• Tyrone Skipper

What you should know about savings as an expat

There are plenty of perks that come with being an expat, from employer benefits to living in a great new destination abroad. However, despite likely being crucial, savings could prove to be a tricky part of living as an expat. Efforts should be undertaken with precision and caution.

You need to make sure that your finances are in order before you take off from your homeland, and even long after you've settled down.

Here are several money saving tips you may want to keep in mind.

Consider opening an offshore savings account

Opening a current account in your adopted country can be considered necessary for funding your day-to-day life, but why not open up an offshore savings account as well? It's a great way for expats to maintain a link back home and lets them bank with prominent UK institutions. In addition, offshore accounts can be held in different currencies, making transfers between accounts quicker and simpler.

There's also an added aspect of security (compared to having an account in the economy of your current destination). There are, however, some things to watch out for, such as taxes and opening restrictions. Consider getting a financial advisor to help you sort out the details.

Prepare for some lifestyle changes

As an expat in a brand-new country, you may do well to get ready for some changes, especially in terms of financial management. Things aren't the same as they were before you left home. Saving money during your stay may require a switch in mindset and habits with regards to shopping, living standards and expectations.

You may have had a personal trainer back home, but if this costs three times more in your adopted country, take up a free exercise routine like running. If you're used to shopping online (but shipping fees are more expensive), switch to the ‘old fashioned’ ways of getting your shopping done or items delivered.

Develop your skills

In order to survive AND save as an expat, you're probably going to have to develop a great sense of independence. This includes working on talents or skills that you might need in your daily life so that you don't have to rely too much on additional services that could end up costing you way more than expected. Whether decorating a new home or fixing a leakage in your flat, try to DIY as much as possible. Using online resources on educational websites or YouTube might sound ridiculous to some people, however, this tactic can be an incredible way to save money in the long term.

Seek financial guidance

Some say that seven per cent of your salary should be saved every month as a realistic goal to wealth accumulation for expats, others say that much more is required depending on the economy and country. The advice and information you receive from various sources can prove contradictory and confusing. You might want to find a savvy financial advisor who you can consult based on your individual situation (including aspects like retirement and investments). A little financial guidance can go a long way and help you stay safe.

Experiencing life as an expat could be one of the most rewarding and exciting times in your life. It can also be a daunting endeavour, especially if you aren’t well prepared. Consider these money saving tips and grow your wealth in the way you see fit. As an expat myself for more than half my life and being an advisor to expat clients the past many years, I have many experiences, stories, and insights to share with you. Get in touch for a chat about your expat life and savings.

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