It’s Expensive to Move Abroad but You Can Seriously Cut Costs

The increasing mobility of people in the global workforce has spurred the growth of many peripheral industries. These include immigration experts, migration services companies, freight and shipping, consulting and money transfer options, among others. Many people are interested in relocating to foreign countries, to take lucrative positions, broaden their horizons, or simply to enjoy a better quality of life. Whatever your rationale for moving abroad, there are many important costs to consider.

Contrary to popular opinion, the biggest expenses are not the costs of the airplane ticket though those can be quite costly nowadays – it’s everything else that must be considered. For example, the immigration fees alone can be costly for a big family seeking to relocate abroad. That says nothing of the stress involved in the process. This includes legal fees, immigration fees, biometrics fees, work authorization, payment for official travel documents, and more.

Factors to Consider when Relocating Overseas

Many of us don’t think that the costs of relocating abroad are substantial, but they are. Besides for your airfare, there are import taxes to consider, packaging materials for your personal belongings, the costs of the moving company, shipping costs for your personal items, and the education costs abroad. An international move can cost many thousands of dollars – substantially more than it would cost to relocate from one part of a country to another.

The daily living expenses are perhaps the biggest sticker shock that immigrants face in a new country. Travel, communication, groceries, education, rentals, mortgages, car insurance, health insurance and other factors are often neglected when moving abroad – but they can certainly break the bank.

These elements contribute to what is known as lifestyle living expenses. Then of course, your lifestyle will be impacted directly by taxation. People who are dual citizens may be subject to double taxation, and this is certainly a big cost factor that you will want to take into consideration. Sometimes, people will move from a country with a strong currency like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, or the United Kingdom to an affordable country like Thailand, Vietnam or Laos. But if it’s the other way around, you must be prepared for the ill effects of currency exchange rates. When the bills start adding up, you may be required to transfer money from your home country to supplement your income abroad. Remember that transferring money globally can be expensive so you want to be sure that you’re getting the best possible exchange rate at all times. Most people think that banks are the only viable option, while they really are the most expensive option available to you.

Healthcare and Education Fees Are Big Ticket Items to Consider

Healthcare is one of the most important concerns for a family. From cradle to grave, healthcare is essential. Unfortunately, not all countries are created equal where healthcare is involved. Countries like the United Kingdom, Israel, Sweden and others offer heavily subsidized government health care programs. The costs of healthcare are dramatically lower in these countries.

Unfortunately, in countries like the United States healthcare is extremely expensive. This is a cost item that needs to be carefully considered as part of a broader personal immigration budget. As new immigrants in the United States for example, each member of the family will be required to undergo a full medical test at their own expense. These tests are expensive, and are not subsidized by the government. Be advised that any existing health care benefits you have in your home country will likely not be applicable in a foreign country, unless you’re remaining in the European Union. For most families, healthcare is nonnegotiable. Therefore, accommodation must be made for it in your relocation budget.

For people intent on moving abroad, an education may be the only way to break into the workforce. This takes on many forms such as a reeducation, retraining, advanced degrees and even children’s education. The costs of education vary greatly from one country to another, and they are one of the most important relocation-related costs to consider when moving abroad. In the United States, tertiary education can become extremely expensive depending on where you attend college.  It is common for college graduates to rack up tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt by the time they enter the workforce. Young families need to be especially mindful of these education costs when relocating abroad.

Simple Lifehacks to Spending Less

Typically when it comes to financial advice you are told to create a budget, track spending, reduce unnecessary spending, and contributes more money to savings accounts.  Sure that is great, and each person should follow, but there are a few ways that you can cheat even further to save a little extra money in your wallet.

Keep Large Bills in your Wallet

You will be less inclined to part with large denominations of bills, making you think about making the purchase in order to break the bill.  When it comes to smaller bills, twenty dollars or less, you may think less about the aftermath of an empty wallet as you would spending the larger.

Reduce Cell Phone Data Plan

Not only will taking a GB or two off of your cell phone plan will save you money off your statement each month, but it will also keep you off surfing on your phone and leave you extra time to do other things around the house such as much needed cleaning, laundry, or taking the dog for a walk.  If anything, it will make you use the WI-FI more often, still saving off your cell phone plan.

Clear Browsing History When Booking Hotels and Airfare

Believe it or not the amount of searches for particular hotel or airfare on a specific day can generate an internet buzz if you will, causing fares to increase due to the demand that you are creating.  If you are going back to seek out new fares, make sure you clear your browser’s history so they do not see that it is you that keeps coming back to view.

Pay Attention to Your Thermostat

Programming your heating and cooling could save a substantial amount of money even shifting between a degree here and there.  If you are not home you can set the thermostat up during the summer to borderline warm, and in the winter almost too cold…adjust to comfortable temps while you are home and falling asleep.  Do not forget about trying to keep the windows open too!

Add Them Up!

If you do not believe that any significant money can be saved, try it and see the difference.  Compare your utility bills from a year ago to this upcoming year and see the savings, it may surprise you.  If you found great travel deals, brag to your friends!

