Moving abroad is an expensive endeavour no matter where you decide to go; from freight shipping to transferring money abroad, they all carry with them hidden costs, charges and overall, general black holes for your money.
With all these potential financial pitfalls, you may well be slightly put off the process of expatriating, but fear not. We are here to offer some helpful tips and advice for saving money during the move.
Reduce your shipping costs
It’s no surprise that shipping your stuff over an ocean can amount to a rather sizeable portion of your moving budget – and for good reason. Container ships are not cheap to run, they use a lot of fuel and must transport your belongings over vast distances. Also, many shipping companies offer similar rates for their containers, so how do you save money shipping?
The answer lies in being extremely selective with what you take with you. Are you moving to the USA or Asia? Chances are, most of your electronics will be useless by the time they arrive (as they all run on a different voltage). Selling all your electronics (yes, that means your fridge and your TV) before you move means not only will you save money from not shipping useless items, but you can earn a bit of extra money from them too, which will help in purchasing new electrical appliances upon your arrival.
Secure those cheap flights
Everybody knows how much of a nightmare it can be booking flights for your holiday – finding the best route, a carrier that offers decent baggage allowances and of course, a ticket at the cheapest price.
Despite the sheer amount of flights available online at wildly fluctuating prices, there are a few sure-fire ways to find those plane tickets for the right price:
Book in advance – fortune favours the early birds, and you’re likely to start planning well ahead of your voyage, so get those tickets booked well in advance to save money.
Save on the exchange costs
Buying property abroad involves a foreign exchange transfer, yet surprisingly, there are more hidden or otherwise invisible charges that you may not be aware of when transferring your money overseas.
In fact, with high loading fees and transaction costs associated with exchanging your money through high street banks, the savings you get through using a dedicated foreign exchange broker can be quite significant, especially for higher amounts.
Get in touch to see how we could help you emigrate hassle-free!
Preparing for unforeseen circumstances
So, you’ve just spent a large sum of money moving your family and everything you own around the world, only to find out your house and your cargo won’t be ready for another couple of weeks. Rats!
The thing is, unforeseen circumstances arise in situations like this – especially when you least expect it. The trick is to always be prepared for an eventuality such as this, for example keeping an emergency fund and a plan B, C, D, in fact, all the way down to J. That way, you can always rent a furnished apartment or stay in an Airbnb for a week or so.
Friends and family in the same country can also be a great blessing when faced with a situation like this.
Prioritise your outgoings
We can’t be in control of every nickel and dime that goes towards the move, but we can sure structure and stagger the payments you need to make. This way you can be more in control over your finances and be ready for any monetary mishaps that may occur.
For example, upon arrival, you may find your new property requires an emergency roofer, or plumber, or you’ll have to buy a whole range of white goods again after selling the old ones.
Instead of dipping into the savings or the emergency expat rainy day fund, simply hold off on paying for things such as buying a new car, paying for schooling, or getting the place decorated. The things that you need to get, but aren’t as time-essential.
Obviously buying a car or paying for schooling may be essential for you immediately, but if you can hold off on paying for it for a month or two, your finances will take less of a strain.
Bringing it all together
There you have it. Taking the plunge and moving abroad is always likely to be a stressful, expensive affair. However, with some simple, sensible planning and budgeting, you can reduce the strain and cost involved, which means you will have more cash and energy to enjoy the early days of your new life as an expat.
Posted in Expat Resources on Jun 7 2017