Along with bouts of homesickness, coming to grips with a new culture, and learning a new language, one of the common sources of stress cited among expats when moving to a new country is money.
After the expense of settling into a new country, it can take some time to a sense of how much things cost let alone work out a monthly budget.
While it may seem impossible initially, the sooner you can start saving the better. Whether it´s to have money to purchase tickets to visit your family back home, save for a deposit on an apartment, or set up a rainy-day fund, saving a small amount from each salary will allow you to build a nest which will provide more flexibility and opportunity.
Below we offer five tips on how you, as an expat, can save money today:
1. Save Wherever You Can
While it´s natural to want to see and do all the cultural things your new city offers and attend as many events as you can to extend your personal and professional network, being social can be expensive. From museum entrance fees to drinks after work at the pub, it all adds up.
On the other hand, in order to save money, you don´t want to neglect opportunities to socialise and to take in the cultural delights.
That´s where a little research can help. Many galleries offer free entrances to museums once a week and between certain times, e.g. Wednesday evenings. Look out for 2-for-1 coupons for attractions and split the cost with a friend.
Sign-up for a free grocery store loyalty care and use the points from your purchases to save money on future purchases.
Many restaurants also offer discounts during the week while many bars have Happy Hour drinks specials. Pick up a local newspaper and keep an eye out for deals.
It´s possible to enjoy your new city while saving money at the same time. Subscribe to newsletters, do some Google searches, visit tourist bureaus and inquire about discounts.
2. Monitor Your Spending Habits
It might seem obvious, but the best way to start saving is to first look at your spending habits.
Of course, when moving to a new country, it´s expensive enough getting set up, but many times expats spend more than they can afford.
Look at your living expenses and where you are spending your money each week. Do you need to buy a weekly travel card or can you ride or walk to work? Would rent be cheaper if you moved slightly further out of the city?
It´s important to live within your means and spend relative to your earnings.
3. Know The Real Price
Moving to a new country that uses a different currency than the one you used back home brings its own challenge. Sometimes you can find yourself swiping your card, paying for this or that without knowing the real cost of something. Did you really pay €10 for a cup of coffee in that trendy café?
Within the FerratumBank app, for example, you can find an integrated currency converter which allows you to see the currency exchange rates. Simply enter the amount of the local currency and then select your home currency to get an immediate conversion. This way, you can get a better sense of true cost and value.
4. Pay Off Your Credit Cards
Before you can save money, it´s essential to pay off any owing amounts on your credit cards. This way, any money you put away is actual money saved and not merely money to payback debt.
When your credit cards have a zero balance, any money you once spent repaying credit cards or interest charges can now be put into a savings account.
5. Open a Savings Account and Automate Your Savings
Wanting to save money and actually doing it are two different things.
Again, although it may seem obvious, to save money the first thing you should do is open a savings account. With FerratumBank, it takes only 8 minutes to open a bank account followed by a few clicks in the app to set up your savings account.
Once you´ve opened your savings account, you can start transferring money into your account. However, even better, is making your savings automated. Boosters are tools embedded in the FerratumBank mobile app and automate savings. Think of it like putting spare change in your piggy bank. With Boosters, a pre-set amount decided by you is automatically transferred to your savings account each time you make a transaction.
For more information about FerratumBank savings accounts and Boosters, visit this page.
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