cost of living

Figuring out the cost of living overseas

The cost of living when moving overseas can certainly be expensive, and even more so if you don’t plan efficiently. Becoming an expat in a foreign place is daunting enough without having to worry about money issues. The best way to avoid any money related stress when moving internationally is by planning out your living expense costs before you get there.

We’ve come up with a few considerations it’s best to think about before the big move.

School fees

Will you be sending your children to a private school or a public one? International schools can be rather expensive, so research what kind of schooling is available in the new country before the move, and factor these costs into your budget.

Transport

Will you need to purchase a car when you arrive at your new destination? Or will public transport suffice? Take a look at the car market – whether you plan on purchasing first or second hand – and also see how much it costs to take a taxi in your new destination.

Property rental

Will your work be subsidising your rental costs when you arrive at your new home? If so, great! If not, this is another cost – potentially the biggest one – you’ll need to think about it before the big move.

Groceries

In some countries, like those in Asia, groceries are relatively cheap. But if you’re emigrating to Europe, you can expect to pay a lot more for your weekly shop. Don’t forget to include these expenses in your budget too.

Leisure activities

Of course, being in a new country, you’re going to want to go out and explore what this new destination has to offer. This could include dinners in nice restaurants, tickets to theme parks or simply trips to the beach. If the weather is going to be warm in the country you’re moving too, this might reduce costs, as you can enjoy free outdoor activities, such as going for a walk in the park, rather than having to fork out cash for indoor experiences.

Healthcare

Healthcare costs vary widely depending on what country you’ll be living in. One thing is for sure though – you’re going to want to have health insurance no matter where you go so you’re always covered in the event of an accident or ill health.

We hope these guidelines have given you some things to consider before the big move. Do you have any categories to add? Let us know in the comments below! Oh and don’t forget to consider your taxes too! And if you need assistance with your Australian tax return, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Shane Macfarlane
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Shane Macfarlane

CEO & Founder at Expat Tax Services
Shane's an Australian Chartered Accountant and Australian expat tax specialist who's also an expat himself (based in Asia).Shane's passionate about tax and legitimate tax minimisation, particularly as it relates to Australian expats who are often subject to high rates of tax back home in Australia.Beyond tax and accounting, Shane's an entrepreneur, having devised, created and founded a successful accounting startup, Fifo Workpapers (acquired by accounting software giant, Intuit inc. in 2013)

In short Shane's a tax and software techno-geek, who recognised that Australian expats were unable to obtain the specialist advice and quality service, that they needed from their accountants. Accordingly, Shane founded Expat Tax Services to provide Australian expats with access to specialist, quality advice at fair and reasonable prices (no hourly rates, fees quoted upfront with unlimited support included) . . . receive the support and advice you need without having to take second-mortgage to pay your accountant's bill! Speak to Shane & the team today.
Shane Macfarlane
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