Working abroad may seem like an attractive solution, especially in countries where salaries are high, allowing laborers decent living conditions and the opportunity to support their families back at home. Still, many seasonal workers and immigrants struggle with their finances because they do not know how to save money while employed in a foreign country.
Starting with getting expert financial advice before accepting a job or traveling to a foreign country to avoiding unnecessary medical spending by buying the appropriate health insurance, there are many ways to save and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle. Here are some saving tips to get you started:
Keep track of your finances
Don’t ignore your savings account: Whether you use your card at an ATM to see your balance or access your bank statements online, always keep track of your finances. Try to set aside up to 25% of your salary for emergencies, more significant spendings, or just for a rainy day.
Look for inexpensive solutions to send money home
If you are in a foreign country for work and need to support your family back home, you must find a money transfer solution that does not charge an arm and leg for their services. For instance, Rewire helps you send money fast, at a lower cost than banks and mainstream money transfer companies. With Rewire, you can send money straight to a beneficiary’s bank account, or you can opt for cash pickup if the recipient does not have a bank account. If you send money to the Philippines, you can even do so straight to their Gcash and Coins.ph mobile wallet. Since it was created with immigrants’ needs supporting their families in mind, Rewire maintains very low fees for money transfer services and general online banking services.
Look for the right lodging
People are tempted to only look at the monthly rental price of an apartment without considering other factors that may contribute to their savings. Before you rent, stroll around the area and see if you are close enough to markets, grocery stores, your workplace, a healthcare provider, and other necessities to avoid spending money on public transportation.
Rent-by-owner is usually cheaper than assigning the job to a seasoned real estate agent, but it can come with hidden costs on maintenance if the rental contract is not ironclad. In many situations finding an expat looking for a roommate to share the accommodation can be quite practical, as most costs, besides rent, are shared: electricity bill, building maintenance, water, trash, etc. A great way to find potential roommates, or simply other people from back home is through social media groups. For instance, there are social media groups for Indians in Europe, Filipino expats in Europe, Nigerians in Europe, and even Thais in Europe – in each of these groups people share ideas, advice, and even recipes.
Save money on transportation
If your apartment is close enough to where you work, you can either walk, rent a bicycle, or get a monthly bus, tram, or subway pass. Commuter passes for all public transportations means may be available too. Check local bike renting network for affordable fees or find a bike-sharing program, which may offer bicycles free of charge for short rides. Over 300 organized bike-sharing programs today are quite common in cities like Paris, London, Dublin, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and the list goes on. Plus, cycling your way to work is also a great workout.
Avoid eating out
Shop at your local grocer’s or farmers’ market and try to fix food at home. Bring a homemade lunch or snack with you at work to save money on fast-food or restaurant cooked meals. Try to avoid buying sodas and water from kiosks, food stalls, or fast-food vendors; buy them in bulk at the supermarket instead. Do your best to not buy more than you can eat – food spoils fast. Plus, making your own food is definitely the healthiest option as you pick and choose which ingredients make your meal.
At the end of the day, you want to enjoy the money you make. While supporting your family back home probably takes a significant cut off your salary, it’s still important that you put some money aside to spoil yourself from time to time. With these tips, you’ll hopefully be able to save some money for a rainy day and maintain a healthier lifestyle in the process.