Top Finance Tips for Expats

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Top Finance Tips for Expats

Emigrating is often a complex process, and with so much to think about prioritising the essentials and tackling issues in the most cost-effective way can be tricky.

However, talking with established expats (via forums, blogs, and social networks like Facebook and Twitter) can be a real help and a fantastic way of uncovering useful advice.

But we want to help you out too, so by listening to what other expats have said about their own experiences The Expat Hub has put together a selection of top tips, looking at a variety of different topics and issues.

Last week we presented our top tips for Expats with children.

Today we’re looking at top finance tips for Expats.

If you’re moving overseas with a partner try and put utility bills in both of your names. As well as making sure that both of you can discuss the account, doing this means that you’ll both begin building a credit rating in your new country.

It’s easy to assume that the grass is always greener, but if you don’t want to be caught out you should thoroughly research the nation you’re thinking of moving to long before you take any serious steps towards emigrating.

The cost of living is increasing globally, and prices are rising even in nations which have a reputation for being ‘cheap’. Look into the cost of living in the nation you’re moving to and build up a realistic idea of what it will set you back to live the kind of lifestyle you’re hoping for.

Set this against your potential earnings and make a plan of the outgoings and incomings you’ll have to manage.

While it can be tempting to splash the cash and enjoy a high standard of living during your time overseas, putting a bit of money back every month (so you have something to fall back on if the situation should change, and something to ease your way if you should move home) is strongly recommended.

If you plan to live overseas for a considerable amount of time you’ll probably need to open a bank account in your host nation. You’ll find this a lot easier if you have all of your financial documentation in good order and easily accessible.

Similarly, if you’re renting or purchasing an overseas property, or arranging to pay a child’s school fees, having multiple copies of all your documentation close to hand will save you a lot of stress further down the line.

Getting your head round all the ins and outs associated with the legal and taxation system of your host nation can take some time. Before making any big decisions or major financial commitments seek reputable, independent financial advice and make sure you find out everything you can about those sneaky gray areas, hidden fees and potential fines.

Finally, the majority of people who move overseas find that they need to transfer foreign currency at one time or another. While using your bank for such transactions might seem like the easiest option there is actually a more cost effective way to move funds from one country to another, and if you organise your transfers early on you can even safeguard your money from currency risk.

By getting in touch with a reputable currency broker early on you’ll be able to make your transfers work for you by fixing a favourable rate up to a year in advance and setting up a money and time-saving regular overseas payment account. Currency brokers also don’t charge the transfer fees added on by most banks, so you’ll soon see real savings.

If you have your own top tip you’d like to share please get in touch on Facebook/Twitter or post in the Expat Hub Forum!

The Expat Hub
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If you’ve already moved abroad, if you’re in the process of moving abroad or if you’re only thinking about it, the Expat Hub is here for you. For expatriates looking for advice, support and information, we’re the number one online stop.