We have lived and worked at so many places of the world and therefore, have done our fair share of moving. We have lived at exotic places of the US, Mexico, Brazil, France, Spain, Italy, Israel, South Africa, Qatar, Hong Kong, Sydney and North Finchley. And therefore, we know basic tips to live and adjust to a foreign place easily. Following are the few tips we have learned from experience.
The opportunity of moving abroad and experiencing the lifestyle there is too alluring at times to think pragmatically about all the problems that we might face in a completely different environment.We want to move at all costs dropping everything. But finances are the main reason expats return home. Therefore, all the costs should be calculated and considered before moving and not after that. An irrecoverable financial dent can be made by the 3 Fs i.e. flights, flat deposits and furniture. You need to save for the first few months before moving so as not to end up broke in an alien country.
Cost of Living vs Salary
You need to know what average salary is paid to a person of your experience in the country to which you are moving. This will help to know whether the lifestyle you are imagining will be feasible according to your salary there or not. There are many small expenses which you might overlook but they vary dramatically from one country to another. For example, broadband internet connection is cheaper in the UK as compared to that in Italy, France and Spain. Some other unique costs like health expenses can be there too in the country to which you are moving. Therefore, you might want to go through expat blogs and cost of living calculators to estimate the realistic expenses according to the lifestyle you seek. Holiday guides will not help you in this situation as they are specified for holiday-spending expenses only, which is entirely different as compared to actually moving and living.
Saving is of utmost importance. Your expenses might vary according to your job, lifestyle and social status. Therefore, you need to save living expenses ranging from a few months to a few years to be on the safe side. Apart from the everyday expenses, you also need to take into account the expenses required for moving and the one-off costs you may have to pay when you reach your new destination. These expenses may include visas, taxes, legal services and permits. Also, while using your credit card abroad you should look out for the currency charges. The currency conversion rates are always higher than your expectations and can easily disturb your budget.
When someone is new to a country, they do not know how to shop properly as per the markets and people demands. They do not know the definition of a good deal and the places that offer them. Hence, they end up overspending in their first few months for the sole reason that they do not know any better. Therefore, to avoid upsetting your budget and yourself it is best to assume that you will need more money than you had estimated.