How to save money while moving abroad

preparations for moving abroad

Moving abroad can be an exciting experience. However, if you’re not careful enough, it can cost you a pretty penny. Thankfully, there are ways to go around it, so here are some smart steps to take in order to save money while moving abroad.

Things to consider before the move

Before moving abroad, it’s good to have some money in the bank, even if it’s just to put your mind at ease, so start saving as soon as possible. Set a goal number that will make you feel safe and secure. If you’re not sure what are the living costs in your desired country, we suggest you do some proper research. This way you can ensure that your savings will last you longer. Things to take into consideration are housing, food, education, transportation, and insurance. After putting it on paper, you can have a decent picture of what your monthly budget should look like. Once you’re actually there, keep track of it for a couple of months so that you may adjust your spending accordingly.

Opening an international bank account is also one of the ways to keep some dollars safe in your pocket while moving abroad. Exchange rate fluctuations cause the biggest headaches, so this is a neat way to go around them. Holding several different currencies at the same time allows you to convert the money whenever you find it suitable, and international bank account gives you that opportunity. Additionally, exchange rates are good and fees are low. Have in mind, though, that the opening deposit can be quite costly.

Man holding a credit card
Find the right bank

Handle your things and save money while moving abroad

When it comes to packing, we suggest you avoid paying a moving company and do as much as you can on your own. It takes some effort, but if you’ re adamant about saving money, this is the way to go. Try to pack everything neatly and tightly in order to ensure minimal movement and damage during shipment. Have a couple of friends help out since it makes a great deal of difference.

This is the time, to be honest with your belongings. What do you really need? If you can imagine life without it, it’s as good as gone. If you can’t, give it some more thought. Extra warm winter clothes is an excess in warm countries, and all the big furniture clogs up the place anyway. Once you’ve set aside all the unnecessary items, try selling it on sites like eBay. You can also arrange a garage sale and spread the word, so that many people may show up. Lastly, you can donate to some local charities or just give them to your friends and family.

Colorful suitcases neatly stored
Be the organized one

Cue the transfer

Take some time to plan this in detail. Once you’ve chosen the country of your liking, there is no need to get ahead of yourself. This is a big step for you and taking it slow may come a long way. Try and set a date for the shipment of your belongings in advance, and make it sea freight instead of air freight. It’s miles better when it comes to payment, and you’ll be able to send much more stuff at a lower price. Now, it does take longer, a boat can take up to a month to reach the desired location, depending on your new home, but that’s why you’re planning ahead.

Since you’ll want to take a plane ride there, we have a few tricks to get you the biggest bang for your buck. As it turns out, it is not as easy as just booking the flight sooner rather than later. There is no exact rule here, but some studies indicate that the best time to buy tickets for long-haul flights is eighteen weeks beforehand. Airlines also recommend Sunday as the best day for booking. Off-peak season is a preferable time for the purchase since not many tourists will share the same flight.

Huge cargo ship carrying containers
Send your stuff on a cruise

Once you’re finally there…

One of the biggest costs of moving abroad is housing. Flexibility is key to saving money here. Get in touch with a reliable real estate agency or try to find a good local landlord. If you include paying rent for an extended period of time, you might get a bargain. Good idea is to pay a year in advance to get that desired discount. Other than that, consider having a flatmate, so that expenses may be shared, at least for a certain time. 

On the other hand, if you’re a little more serious, and purchasing a home strikes your fancy, it is highly advisable that you wait on it a bit. Something around six months is the optimal amount of time for you to get the proper picture of good prices and best locations. They don’t say that good thing come to those who wait for nothing, even more so if you are a cash buyer. You can find some quality deals and can even learn your way around housing auctions. In order to save some money, don’t exclude the possibility of renting or selling your previous home. It is a great way to help pay your mortgage.

Learn the language

Learning the country’s native language is also important. Familiarizing yourself with common expressions will make you blend in with the locals more easily. Friendly neighbors can come in handy where saving is concerned, since they know all the shops, bars and hairdressers, helping you get the best deals.

Finally, resist the temptation of buying imported goods. Food from home does stave off the blues for a while, but you’ll catch yourself pouring money down the drain in no time. Consider those as a sort of a treat, when the homesickness really kicks in. Other than that, stick to buying local food, since it’s cheaper, fresher and will help you feel more at home.

Be more local than the locals
A woman at the market looking at some fruits

In the end

There really is not much to it:

  • plan ahead and plan smart
  • don’t be afraid to explore and do your research
  • get to know the ins and outs of your new country

Following these simple guidelines will definitely help you save money while moving abroad.

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