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How To Move Abroad And Save Money


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Coralie Beasley



Are you dreaming of moving abroad but worried about the cost? It’s true that relocating to a new country can seem like a daunting financial challenge. However, with careful planning and research, you can make your international move more affordable and save money along the way.


In this article, we will provide you with valuable travel tips on how to move abroad and save money. From researching the cost of living to finding affordable housing and managing everyday expenses, we will cover all the essential aspects to help you make the most of your international adventure without breaking the bank.


Moving abroad is a thrilling and life-changing experience, but it requires careful financial considerations. By applying the strategies and tips outlined in this article, you can maximize your savings and make your transition to a new country smoother and more economical.


So, whether you’ve already decided on your dream destination or are still exploring different options, read on to discover how to move abroad in a budget-friendly manner.


Researching Cost of Living

Before making the decision to move abroad, it’s crucial to thoroughly research the cost of living in your desired destination. Understanding the expenses associated with everyday essentials such as housing, transportation, groceries, and healthcare will give you a clear picture of what to expect financially.


Start by consulting reliable sources such as expat websites, government websites, and online cost of living calculators. These resources provide information on the average prices of goods and services in different countries, allowing you to compare the cost of living between your current location and your potential new home.


Additionally, reach out to expat communities and forums to gather firsthand experiences and insights. Engaging with people who have already made the move can provide valuable information about hidden costs or unexpected expenses that you may not have considered.


Keep in mind that the cost of living can vary significantly from one city to another within the same country. Take the time to research different regions and consider factors such as housing availability, transportation infrastructure, and proximity to necessary amenities when evaluating the cost of living.


By conducting thorough research on the cost of living, you will be better equipped to create a budget and make informed decisions about your move abroad. Understanding the financial aspects of your new location will help you plan and prepare for the expenses ahead, ensuring that you can comfortably afford your new life in another country.


Choosing a Budget-friendly Destination

When it comes to moving abroad on a budget, selecting a budget-friendly destination is key. Some countries are known for having a lower cost of living, making them more affordable for expats. Consider the following factors when choosing your destination:

  1. Currency exchange rate: Look for countries where your home currency has a favorable exchange rate. A strong currency conversion can stretch your savings and make your budget go further.
  2. Cost of housing: Research the average cost of housing in your prospective destinations. Look for areas where rent or property prices are more reasonable, allowing you to allocate your budget in other areas.
  3. Cost of daily expenses: Consider the prices of groceries, transportation, and entertainment. Look for places where these costs are more affordable to reduce your daily spending.
  4. Job opportunities: While this may not directly affect the cost of living, choosing a destination with good job prospects can help offset your expenses and provide a stable income.
  5. Visa requirements and fees: Some countries have stricter visa requirements or higher fees. Research the visa process and associated costs to avoid any surprises that could impact your budget.

By considering these factors, you can narrow down your options and find a destination that aligns with your budget. Keep in mind that a budget-friendly destination doesn’t mean compromising on quality of life. Many countries offer a high quality of life at a lower cost, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of living abroad without breaking the bank.


Finding Affordable Housing

One of the most significant expenses when moving abroad is housing. Finding affordable accommodations can help you stretch your budget and save money. Here are some tips to find affordable housing in your new destination:

  1. Research local rental markets: Understand the rental market in your chosen destination. Look for neighborhoods or areas where rental prices are more affordable. Websites and apps dedicated to property listings can be helpful in your search.
  2. Consider shared housing: Sharing an apartment or house with roommates can significantly reduce your housing expenses. Look for online platforms that connect you with other expats or locals who are looking for roommates.
  3. Look for alternative options: Consider non-traditional housing options such as renting a room in a private home, house-sitting, or even becoming a short-term tenant in a vacation rental during your initial months. These options can often be more affordable than long-term leases.
  4. Explore local housing subsidies: In some countries, there may be housing subsidies or programs available for expats or low-income individuals. Research whether you qualify for any local assistance that can help reduce your housing expenses.
  5. Negotiate rental terms: When negotiating your rental agreement, try to secure a lower monthly rent or negotiate favorable terms such as longer lease periods or waived utility fees. Landlords may be open to negotiation, especially if you’re a long-term tenant.

Remember to factor in additional costs such as security deposits, utilities, and maintenance fees when budgeting for housing. By exploring different options and being proactive in your search, you can find affordable housing that meets your needs and helps you save money during your time abroad.


Managing Transportation Costs

Transportation expenses can eat into your budget when living abroad, but with careful planning, you can effectively manage these costs. Here are some tips to help you save money on transportation:

  1. Opt for public transportation: Utilize the local public transportation system whenever possible. Buses, trains, and trams are often more affordable than taxis or ride-hailing services. Look into purchasing discounted monthly or weekly passes to further reduce your costs.
  2. Consider walking or cycling: If feasible, choose to walk or cycle for shorter distances. Not only will this save you money, but it will also provide an opportunity to explore your new surroundings and stay active.
  3. Share rides: Carpooling or ride-sharing services can significantly reduce transportation costs. Connect with other expats or locals in your area who have a similar commute or travel route and share rides to split the expenses.
  4. Rent or purchase a second-hand bike: In cities with well-established cycling cultures, investing in a second-hand bicycle can be a cost-effective and eco-friendly option for transportation.
  5. Compare prices for rental cars: If you need a car for occasional trips or specific purposes, compare prices from different rental car companies to ensure you get the best deal. Look for discounts or promotions that can help you save money.

