Top Ten tips on Saving Money When Moving to a City Abroad
Uprooting your life and moving abroad is a big decision to make and with so many things to consider, budgeting can be a challenge. David Hollins, Regional General Manager at Crown Relocations, has put together some top tips on how you can save money during your relocation.
If you’re moving to a city with a large and well organised expatriate community, for example Tokyo, Jakarta, Singapore or Sao Paolo, you can often find furniture and appliances through expatriate-focused websites. These online communities will have sales when other expatriate families are moving and want to leave behind fairly new items and are a great way of kitting out your home for a fraction of the price.
Check out ‘the next big thing’
In most big cities there are the popular, trendy neighborhoods and what are known as ‘the next big thing’ neighborhoods. For a better deal, consider moving into an up-and-coming neighborhood. These areas tend to change and enhance quickly and it’s great to be part of the transition and to say you were there before it was on top.
Keep accommodation costs down
If you’re travelling alone or as a couple, consider sharing a flat or house with other professionals. Your room cost will be significantly lower that renting a whole place would be and it only has to be for the short-term while you save. For families, short-term rental agreements are a good way for you down-size while hunting for a more permanent home. Rental properties that come furnished are also a good way of cutting costs as it means you won’t need to ship as much over.
Establish the best season
If you have flexibility, look into the peak seasons for moving to your new location and find a time when it is considered a better seasonal market for finding housing, for example the end of the school year. This will help ensure you get more for your money.
Pick the right moving day
Some moving companies may charge more to unload your belongings into your new home on a weekend than a week day. Be sure to ask if rates vary depending on the day.
Consider your social life
You may think that living outside the city centre will save you money on accommodation, but keep in mind where you plan to socialise. You might spend more on taxis home after an evening out with friends in the city, which can soon add up if you’re on a budget.
Find the freebies
When arriving at your new destination one of the first things you’ll want to do is explore, but scoping out the area doesn’t have to mean signing up to expensive tour guides and activities. There’ll be plenty of things to see and do without breaking the bank such as hiring a bike and taking yourself on your own tour, trialing the local gym or exercise class for free or visiting the local museum and learning about the history of your new home. Forums are also a great way of getting tips from other expats nearby, plus they’ll often arrange ‘meet ups’, giving you the opportunity to make new friends and explore together.
Moving to a new country while you have financial ties to another can be a tax headache and costly if you end paying tax twice by mistake. Talk to your bank before your leave to advise them of your plans and get expert financial advice. This way you’ll be able to know exactly what the tax requirements are and how they affect you – plus you’ll save you money in the long-run.
Cut down your bills
Say goodbye to expensive phone and TV bills when you move abroad. There are so many ways you can keep in touch and up-to-date with all the latest TV shows without adding to your monthly outgoings. Skype, free messenger apps and social media are all great ways of speaking to your loved ones with spending a penny. You needn’t sign up to costly TV packages either because thanks to the likes of BBC and ITV iPlayer you can keep up-to-speed on your favourite dramas and chat shows. What’s more, sports fans can just nip down the local pub and enjoy surround-sound with a pint while checking out the score – just like home!
The more you get to know your new city, the more efficient you’ll become at managing everyday expenses. It’s typical to spend more during your first year in a new location because you’ll go to the closest supermarket. If you make an effort, you can find the little known or less expensive options like a local market or Chinatown.
Crown Relocations is a division of the Crown Worldwide Group. Crown Relocations operates from more than 200 locations in almost 60 countries, providing end-to-end relocation services.