Each year, thousands of Americans move overseas. There are many reasons why so many citizens are choosing an international destination when they relocate. According to NAFSA: The International Association of Educators, Trends in U.S. Study Abroad indicate that over 313,000 American students move overseas to pursue higher education opportunities.
In addition to education, some move because of job prospects. Others have always wanted to travel and experience what life is like living in another country that has a different language, customs, culture and food than what they have grown accustomed to in the United States.
From dealing with moving companies to finding a place to live, the following are a few strategies that can help folks save on their next overseas move:
One easy way to save money on an overseas move is to simply reduce the number of items that you will pack and take with you. Consider paring down your items to only take the essentials, and either store, sell or give away the rest.
If you do sell some of your possessions, consider using the proceeds to help pay for your move. You could also consider using the money that you make to start an emergency fund. Depending on how much you make when you sell your items, you could even use it to start a business on the side or invest it to generate a passive income stream. This way, even when you move, you will have more flexibility in your budget as passive income adds to the money that comes into your household.
Negotiate a Fixed Price and Save with a Package Deal
When you are moving, there are many ways that hidden costs can eat away at the funds that you have set aside for your move. In the event that everything that you own is coming along when you move it can save you time, money and a lot of hassle if you work with professional movers that offer international moving service options.
This way, you can take advantage of the lower rates for shipping that the company has negotiated with other vendors throughout the moving process. This makes it possible to receive special discounted prices. This is because everything is part of the package and gives you a “locked-in” price, versus having to haggle and negotiate with multiple moving providers resulting in a hodge-podge of arrangements and services where costs easily swing out of control.
Finding a Place to Live
Finding an affordable, and safe, place to live overseas can be a bit tricky, especially if you don't have any previous connections in the country where you are relocating. The cost of living in many European countries, for example, is often much higher than it is in cities of a similar size and type in the U.S.
Of course, if you have moved to attend school overseas, your institution of higher learning will likely have dorm rooms for students. In large cities, this can be more economical than renting a home on your own.
Another way to reduce your cost of living abroad is to choose to work in the personal services industries and choose positions that include room and board. For example, in positions such as that of an au pair, English teacher, or housekeeper, you will likely live on site in the home or dorm of the school where you work. Working arrangements like these are not uncommon, and can dramatically reduce the cost to quit a job to move to Italy or other popular international destination.
Websites and apps like Airbnb also have international listings for short-term rentals, such as bed and breakfasts and hostels, as well as listings for long-term leases. Being able to compare prices online is another way to be able to easily search for a dwelling that's affordable and within your budget.
Be Flexible and Stay Positive
Regardless of how far you move from your existing home, every move requires a bit of adjustment and getting used to the way things are done in a new location. Adopting a flexible, positive attitude will make this transition period easier on you.
Don't remain mired in traditions and the way that you “always” did things in the past. While you might miss your old home very much, trying to maintain the old customers of your former lifestyle can get very expensive. Learn to adapt, keep an open mind, and follow local customs when it comes to what you eat, how you travel and even what you wear. Doing so will make the transition easier, and less costly!