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How to handle your money abroad safely and securely

How to handle your money abroad safely and securely

UK MoneyMoving abroad can be accompanied by a lot of stress. Regardless of the reason for moving, the new environment holds certain risks and needs to be carefully researched before arrival. Nothing can make you more prepared than having your money ready and secure.

When it comes to moving abroad, there are certain things you need to consider, especially when it comes to large sums. There are opportunities and risks which expats should be aware of, whether they are swapping currencies for business or simply organizing day-to-day activities abroad.

The latter are best handled by using foreign ATMs. There are fees and some banks charge extra for foreign transaction, but this method holds certain undeniable charms. For starters, it is secure and can spare you a lot of worries. Second, it is in almost all cases the most easily accessible. Last but not least, it is still cheaper than other easily available exchange methods you will have access to. Additional option is currency exchange service bureaus. Even with a big sign ‘No-fee’ usually hanging on their exchange boards, their service can turn out to be really expensive, as that cost is usually represented by exchange rates significantly worse than what you’d get elsewhere. Scams are not unheard of! A lot of false services exist to take advantage of expats, by abusing loopholes in legislation or outright violations of the law.

When paying for purchases abroad, always look to pay in foreign currency and avoid the so called ‘dynamic currency exchange’ conversion. This is when you are offered to pay in your country’s currency instead of foreign, but the truth is this often times includes hidden fees and taxes, which makes it a really bad deal. For large purchases try to use a credit card, as it is the cheapest and most secure way. Most cards add a certain fee, but there are some that charge nothing for foreign purchase.

When transferring large sums of money, for example when changing business abroad, it is important to take note of the trends and current state of the financial market. Fees and exchange rates constantly fluctuate, so try to keep a close eye on those. Give yourself enough time – if the transaction and exchange is not needed immediately, monitor those figures and make a move when they are favorable. Do not act hastily, because that can mean instant failure when it comes to money operations. There are trends you can take advantage of, which can be spotted given enough time to note.

Hiring an exchange broker is an option many consider, because it can help in the case of more significant exchanges. Brokers offer a variety of consulting services and often times better rates than banks. When choosing a broker make sure they have all the necessary credentials and any financial authority membership to ensure you get the best service for your money. As mentioned, brokers offer more than just exchange. For example, you can contact a broker early to get an exact estimation of the money you need to spend.


Charlotte Madisson is a blogger and freelance writer from Sheffield, England. Expat herself, she is passionate about home, nature and travelling. Choosing to work for a UK man with van company came naturally as she already knew that relocating your home means relocating your whole life in another country and found out that she could help people with it. She uses every free moment for sports or spending time with a book and a glass of wine. Currently she writes articles on DIY topics for different home maintenance related companies.