Additionally, familiarize yourself with the local transportation regulations and any available discounts or subsidies for expats. Some countries offer reduced fares for students, seniors, or residents, allowing you to further cut down on transportation expenses.


By prioritizing public transportation, exploring alternative modes of transportation, and taking advantage of shared rides, you can effectively manage your transportation costs and allocate those savings towards other aspects of your life abroad.


Minimizing Healthcare Expenses

Healthcare expenses can be a significant concern when moving abroad. However, there are ways to minimize these costs and ensure access to quality healthcare:

  1. Research healthcare systems: Investigate the healthcare system in your new country. Understand how it works, what services are covered, and what costs you may be responsible for. This will help you plan for potential medical expenses.
  2. Obtain health insurance: Purchase international health insurance before you move. This will provide coverage for medical expenses and emergencies, protecting you from exorbitant healthcare costs. Compare different insurance providers and policies to find the most suitable and affordable option.
  3. Utilize public healthcare options: Familiarize yourself with the public healthcare options available to residents in your new country. In some cases, these systems offer more affordable or even free medical services.
  4. Seek out expat clinics or hospitals: Some cities with a high expat population have specialized clinics or hospitals catering to the needs of foreigners. While these may be slightly more expensive, they often provide English-speaking staff and a familiarity with expat healthcare requirements.
  5. Take preventative measures: Focus on maintaining good health by adopting a healthy lifestyle, eating well, and staying active. Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help prevent illnesses, reducing the need for medical interventions and expenses.

It’s also important to be aware of any required vaccines or health precautions in your new country. Staying up to date on vaccinations and taking necessary preventive measures can save you from costly medical treatment later on.


By being proactive in researching healthcare options, obtaining insurance coverage, and maintaining your well-being, you can minimize healthcare expenses and ensure peace of mind while living abroad.


Saving on Everyday Expenses

Managing everyday expenses is crucial for staying within your budget when living abroad. Here are some practical tips to save money on regular expenses:

  1. Create a budget: Start by creating a detailed budget that outlines your income and expenses. Monitor your spending and identify areas where you can cut back.
  2. Cook at home: Eating out can be expensive. Instead, shop at local markets and grocery stores to cook your own meals. Not only will this save you money, but it also allows you to experience local cuisine and ingredients.
  3. Reduce utility usage: Be conscious of your energy and water consumption. Turn off lights when not needed, unplug electronics, and use energy-efficient appliances to lower utility bills.
  4. Shop smart: Compare prices and look for deals or discounts when shopping for groceries, household items, and clothing. Consider buying second-hand items or shopping at local markets for affordable options.
  5. Avoid unnecessary expenses: Evaluate your spending habits and identify areas where you can make cuts. This could include reducing subscriptions, limiting entertainment expenses, or finding free or low-cost activities and events in your new community.

Another way to save on everyday expenses is to embrace the local culture and lifestyle of your new country. Engage with locals for tips on cost-saving strategies, discover affordable places to eat or shop, and take advantage of any local discounts or loyalty programs.


By being conscious of your spending, creating a budget, and adopting frugal habits, you can significantly reduce your everyday expenses and have more money to allocate towards other aspects of your life abroad.


Creating a Budget for Moving Abroad

Moving abroad involves various expenses, from transportation costs to visa fees and everything in between. Creating a budget for your international move is crucial to ensure that you have sufficient funds and can avoid financial stress. Here’s how to create an effective budget:

  1. Estimate one-time moving expenses: Consider the costs of shipping or transporting your belongings, visa application fees, travel insurance, and any other expenses specific to your move. Research and gather quotes from different service providers to get accurate estimates.
  2. Calculate housing costs: Research the rental prices or property values in your new destination. Include costs such as security deposits, agency fees, and utilities to calculate your monthly housing expenses.
  3. Factor in transportation costs: Account for the costs of travel to your new destination, whether it’s by airfare, train, or other means. Additionally, budget for local transportation expenses such as public transportation fares or vehicle expenses if you plan to purchase a car.
  4. Consider healthcare expenses: Include the costs of health insurance, medical check-ups, prescription medications, and any potential healthcare emergencies in your budget. Research the healthcare system of your new country to understand the costs involved.
  5. Plan for everyday expenses: Allocate funds for groceries, dining out, entertainment, utilities, and other daily necessities. Research the cost of living in your new location to get an idea of these expenses.
  6. Account for unexpected costs: Set aside some funds for unforeseen expenses or emergencies. This will provide a safety net and alleviate financial stress if unexpected situations arise.

Once you have estimated your expenses, compare them with your anticipated income or savings. This will give you an idea of how much you need to save, additional income sources you may need to explore, or adjustments you can make to your spending to stay within your budget.


