t discuss financial details with me, he did show me where everything was and had put together information for his funeral and finding his CV s and footballing career history made it easy to put together his eulogy.

It made me realize that while we live abroad that if something happened to me, Peter would be in quite a bit of a pickle. My father did everything the old fashioned way. We do everything online. Whilst my mother had no clue where to start with phoning round and selling a house, Peter would be in the same situation with our finances as everything is done online and in my name.

We have a plan in place should anything happen to Peter, as I would have to leave Dubai within 30 days. So I have a bank account in my name only here and in the UK with enough money in to get me, the dog, cat and furniture out of here and allow me to live financially for 6 months while we sort the will out. We also own a flat in the UK which is solely in my name so I’d have somewhere to live also.

We don’t need these plans for Peter as he would carry on working and have an income and could take his time sorting this stuff out, but he needs to know how to do it also.

So I’m off to the UK next week, sadly for a flying visit for my ex SIL’s funeral. Her sudden death last week after a brave fight with cancer has made me realize life isn’t to be taken for granted and I need to stop procrastinating and get on with sorting out our financial affairs.

I have a 7 hour flight ahead of me. I’ll take a note pad and a pen and I’ll be writing down account numbers and passwords that I hold in my head (in code obviously) I’ll type them up in a password protected file, that I’ll pass on to Peter and drop a copy of the files password into the solicitor to add to our will along with the list of who I wish to leave personal items of jewelry to, something else I’ve been putting off doing.

The risks of putting stuff off can be huge for us as expats. We've already had tenants from hell, so if I fail to renew our buildings insurance and was a fire...........or taking it down a notch, I forget to renew the TV licence in the UK or pay the council tax on time, I'm going to get a big fine, same as in Dubai if I fail to get the vehicle registration renewed, but if I don't have Insurance and I had an accident, I could go to jail and get deported (taking it back up a notch)

So if I don't sort our finances, what's the worse that could happen? Well Peter would get it all done, eventually as long as he has 2 passwords. The one to my laptop for the list of renewal dates and the one for my email accounts for the renewal notifications. So that was my starting point. He now has a copy of renewal notices and is signed into hotmail on his tab also.


  1. There can be so much to think about when you’re living just in the uk never mind abroad too. Life often has an irritating habit of throwing other things up at the most inopportune of times as well and it can easily derail us from what should be a relatively simple task. I’m sure that your mum is glad to have had you around you did an amazing job sorting out your dads affairs. You’re a doer I think not afraid to just get something done and I’m envious of that trait! Any tips welcome haha!

    1. I'm not afraid of getting things done and you are correct there, but I don't like doing them and often it's not easy

  2. Sorry for your loss and it is strange how such events really make us take stock on so many levels. Your post made me think of my Dad who always told me to look for the Nuttall's tin when he died and to get my hands on it before my brothers did! I know my brother has it and it worries me not at all. I am more bothered about the tin for the laugh of having it than what was originally in it which I guess I will never know now. It sounds like you have had a very stressful year on top of the hassles that almost inevitably perhaps seem to come as part and parcel of the expat life. We take so much for granted when we live in just one country I think. I love the challenge of a tight deadline but as you explain things can happen to disrupt that and leave us in a bit of a pickle. Saw Martin Lewis on telly this morning talking about life insurance and thought I really should tackle that one next. Food for thought this week for all of us methinks.

    1. thank you Kate. It was really strange going through my dad's personal stuff, felt like we were intruding, but we couldn't just throw things out, without looking, sadly no heirlooms hidden in tine, but plenty of tis though

  3. I am sorry you have lost your Dad, always a hard time. Both my dad and my husbands dad are ill at the moment and we have had to go down the road of checking and making plans. It’s somewhat of a trial but it does make you realise how you have to prepared for these things. I really admire that you have managed to make a new life abroad. I can barely manage to keep track of the one I have here! #bestbootforward x

    1. Sorry to hear about your dad and father in law, it's not easy is it?