Before you move abroad, it can be valuable to spend some time thinking about your finances. By doing your research and making some preparations before you leave, you could find that you can reduce stress and potentially save some money, helping you to make the most of your new life in your new country straight away.

International money transfer specialists HiFX  shares three financial considerations you might want to think about before you make the move.

1. Understanding the cost of living

The cost of living can vary significantly from country to country and even town to town. It’s worth keeping this in mind when you are working out how much money you need to have available, as you could find it goes much further than you are used to – or not quite as far. Tools such as the Numbeo Cost of Living Comparison  can help you to understand how the cost of everything from a loaf of fresh bread to a month’s rent differs between your current and future home.

It might take some time to get your head around how these costs differ, particularly if you are also having to start thinking in two different currencies. Websites like  provide currency converters and other tools that can make it easier for you to understand the exchange rates.

2. Managing bank accounts

Before you move abroad, it might be helpful to seek some guidance from your bank. Sometimes you can maintain your current bank account even once you have moved abroad. This could be helpful if you have ongoing financial commitments in your current country, such as savings, mortgages, pensions or bills, or if you are planning to come back in future. You may also wish to consult a financial adviser to check if, for example, there are any tax implications you need to be aware of.

For some destinations, your bank may also be able to help you open a bank account in your new country before you arrive. Alternatively, you might wish to start contacting banks in your new home to see if they are able to assist you before your move, although this is easier in some countries than others.

Getting a bank account set up in your new country as soon as possible could help to make your arrival less stressful as it means your money should be available to you when you get there. It could also be more cost-effective for you because, while you may be able to access your current bank account from overseas, your bank may apply additional fees for services such as withdrawing cash or making card payments.

3. Transferring money between accounts

If you have a bank account in both your current and future countries, you can generally transfer money between the two accounts when you need to.

Many people assume that their bank will offer them the best deal for international money transfers, but this may not be the case. Banks sometimes apply large fees for these transactions, and you may also find there is a hidden charge in the form of a low exchange rate.

As an alternative, you may wish to consider using an international money transfer specialist such as HiFX , who don’t apply fees to their transfers* and could offer you a more competitive exchange rate than your bank.

Services such as HiFX can also offer a range of transfer options, such as automated regular payment plans to help you transfer a mortgage or pension, or forward contracts that can enable you to secure an exchange rate for a set period of time for larger transfer such as a property sale or purchase.

It’s quick and easy to sign up for a HiFX account, with no obligation to trade. You’ll also gain access to all the tools and information you need to monitor exchange rates. Get started or find out more here .

*HiFX charges no transfer fees whatsoever. However, charges may occasionally be applied by a third party bank when transferring the funds to HiFX or before the funds arrive in the recipient account.

HiFX Europe Limited is working in partnership with Expat Forum.
HiFX Europe Limited is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2017, registration 462444, for the provision of payment services. HiFX is also a registered MSB with HM Revenue & Customs. Registration number 12131222. This document is for information purposes only and is not intended as a solicitation for funds or a recommendation to trade. HiFX accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damages suffered through any act or omission taken as a result of reading or interpreting any of the above information. HiFX is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 3517451. Registered office: Maxis 1, Western Road, Bracknell, Berkshire RG2 1RT.