Moving Abroad is exciting and a glamorous dream of many people. However, not everyone is aware of the costs involved.
What a wonderful feeling it is when you first arrive in a different country. It’s a new beginning of an exciting journey. One of the first things you might do is get some food, and because you’re not on a holiday, you will most likely need to buy groceries. After you conquer the challenge to find a supermarket and find some familiar food, you’ll need to pay. You brought some cash or a credit card and pay the first bill.
So far so good, but you may also need extra furniture for the place you’re renting, where you also need to leave a deposit. Then, you’ll need a new phone provider, internet, TV, gas, electricity, etc.
How will you pay these initial payments? Do you have a local bank account? Can you open an account if you don’t have a job yet? Can you open an account with your passport or will they request a local I.D.?
When you live abroad, one thing you can be sure of is that your finances will be under pressure. When you first consider moving abroad, it is very important to check your funds before diving in head first.
Some people can handle money struggles no sweat, but if you’re not earning big bucks, it’s worth putting a little cash aside as an emergency fund, especially in the beginning when you’re getting settled.
Watch my one minute video about the importance of money abroad.
Keeping a little on the side is also important for the extra travel you will probably be taking when going back to visit family and friends, as opposed to them visiting us. My mom is great in reminding me very gently: “Rachel, you are the one who chose to live abroad, not us.” Just like me, many expats include one or more trips back home in their budget and schedule.
Even if you’re not a big spender, try to save money and keep indulgences to a minimum. Travelers often end up spending more than they planned. Exploring your new home may include more frequent visits to coffee shops, restaurants, or grocery shopping trips to find more food in the new culture that is to your liking.
There’s no blueprint solution to how much money you’ll need to begin your life abroad, but here are some questions to help you gauge the expenses you’ll have and how they can vary based on personal lifestyle, priorities and travel style.
Define Your Financial LIFESTYLE:
- Will I maintain a home base that I can always return to?
- Which country am I going? Research the cost of living in that country.
- Where am I traveling from?
- What do I want to do? Volunteering, work, play golf, …
- What is my expectation? Are you expecting all-inclusive hotels, or basic home-stays or seeking a backpacker trail?
- Do I have a business/job to provide an income?
- How long will it take me to find a job? This depends on your skills and how in-demand they are where you’re going, and whether or not you have a working visa.
- How much can I earn?
- Do I have ongoing expenses at home? Any loans, mortgage, property expenses, or family support.
- How much savings do I have that I can use to feel comfortable for a year?
- How much money is my health insurance coverage?
- How much do I need to get home instantly in case of emergency?
Take a deep breath. You can’t possibly have all the answers clearly outlined right away. It may seem scary, but if you simply plan in advance, you’ll be able to keep your stress levels at a minimum no matter what obstacles come your way.
I look forward to staying in touch with you, and sharing more information about achieving success abroad. You can also check out my book Living Abroad Successfully. Meanwhile, let me know how I can help.
PS: Are you living abroad, trying to adjust, but feeling disconnected and frustrated? Wanna know how to make it an amazing experience?
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