• published on 4/12/2023
  • 4min

How to Manage your Expat Budget

Overseeing your budget overseas can be challenging, from the big expenses involved in getting settled to managing daily living costs.

How to Manage your Expat Budget

Staying on top of your debts, opening a savings account, or moving somewhere slightly cheaper are actions you can take to handle your budget successfully. Monitoring your costs and being cautious with your spending can help ease financial concerns.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways to stay on top of your outgoings when living abroad.

Start saving

To manage your budget well, save money where you can. It is best to do some research before selecting the right savings account for you, looking at factors such as interest rates and how easily you will be able to access the money.

If you think you might dip into your savings when you’re trying not to, discuss accessibility options with your financial provider. Banks will offer different benefits on savings accounts, so it is worth shopping around before you decide.

Even if you wish to save, it can be difficult. It can be a gradual process over many months, so be sure to set a realistic target. For example, if you want to save for a big occasion, start far in advance so you have as much disposable cash as possible when the time comes.

Also think about your long-term savings goals. Questions to ask yourself include: do you want to save for a home? For a once in a lifetime holiday with loved ones? Or for a pet that you have been wanting for a long time?

Make lifestyle changes

Changing your lifestyle habits can make a lot of difference to your wallet. Simple switches could involve enjoying a homecooked meal with friends rather than splashing out on an expensive dining out experience.

You could also adapt your commute to work, opting to walk instead of driving or using public transport. This can save you money on expensive fuel and transport costs. Additionally, taking a packed lunch into the office instead of buying food out is a savvy choice.

Another tip for saving money is to conduct a grocery shop weekly rather than every other day, preventing you from buying unnecessary items when you visit the supermarket. But remember to take a list with you to avoid missing anything!

To help you make lifestyle changes, look at installing a budgeting app. With this, you can organise your outgoings, prioritise important areas of your budget, and remove non-essential spending.

Consider your housing situation

Another big expenditure for expats can be accommodation costs. If you’re renting in a heavily populated city centre and finding your budget stretched, it might be an idea to move further out.

In the event you live on your own, you could look into shared accommodation to help save money on rental payments. This can also be a good opportunity to make friends and feel less lonely in your new environment. For some tips on how to gain friends abroad, take a look at our blog.

For some expats, buying a house might be a preferable option to spending a large amount of money on rent. This could be right for you if your move overseas is permanent. Before you decide, take your time to visit potential areas to live, and establish whether it provides everything you need.

Stay on top of debts

To keep on track with your budget, make sure you stay on top of your debts. For instance, if you have a credit card, always pay it off on time to avoid your credit score being affected. You can set up notifications and alerts with your banking app to send you payment reminders to help you remember.

Only use the credit card when necessary as well so you don’t overspend, and carry out research before you choosing which one you’re going to use.

Also be careful when taking out loans, making sure you pay them on time too. You could see yourself in financial difficulty if you take on more loans than you can afford.

Consider international health insurance

Investing in international private medical insurance can help you manage your budget, as it could save you from financial loss you might have suffered if you fell ill and didn’t have insurance to cover the costs of medical treatment.

Your expat health can be protected when you live, work or study abroad with international health insurance. The policy can cover you for a range of medical treatment, including specialist consultations and diagnostic tests, cancer treatment, maternity care, and seeing the doctor of your choice.

However, before selecting a policy, conduct thorough research to assess which cover is right from you. This is because different providers offer varying levels of cover and benefits. For more information about how much international private medical insurance costs, check out our blog.