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A Guide to Money and Budgeting if You're Thinking of Moving Abroad

Moving internationally is no small matter, and it requires some level of financial savvy to accomplish in the most cost-effective way. Whether you're starting out with a good nest-egg or have little to no money to work with, you can still make the move without putting yourself into debt. In this guide, we'll discuss a number of ways in which you can save money and reduce the cost of moving abroad before, during, and after the fact.


Moving Abroad

Before the Move: Preparing for Big Changes


Planning is the number one keyword when it comes to taking a big life step like moving to another country. In addition to all of the career, family, and lifestyle changes that come with the territory, there's a great deal of financial and budgetary change involved in the process.


There's always the temptation to move as soon as possible and worry about finding a job after the fact. Unfortunately, this puts you at risk of not being able to obtain a work visa. Many countries' governments will not approve a work visa if you don't already have employment waiting for you. If you start your move planning by looking for and securing a job, you'll have a much easier time getting a work visa and, therefore, having a steady income when you arrive. Following your international dreams is a great idea, but you still need an income to make it happen!


There are also a variety of tax and currency issues you'll need to be ready for when you move. For starters, you'll initially need to file your taxes in both the United States and your new country of residence. This means that you'll not only still have to deal with U.S. tax requirements, but you'll also need to learn the tax rules of your new country. Make sure that you're also familiar with the currency in your new location and understand how the current exchange rate affects your situation.


You'll probably want to speak with a tax professional about the details of your situation, as there are some tax code provisions that can help shield you from issues of double taxation. In general, getting in touch with a tax professional and financial planner during the planning phase before your move is a good way to make sure that you've covered all of your financial bases.


Before you move, you'll also need to address how you'll change your financial institution and how any 401(k) contributions or other accounts may be affected. Your current financial institution may be able to help you navigate some of this terrain, but, again, an experienced financial planner can be a great resource with regard to these concerns.


Moving Couple

During the Move: Stick to the Plan and Stay Level-Headed


If you've done enough planning beforehand, the move itself should go fairly smoothly. Of course, even the most meticulously detailed and thorough plan is susceptible to hiccups and surprises. Make sure that you have a line of communication to your financial advisers as well as to your prospective employer and any new financial institutions throughout the move so that you can quickly address any concerns that arise.


At the start of the move, make sure that you've done your research with regard to moving companies and their costs. Moving your entire life overseas is no small feat, and it can be easy for unscrupulous companies to take advantage of your situation. Some of this research should be done in the initial planning phase, but make sure that you're holding your chosen company to their promises throughout. Any surprise additional charges not mentioned in your contract should be brought to the attention of management right away.


To save money during the move, try to cut small expenses where you can. Say no to packing and unpacking services your mover might offer and do the grunt work yourself. Budget for your meals and travel to cut down on daily food and fuel expenses. If you have the ability to take on a small side-job or remote work through your new employer or a freelancing site, you can also bring in some extra income to give you a boost during this time of transition.


After the Move: Adjust Smartly to Your New Lifestyle


Once you've made the big move, it's important that you learn how to live in a cost-effective manner² while you adjust (especially if you've moved to a region where the cost of living is higher than it is in the U.S.). For tips on saving money in your new home, consider purchasing a travel guide or other book that gives advice on saving money in your area. Identify the most affordable places to eat and shop, and consider taking public transport to cut down on transportation costs.


Another way to save money after your move abroad is to purchase voltage converters for your outlets. Rather than purchasing new electronic devices and appliances that are appropriate for your country's outlets and voltage levels, investing in at least one voltage converter (or international power adapter, as you may have heard it called) is an affordable alternative that allows you to continue using your existing belongings without issue.


Just as you did in the U.S. before the move, you may want to consider getting in touch with a financial planner and tax professional in your new country of residence. Although you should make sure to research how money works in your new location before making the move, you can't expect to know everything right away. It's important to have appropriate financial resources at hand to help you make smart decisions throughout your time there.


Moving Checklist

Save Money with Affordable Voltage Converters from 110220Volts


When moving abroad from the United States, you'll want to pick up a 110 to 220 converter, as your devices will be designed for the U.S. standard 110 volts while foreign outlets provide 220 volts. Fortunately, 110220Volts has great prices on all sorts of adapters from a variety of brands. We also offer a number of converters that step up and down between 220v-240v and 110v, as well as regulating voltage for a constant stream of electricity at the right voltage.


Wherever you plan to move and whatever your electrical needs will be when you get there, 110220Volts can help you adjust to life in a new country without having to replace your belongings. To learn more about our products or ask any questions you may have about electrical outlets and voltage converters, call us today at (800) 827-9978.




  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2016/11/01/your-5-step-money-guide-if-youre-thinking-of-moving-abroad/#49f5f8665c33
  2. http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/move-overseas-family/