The Most Difficult thing as an expat is not living without your loved ones but to save money as an expat.
Even you get X3 or 4 times extra money as an expat as compared to your home country but saving is difficult but we have to make hard discussions in our life to save money for our vocations, Kids Education, Supporting Parents & Family, Study, or learning a Skills, Saving for Hard times in case of a global recession or pandemic like corona that several millions of people lost their job. So ultimately we have to save some stuff to manage the above crises & goals.
but I am going to tell you the Ultimate list of How to save money as expat.
Track it if you want to save it
The first thing I learned during my 52 weeks challenge to save is to track money. if you are not tracking your expenses, Money spent on Travelling, Money spent on eating out, your Mobile usage then you will never release how much you spent every month on useless things.
During my graduation, we had a chance to take Accounting & Finance as a subject to get a degree. After 2 weeks of study, I start tracking my spent & it opens a whole new world to me. I stop spending on unnecessary things & after tracking continuously for 3 months I saved a lot & got the habit of saving money.
So I would say if you want to save money, Please Please Please Start Tracking it you will see the difference.
For Tracking spending the best app to track spending is budgetbakers with an app & web app. if you want a more sophisticated type of software then Waveapp provided a free account for life I would recommend using that
Create Short Goals
If you want to save Money create short goals. like you want to go to Malaysia as your yearly vacation with beloved Wife you have to plan it.
let’s suppose these expenses
1. Flight ( Costing $800.
2. Hotel stay ( Costing $300 for 3 nights).
3. Eating+ Moving around the cities ( $300)
A total of $1400 is the cost we suppose for our yearly vacation.
So if my Monthly salary is $3000 & yearly salary of $36,000. I need $116 every month to save $1400 a year for vacations.
So if you want to save money start creating small goals & achieve them each month if you want to take $1400 from your $3000 in a single month while you have to do rents, Grocery bla bla bla , it wouldn’t be possible. Keep it Short & simple.
Round of your Account/ Wallet
Always keep an emergency fund account & keep it adding money that is rounded off from Grocery, Laundry, Shopping, eating out, etc.
E.g you are eating out today & got a bill of $74 Now you will get a change of $26 Bill from the restaurant so we will consider it as an $80 bill & save $6 in our Emergency, Saving account.
So Keep adding funds to your saving account so that can be used in your hard times.
Transfer Remitences between 10-15 of the Month
Always Transfer Remittances after 10-15 of the month. if you get salary on the 1st or around 5th of each month transfer rates are low as most of the expats need to transfer money to their family back home so these exchanges services lower the conversion rate & earn from that, later after week rates are increased to encourage expat to send more So always send between those dates when rates are high.
Book Flights in advance
If you need to return to your home country plan it in advance so you can save on several things. One of the first saving you can do is to book your flight in advance by comparing the prices of different flights. Try Flightcompare.com or Expedia to find the best rates & you will always get the best prices if you book 2-3 weeks earlier.
Turn to tech
There are some great finance apps out there. if you struggle to find the best deals, Coupon or offers turn to Amazon, Aliexpress, etc ( Name can be different based on your country) to find the best deals. Create a shopping list So whenever there is the lowest price on your specified item you will get a push notification from the app to purchase it now.
List your items before visiting Markets
Never visit supermarkets for groceries before creating a list of items that you need to purchase. If you need something that is essential you can’t live without that write it down, break it down to 3 Categories.
1. Essentials. you can’t live without that.
2. You can survive a few days or not nessearry at all.
3. Luxury, buying a new Phone or Playstation ( of course you can Survive I know :0)
Never add items that are not in your list, precise this twice & you will see a lot of difference in your grocery bills.