As a new expat, there are plenty of things to think about.
You’ll need the right visa or permit, a job, somewhere to live, family arrangements to make, insurance and health care to think about, culture shock, mobile phones, the logistics of the move itself, figuring out whether you still need to lodge an Australian tax return – and so much more.
But believe it or not, we’ve hardly even touched upon perhaps the most important consideration of all: money. So take a read of four banking tips for Aussie expats below.
Unless you’re absolutely made of money, blowing a few dollars here and there on something as seemingly innocuous as a small fee can add up to the point of pain – or worse.
Want to know a few of the areas that are notorious for getting missed when it comes to expat banking and finance? Read on:
1. ATM fees
In short, if you don’t check every time you use an ATM, you could be slugged. So make sure you check with your bank, and if possible switch immediately to a local one.
2. Bank fees
Too many expats choose a bank for their expat life simply because they’ve heard of it before. But they can actually be the most expensive options. It’s likely that, with a bit of research and inside knowledge, you can find a savings account with low fees and a great interest rate.
3. Transaction fees
Continuing your old credit card habits could cost you big over time. Did you know that if you used your local card in your new country, you could be paying transaction fees of up to 3% at a time?
4. Exchange rates
On the other hand, using a credit card is one of the best ways to ensure a great and up-to-date currency exchange rate. Just make sure any benefit is not being offset by those fees we talked about earlier.
As an expat, you’re more than likely to be sending money home – and probably regularly, for whatever reason. International money transfers can be pricey, but there are some great and innovative new options around at the moment for extremely low-fee transfers.
As overseas-based Aussie accountants who specialise in expat advice, Expat Tax Services know all about making your travels work from a financial point of view. To find out how we can help you, get in touch today.