How to save money when moving abroad
Establish the best time to move
As with holidays, there are peak seasons for relocating – researching and choosing the right time for your move can be financially beneficial. Investigate the periods that are better seasonal markets for finding housing such as the end of the school year.
You should steer clear of any key national events in your chosen destination, such as Chinese New Year or Thanksgiving.
If you can be flexible about the delivery date of your possessions then you may be able to make savings on shipping by using the groupage method. This allows you to consolidate your shipment with others, rather than having to carry the cost of your own dedicated container.
However, the ability to share a container depends on the volume of items being shipped, for example if you are moving the contents of a five bedroom house it is likely that you will need a whole container.
Set up a bank account in your new country
Setting up an international bank account before you move can be an excellent way of saving money. By having an international bank account alongside your UK bank account, you are able to transfer funds between the two and often bypass expensive international transfer fees.
Check out the ‘next big thing’
In most big cities there are up-and-coming neighbourhoods, which can offer lower property prices.
For example, San Francisco is a desirable location renowned for being a technology hub, but nearby Palo Alto is on the rise, becoming recognised as one of the best places to live for digital trailblazers.
Get to know your local area
Local people have the best understanding of their city, along with invaluable money saving knowledge. From discovering the best local food markets to finding affordable shops and restaurants, getting to know your local area can help to cut costs in the long run.
Set a budget – and stick to it
Finding your feet in a new country can be a costly process, in fact it has been said that the first year in a new location is the most expensive. Remember to factor in allowances for exploring your local area and socialising as well as household expenses and food bills. Keeping track of your outgoings will help you to make savings if necessary.
Consider your location
Although property prices may be most affordable outside of the city centre, be realistic about the practicalities of setting up your new home. If you are looking to develop an active social life, the cost of regular taxis to the city centre may actually be greater than the money you save on living further out.
Get your UK affairs in order before you go
Paying off any debts and tying up loose ends before relocating is highly advisable. Not only does this allow you to begin life in your new home without any financial worries, but it reduces the risk of currency fluctuations, increasing the cost of outstanding debts.
John Morris is national manager of Crown Relocations