How To Move Abroad On A Budget

Moving abroad, whether for work or just to experience life in a new place, should be properly thought out before you make the leap. If you’re trying to make this leap on a budget, it can be even more of a challenge, but it isn’t impossible. Follow these tips to make a start on this adventure without the need to ruin your finances forever.

Find Work Abroad

The best way to make a move with your finances intact is to make sure you have a job lined up in your new home.

If you like your job, find out if your company offers any opportunity for you to transfer to an office in another country. Many large companies will happily do this, and some even offer work exchange programs. You could trade places with a colleague in another office who wants to experience your home country. If you have a more specialist role, you could transfer in order to train staff in another office too.

If you work for yourself, especially online, this can be easy to keep working when you get there, especially if you’re in the digital industry. Freelance careers like web design, copywriting or even working as a virtual assistant can all easily be done from anywhere you have an internet connection.

If you are planning to work abroad, you will need to make sure you have the relevant work visas or other permits to let you work legally. If you do need to search for a new job, try and secure one before you move, as this may be required to get your work permit. Your employer should then be able to help you with working out which permits you will need and how to get them.

You could look into a work abroad scheme to help you find work too. Volunteering is a great way to make connections for work like this, or you could look into a job like teaching English as a foreign language. If you have skills in a specific industry, you may find it easier to find a job in countries in need of your skills. For example, engineers are often needed in Germany, whereas IT professionals are in demand in India. If your job is in an industry like this, spending a year working abroad can be well worth it, as you can earn good money. You can use your higher salary to save hard and put towards something like a house deposit when you get home after your year abroad.

Start The Visa Process

Make sure you start the visa process or arrange any work permits you need with plenty of time before you leave for your new life to minimise your stress levels. Depending on the kind of employment you’re going into, you might require a different kind of permit. Short-term, unpaid or work exchange positions may only need a tourist visa, but check first. Other positions will likely need a proper work visa to allow you to legally earn while you’re abroad. Visa needs differ by country, so check with a local embassy to find out what you need to start your new job. Your employer should also be able to advise you.

Find Somewhere To Live

There are often Facebook groups and websites for expats which you can use to help you find a roommate. Living with a roommate and renting a room rather than a whole apartment can not only help you to meet people but also majorly keep your costs down. Your work may be able to suggest an agency to help you find a room to rent in your new home city. Apps like PropertyGuru can also be helpful.

Prepare Your Finances

No matter how budget savvy you are, moving is always going to be expensive. You’re going to need some savings to help you through and to learn how to budget. If you’re low on funds, selling your old stuff can be a great way to raise some money. You’re likely to want to slim down your possessions anyway if you’re preparing for a big move, so you might as well sell on these items either on eBay or at a yard sale to earn some spare cash to fund the big move. Save some money by cooking at home more often, and choosing to invite friends round instead of going out. Find some ways to save some cash so you can start your new life abroad, without being saddled with debt as soon as you get there.

Six Tips For Moving Abroad

Moving abroad can be exciting, but stressful at the same time. There’s a lot of decisions to make, and a lot to plan if you’re seriously considering such a big move. Here are some simple tips to make the decisions a little easier.

  1. Give it some time after you move. The excitement of moving to a new country can wear off quickly when the realities of living in a foreign country hit you. The first months can be stressful, as you try to negotiate a new culture or not speaking the language. Even if you’ve moved to another english speaking country, challenges like sorting out bank accounts, setting up utilities, and struggling to make friends can make the transition difficult. Give it six months for these things to settle down, so you can tell if you actually don’t like your new home or just don’t like moving challenges.
  2. Find a relocation expert to help you find a new property. Where finding quality properties is half of the challenge, it’s important to get smart help to help you not only find the home, but negotiate the legalities of buying or renting abroad.
  3. Resist going home while you’re still getting used to your new country. Even if there’s a great flight deal, if you head home while you’re still settling in, it can set you back in negotiating your new life. When you’re home, everything is easier, with no language barrier or culture confusion. The ease might tempt you to call time early on living abroad before you’ve given it a fair chance.
  4. Pick up some language basics. As a tourist, you can get away with very limited use of the local language, as long as you struggle through the pleasantries like hello, goodbye, please and thank you. As an ex-pat, you’ll need a little more. It can help you to settle in and start to build connections, and will show your new community that you’re trying. Learn some simple phrases, like ‘this, ‘that, some numbers, and the words for ‘here’ and ‘where’. This can help you ask for directions, book a taxi, buy food and lots of other things. Whether you ask for ‘two please’ at the cinema, point at a map with ‘here please’ in a taxi or point at a cake and say ‘that one please’, your new words can open up a lot of options.
  5. Ask other ex-pats for their survival tools. Bonding with the ex-pat community can really help you to find the best resources for life abroad, like apps or websites. For example, maybe they can recommend a takeaway with english menus, a handy app to navigate local public transport or a Facebook group for local ex-pats.
  6. Try to avoid making comparisons. Life can work differently in other countries to the way you’re used to, and it can be easy to make unfavourable comparisons. If you find yourself wondering why the stores close earlier, or the banking system is complicated or why you can’t buy your favourite cheese anywhere, try and balance it by noticing the things that are better, like better options for public transports, cleaner streets or better coffee.

Moving Abroad? Time To Sort Your Finances

How many times have you dreamed of starting a new life abroad? You may be at the stage of just staring at far-flung destinations on Instagram, or you may have travelled extensively abroad and know exactly where you want to relocate to. Whatever stage you’re at, you know that moving overseas takes money. And if you’re going to make the move in the next few years, you’ll need to think about a savings plan sooner rather than later.

Revisit Your Budget

It’s not a wise idea to go anywhere without a pot of savings to cushion your arrival. You may experience delays in starting work or have to pay out for things like rental deposits on a place to stay upfront, plus you should always have enough money saved to get home should you need to. Start by making the most drastic changes you can to your current budget. Look at the biggest costs you have at the moment and see if you can can minimise them. Could you do without a car for a bit and cycle to get around instead? You could also look at resources for rent prices in the city you live in, or the one you will be moving to, to make sure that you get the best value for money. Consider the little costs which can add up as well – cancel any unused subscription services and switch to store brand items in your weekly food shop. Small changes really can add up if you make enough of them.

Sort Out Your Overseas Finances 

To get up and running in your new home country, there are also some financial steps you need to take. Getting organised early is key, as it can take some time to get everything up and running. First, looking into setting up a bank account overseas – it will make things so much easier when you arrive. Each country has different requirements, so make sure that you know what they are – some places will require you to have a residential address already. Then, you’ll need to transfer your money into your new domiciled account. Most banks make this process unnecessarily expensive and complicated, so look into using a specialist money transfer service instead. You should also search out an overseas credit card or a prepaid travellers card before you arrive – it’s a convenient way to pay for the essentials as a stop-gap until your bank account is up and running. But make sure that you’ve chosen one that doesn’t charge fees in your destination.

Look Into Taxes

Being an ex-pat doesn’t mean that you become automatically exempt from all taxes in your home country. If you’re still receiving any form of income, for example from renting out your old home, you may still be liable to pay tax on that, plus the tax that you have due in your new country. Make sure you understand the situation where you are going, as you may have to submit tax returns or pay tax separately from your income rather than having automatic deductions. With a little foresight and planning, you can move your life abroad and keep your finances intact.