Once you master the art of saving and not spending, then it’s time to actually do something useful with that money other than throwing it into a bank account that doesn’t earn any interest. If you can’t tell me, what does IRA stand for, then you should come back for my next post on putting your money to good use and preparing for retirement.

15 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Forex

During the 90’s, the Wall Street was the best place to make tons of money. Brokers used to say that in order to make money in the stock market, one had only needed to wake up in the morning. Soon enough, thanks to the development of the internet, people started to make money out of trading right from the comfort of their homes.

They no longer needed to become brokers on Wall Street. They could now make money from the comfort of their homes by simple waking up in the morning.

Forex is the biggest online trading market of the moment. Being open to everyone on the planet, this is a 5-trillion a day trading volume market where people can literally get rich overnight. The other side of the coin is also true – they can also lose all of their fortune overnight.

Whether you are a professional trader or a regular person who wants to try a new money making opportunity, you should not ignore Forex. With enough skills, practice and experience, you could be on your way off to a great start with this platform, and you could multiply your earnings.

Here are 15 big reasons why you shouldn’t ignore the Forex trading market:

  1. High Liquidity: you can cash the funds your earn anytime you want.
  1. Always open: you can trade 24/7. You definitely don’t need to wait for the market to open on Monday morning. However, you need to remember that most Forex brokers are still closed on weekends, and the spreads go up Friday night until Monday morning. Nevertheless, this is slowly changing, with more and more traders and brokers being willing to trade in the weekend.
  1. Diversification: according to a study conducted by the Bankrate back in July 2013, investing in the Forex market is the best alternative to stashing the money under the mattress.
  1. Regulation: thanks to the new regulations and oversight by the Financial Institutions of the state, the Forex market has been registered under the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. This means that the state is not against this industry anymore, as it was in the past.
  1. Start small: one of the main reasons to not ignore the Forex trading market is that you can start very small. With just $100, you can make more than $10,000 in a few months. You can also start earning money from the first day.
  2. Transparency: you will never find a more transparent market that what Forex has to offer. As a Forex trader, you have complete visibility on your account at all times.
  1. Easy access: Forex is not a traditional market where access is limited or difficult. Instead, it enables easy access from all areas of the globe.
  1. Open for everyone: in order to trade you only need an internet connection and a trading software/client
  1. Demo accounts: demo accounts are the real deal, especially for new traders with no experience whatsoever. A demo account allows you to have a real Forex trading experience, but with virtual money. Always use a demo trading account for a few days before investing real money in this platform.
  1. Constant support: there are many experienced traders out there willing to help and guide you. Moreover, you have a lot of online resources to look into.
  1. Extremely stable: the Forex market is very stable, especially due to the fact that it is international. Even though the price of currencies can vary, the fluctuations are not so dramatic to affect this huge market.
  1. You can make profits out of each trade: all you have to do is to use the right tools and to predict the correct trend in order to make good profits.
  1. Keep your job: Forex trading can be done in your free time. You don’t need to become a full-time trader. You can trade at your own pace and keep it like a hobby.
  1. No commission fees: we all want this benefit, and the Forex platforms offers it in full.
  1. Perfect for everyone: ultimately, you should not ignore Forex because it is perfect for you. Whatever your skills, social status, experience or age, this is a great money making opportunity, hobby or job

There is No Easy Way to Book Cheap Airfare

For many of us, booking a few months early off of a third party site such as Expedia is the best deal you can find.  The truth is, airfare can change hourly, so when is the perfect time to book?  The answer is, whenever it gets to a point where you are comfortable purchasing, you do not think it will go any lower, or are scared to lose the current rate.

Book Two Months Early, on a Tuesday?

It used to be that booking fifty-seven days in advance, on a Tuesday, studies have shown to typically be the cheapest airfares, but there is no golden rule anymore.  With the emergence of last-minute flight deals, you could actually find the best deal two weeks prior to your intended departure.  The best advice would be to start checking as soon as you know your travel dates and watch for fares to change, and book when you feel you can pull the trigger.

Book Airfare Direct

It used to be we would go to a travel agent and have them take care of everything, but these days, you have access to the same fares, with seemingly hundreds of website to compare.  What I have always found to be the best deal is direct on the airline’s website.  Spirit offers coupon codes just about every week for booking on their site and the discounts do not show up on third party sites.  I book my rooms direct on the hotel’s site as well, as you can reserve without paying in full.  Also, given a few bad experiences in the past “losing my reservation”, I would much rather be at ease booking direct on the website so that at least I have a confirmation through them if any delays should occur, instead of working with the third party site.

Shop Around

When all else fails, shop around.  If you are planning a vacation and need a flight, room, and car, you may even find that a bundle deal on a third party travel site may be the way to go if you price out each one separately on direct websites.  Whatever you do, do not book right away, give yourself a chance to look at many different air and hotel sites to compare the difference.  Try each day for the week and see if any changes.  It is a waiting game, and makes some nervous, but when you find the right deal it will be worth the wait.