Being an expat comes with a lot of responsibility! Whilst you have the potential to make a lot of money, you still have the difficulty of getting yourself established in a foreign country. Here are some ideas to make your money go as far as it can in your new country. Remember the value of research prior to arriving at your new destination to avoid the common pitfalls. This is how to be frugal as an expat!
Do Not Work with Overpriced Housing Agencies
When you’re relocating to a market that does not speak English as its native language, make sure your research carefully if there are housing agents available from the local market. If you want to be frugal as an expat and you’re buying or renting a place, you’ll find substantial discounts this way! It is essential to live like the locals do. Find the reliable housing agents they’re using and you’ll save a lot of money.
Generally speaking, the international realty agents cater to the “lazy expat” that does not want to work with the locals. Prices will go if you decide to go with these agencies. The same type of behavior exists in the UK, so expect even bigger discrepancies in places like Thailand. These housing agents are known to not offer the best local listings. Shop around before committing to a lease and you will be able to see exactly what is really on offer.
Negotiate with the locals too! At the end of the day, many of them will be more than happy to host you in their home country. Their receptiveness towards foreigners and their local contacts in the government offices and banks will really help you out if you decide to branch out when relocating.
Explore the Option of Money Transfer Companies
Using money transfer companies is a fantastic way to save a great deal of costs when money between your home country and the country you’re an expat in. Banks, unfortunately, have a reputation of charging a lot for their wire and currency conversion fees. That’s going to put a major dent in the money you have as an expat living abroad.
By using money transfer companies, you’ll have the luxury of not dealing with exorbitant banking fees, currency conversions and delays. Lastly, money transfer companies give you a very high level of personalized customer service that gives you the assurance that your money will be transferred on time, reliably and correctly. Read some reviews by real people before making a decision there.
Open A Local Bank Account
Opening a local bank account is essential if you want to be frugal as an expat. You’ll have access to the local currency without any more transaction fees. Each ATM will be significantly better to withdraw money from, since your card will be compatible with most local ATM’s.
This is critical. In some countries, the ATM’s do not take Visa or MasterCard and only take Union Pay. Having a local bank account enables you to subscribe to local pay transfer services that will help you pay for purchases within the country. WeChat is a classic example of this in China. You can use a social media app to pay at even small fruit stands by merely scanning a barcode. You will be able to be frugal as an expat much more easily this way as you won’t be taking out cash with your card and therefore avoiding banking fees from ATM’s.
Final Thoughts On Being Frugal As An Expat
Being frugal as an expat is essential in order to be successful with your money whilst enjoying your time abroad to the fullest. The more ways you investigate ways to save money, the more you’ll quickly see that these methods add up to quite big savings over the long term!
Be sure that you consider working with local real estate agents, money transfer companies and understand the value of opening your own bank account. This will enable you to see many methods of making a sizeable difference in your spending. Ask yourself when considering moving abroad whether you have truly explored all of your options. Happy travels!