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A big advantage associated with being an expat is that moving abroad can bring you a substantial increase in your salary and many expat ‘perks’ – like having your children’s education and even the rental on your accommodation paid for. In fact, many expats embrace the expat lifestyle in order to try and save as much money as possible, so they can return to their home country in a far better financial position than when they left.

Unfortunately, expats can also quickly get absorbed in ‘high-living’ expat social circles where savings can quickly be depleted on lavish lifestyle habits and expensive retail opportunities. If you’ve got a wise head on your shoulders, you’ll try and maximise your expat salary with these top tips.

Make the most of your expat salary with these top money-saving tips

Live within your means

You no doubt lived within a budget on your old salary, so keep up the habit in your new country. Set a strict budget where you can still enjoy a good quality of life and save a substantial amount of money. To create a realistic budget, look at all your living expenses (without the extras of champagne and caviar) and work out a comfortable living budget.

Become accountable

Yes, it can be tedious going through your expenses at the end of every month – but unless you do, you won’t know if you are exceeding your budget by spending on unnecessary items. You might even discover the budget you have set is too strict and doesn’t allow for essential items. In which case, redo your budget and monitor it accordingly.

Set a savings goal

It’s very rewarding to watch your savings grow, particularly if you have a target goal you are aiming for. If you have a goal in mind, you’ll be less likely to dip into your savings for unnecessary purchases.

Get tax savvy

In most western countries and many eastern ones, expats are not exempt from paying tax on the salary they earn in their new country. In order to get a clear understanding of how much money you will be able to save each month, it’s essential you have clarity on your net income – your income after tax.

Network and network some more

Find a circle of expats who live a similar lifestyle to your own and are equally committed to responsible saving. Speak to them about prices and how to save money. You’ll find there are many expat online portals that will have ideas on where you can find bargains and good value.

Live like a local

Local residents will know the best places to shop for food. In many countries, this will be the local market where you can find fresh produce on a daily basis. They’ll also know where the best places to live are, if you are looking for reasonable rentals.

Open up an offshore bank account

Offshore bank accounts enable expats to manage their investments and savings in a tax-efficient way and have many products that are aimed at people with international lifestyles. They will be able to offer you better exchange rates if you are sending money back home and investment opportunities you won’t find in your local banks.

If you’re thinking of immigrating or are an expat abroad and need advice concerning your finances, contact us today. We’re here to help you unlock your South African wealth and put you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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