Remember, creating a budget is an ongoing process. Be flexible and adjust your budget as needed, especially during the initial months of your move when you’re still adapting to the new environment and understanding the actual costs of living.


By creating a comprehensive budget and planning accordingly, you can ensure a smoother financial transition and have peace of mind as you embark on your new adventure abroad.


Finding Employment Opportunities

Finding employment opportunities in your new country is essential for supporting yourself financially and maximizing your savings. Here are some tips to help you secure a job abroad:

  1. Research the job market: Understand the current job market in your desired destination. Research industries that are thriving, in-demand skill sets, and any specific requirements or certifications needed for certain jobs.
  2. Network: Connect with expat communities, local professionals, and industry-specific groups in your new country. Networking can provide valuable job leads, referrals, and insights into the local job market.
  3. Update your resume: Tailor your resume to highlight relevant skills and experiences for the local job market. Research local resume formats and norms to ensure your application stands out.
  4. Utilize online job portals: Many countries have job portals specifically designed for expats or English-speaking professionals. Create a profile and regularly check these platforms for job openings.
  5. Consider teaching English: Teaching English as a foreign language is a popular option for many expats, especially in countries where there is high demand. Research certifications like TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) that can enhance your chances of landing a teaching job.
  6. Seek help from recruitment agencies: Recruitment agencies specializing in placing foreign workers can provide guidance and assistance in finding job opportunities. They often have connections with local employers and can match your skills with suitable positions.
  7. Explore freelance or remote work: If you have a portable skill set, consider freelancing or remote work options. This can provide flexibility and the ability to work for clients or companies from around the world.
  8. Consider volunteer or internship opportunities: Volunteering or internships can help you gain local experience, improve your language skills, and expand your professional network. It may also lead to job opportunities in the future.

Remember to do thorough research on work permits and visa requirements in your new country. Ensure that you have the necessary documentation and permissions to work legally.


Securing employment before you move can provide a smoother transition and financial stability. However, if you haven’t found a job before arriving, remain proactive and persistent in your job search. With the right effort and determination, you can find rewarding job opportunities that support your new life abroad.


Expatriate Financial Considerations

As an expatriate, there are specific financial considerations that can impact your finances while living abroad. Understanding and planning for these considerations is crucial for managing your money effectively. Here are some key areas to keep in mind:

  1. Taxes: Research the tax laws in both your home country and your new country of residence. Determine if you will be subject to double taxation or if there are any tax treaties in place to mitigate this. Consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance with tax laws.
  2. Banking and currency exchange: Research local banking options and understand the fees and exchange rates associated with currency conversion. Consider opening a local bank account in your new country to simplify financial transactions and minimize fees.
  3. International money transfers: If you need to transfer money between your home country and your new country, compare different methods and services for the most cost-effective and secure option.
  4. Pension and retirement savings: Determine the impact of moving abroad on your pension or retirement savings. Research how to manage and contribute to your retirement accounts while living overseas.
  5. Insurance coverage: Review your insurance policies, including health insurance, life insurance, and property insurance, to ensure they provide adequate coverage while living abroad. Consider purchasing international insurance plans if necessary.
  6. Exchange rate fluctuations: Keep in mind that exchange rates can fluctuate, impacting the value of your income, savings, or investments. Stay informed about exchange rates and consider strategies to mitigate any potential losses.
  7. Emergencies and repatriation: Plan for emergencies that may require significant financial resources. Set aside funds for unexpected events and consider repatriation costs if you need to return to your home country unexpectedly.
  8. Retirement and social security benefits: If you are retiring abroad, research the impact on your social security benefits or other retirement savings. Understand the eligibility requirements and any applicable taxes or reductions in benefits.

Consulting with financial advisors who specialize in expatriate finances can provide personalized guidance tailored to your specific situation. They can help navigate complex financial considerations and ensure you make informed decisions regarding your money while living abroad.


By being proactive, informed, and prepared, you can navigate the financial considerations of being an expatriate and enjoy your international experience with greater financial security.



Moving abroad is an exciting and life-changing decision, and with proper planning, you can make it a financially sustainable endeavor. By researching the cost of living, choosing a budget-friendly destination, finding affordable housing, managing transportation costs, minimizing healthcare expenses, and saving on everyday expenses, you can successfully navigate the financial aspects of living abroad.


Creating a budget for your international move allows you to estimate your expenses, allocate funds accordingly, and avoid financial stress. As you settle into your new country, continue to monitor your spending, explore job opportunities, and stay proactive in managing your finances.


Remember to consider expatriate financial considerations such as taxes, banking, insurance, and pension savings. Stay informed about exchange rates, repatriation costs, and any impacts on retirement or social security benefits.


Moving abroad doesn’t mean sacrificing financial stability. With careful planning, budgeting, and resourcefulness, you can enjoy your new adventure while also saving money and ensuring a secure financial future.


Embrace the journey and all the opportunities it brings, both culturally and financially. Immerse yourself in the local community, learn from fellow expats, and seek the guidance of professionals who specialize in expatriate finances.


Remember, your financial well-being is an important aspect of your new life abroad. By implementing the travel tips and financial advice provided in this article, you are on the right path to a successful and financially sound adventure in your new home.