Foreign Exchange for Expats

Why you should think about it before moving

Foreign Exchange for Expats

We know it's boring, but trust us when we say that taking the time to think about this issue will be of great monetary value to you.

We can guarantee that if you're thinking about taking the plunge and moving abroad; currency exchange won't be the first thing on your mind. In fact, it's probably quite far down on your mental list of things to do. You're likely far more concerned with thinking about exactly which sun, sea and sand to go for! Once that decision's made, we know that there are all sorts of other considerations you're going to need to take into account too. Employment for instance, along with accommodation and what you're going to do about the kids' education.

Do bear in mind, though, that all of these decisions really should be made taking foreign exchange  rates into account. Many soon to be expats have a destination in mind long before they decide to actually go for it – but the exchange rate of such a destination can make a big impact on the quality of life you'll have once you get there. However – if you have your heart set on a certain location, whether it's the South of France or the Western coast of Australia - don't panic. With some good research and some good advice on foreign currency exchange; you can ensure that you get as much bang for your buck as possible.

Of course, you'll have exchanged currency before. Perhaps you normally take a trip to the high street before you take a trip abroad, or maybe you just withdraw money from cash machines once you reach your destination. Either way, though both of these methods are fine for exchanging small amounts of currency – they're not good enough when you're planning to make more significant exchanges.

Let us put this into context for you. If you're moving abroad and looking to buy property, you're going to be exchanging a large amount. All vendors will want to be paid in their local currency – which means that you have some decisions to make to ensure that as little as possible of your budget is lost to exchange rates.

As an example, let's say you have a budget of 200,000 GBP and you're moving to the Eurozone . With what is currently a fairly standard high street rate of 1.14 Euros to the Pound, you'll end up with a final budget of 228,000 EUR. Alternatively, if you were to get a much better foreign exchange rate of 1.18 Euros to the Pound (just four pence more) you'd end up with a total budget of 236,000 EUR. To save you doing the sums, the difference is 8,000 EUR.

As you can see, it can be well worth your while to shop around, bide your time, and make sure you get the best possible foreign currency exchange rate when exchanging large sums to start your new life overseas. Good luck!

This article has been submitted by Katie Anderson

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