How to Manage Finances at Home While Living Abroad
Moving overseas can quickly lower your cost of living, but you will still need to be able to make money, move money, and pay your bills. Whether you plan to work as a freelancer, work remotely or live off of investments, you’ll need accounts that make it easy to get paid and quickly access cash. You’ll also need an in-country bank account.
Stay on Top of Debt
Before you move overseas, do your best to stop services and pay off debts in your current home. Keep an eye out for that final bill so you don’t face excess fees or a bad hit on your credit report when a final bill gets missed and goes to collections.
Rent Out Your Home and Live Off the Payments
If you’re planning for some stress-free living overseas and want to live off the rent on your current property, hire a property manager to manage renter complaints, collect payments, and generally monitor the property.
For those who currently live in a tourist-friendly city, you can make more renting out your home through a holiday rental agency, such as VRBO. To do this successfully, your property manager will also need to get the property prepped before each visit. These preparations can include
- a linen service
- yard care
and other services specific to your area. Do not skimp on this service; one bad review can cost you sales.
There are many necessary services that can only be purchased from an in-country bank, such as a metro card or your local rent. If at all possible, do try to set these up before you get overseas, as the process can take time and be quite cumbersome.
When You Must Have Cash
In the event of an emergency in your home country or your new residence, a wire transfer service may be necessary. Should you need to transfer money to India or any other nation to prepare for a move, help out a loved one or cover a surprise debt, the ability to quickly move cash in the local currency is critical.
If you have a credit card that offers points to a retailer you use often, study up on international transaction fees before taking it with you to your new home. Bonus points are nice, but if the fees per transaction are high, you will quickly eat up the benefits of your points.
Consider using a debit card for the majority of your purchases instead of a credit card. As European banks focus on borderless banking, there are many products out there that make it easy to take out currency for no or low fees within the Eurozone. If you’re headed to South or Central America, keep an eye on the dollar limit withdrawal fees and penalties.
Each region of the world will have specific tools that work well in-country. Try to set up your bank account in-country before you go, and look for a national bank stateside that has excellent online access and low fees.