If you move from a very wealthy country to a less prosperous one, you can easily cut your expenses. You can live a better life while spending far less. However, the costs of moving country and immigrating can be quite high – so it is important for you to be savvy about your move. We have put together the four most important ways on how you can save money when emigrating to another country.
- Moving and transportation cost
One of the major and immediate expense when relocating to another country you face is paying an international moving company to move your belongings from your home to another country. In principal the costs depend on the following factors: the amount of luggage you move, the distance between the places your belongings are moved in-between and the means of transport you are choosing. Air freight will arrive within a couple of days while moving your items by ship or long freight can take weeks.
The main way you can save here is by deciding on what is most important for you and where you can make compromises: do you need you items to arrive quickly (expensive) or can you allow some time for them to arrive (cheaper option). Also, there can be big differences between what companies are charging for the very same service.
Once you have started packing your belongings and identified the exact quantity of the items (e.g. 20 moving boxes sized 18" x 18" x 24", 1 bed, 1 chest of drawers,…) the best way to compare costs is to google for moving companies and obtain a definitive quote for the move by mail by at least five companies. You will be surprised about the differences between the cheapest and most expensive option: out of personal experience the most expensive company would charge up to 5-times as much as the cheapest one!
- Housing fees
If you are planning your arrival carefully, there are additional tricks how you can save money: most of us will not be able to find a good permanent and cheap rental property from a distance. House hunting takes time and effort. So in order to find the most suitable and cheap place to stay permanently, you might want to try to stay at a temporary place upon your initial arrival:
- Airbnb: this widely known service allows you to rent a room or apartment from a day to many month and is used by many expats to bridge a few days or weeks for house-hunting
- Renting a short let: there are many options of renting a fully furnished flat for a shorter period of time (generally between 1 and 3 months) in any major city. Just google it.
Once you have found a permanent place to stay, you will need to be aware of how the local housing market works and what taxes and fees are involved to get settled (e.g. estate agent fees, taxes, council fees,.. which can vary widely from country to country). Make sure you understand all fees, charges and taxes you will be liable for in advance of signing a contract for the housing you will be using.
- Visa fees
Moving to another country to work or study can mean that you need to apply for a visa, unless you’re moving within the EU, which allows you to move between countries visa-free. Obtaining a visa usually involves a significant amount of paper work and the payment of sometimes quite substantial fees.
Visa fees also normally fall due every time you need to renew your visa. Depending on your nationality, visas to stay in e.g. in the UK can cost over £1,000.
The solution here is to thoroughly study the visa condition for the country you’re considering to move to at the very beginning of you moving plans and try obtain information based on people’s personal experience rather than relying on embassy information only.
We recommend to check online message boards and forums where people share experience and visa agents they have been successfully using. There will be unfortunately not a lot of options to lower the costs for visas as they are fixed by the relevant governments.
- Journey and flight comparison
Once you have budgeted your visa requirements, the transportation of your belongings and any temporary housing, it is time to look for the most efficient way to travel. To compare various means of transport by time and costs you can use the website www.rome2rio.com : simply type in your current location, your destination and the date of travel and Rome2Rio will display time and costs for bus journeys, train journeys, plane and car travel.
In case you only would like to compare flights, www.skyscanner.net Is the most comprehensive flight comparison portal.
By planning the means of transport and comparing them well ahead of your departure, you will be able to save a significant amount of money which you can use upon your arrival.
Enjoy your trip!