Home » Currency 101 » 10 ways to ditch the grind and make an income abroad

Moving abroad’s your chance to enjoy the life you’ve always dreamed of, in your perfect home and the perfect location. And why shouldn’t that extend to making money, too? If you’re looking to ditch the daily grind for a job you love, or for the freedom of being your own boss, don’t miss our top 10 ways to make an income abroad. 

1. Holiday lets

You’ve got a fantastic asset already in the form of your new home, so make the most of it. If you’re only staying there for part of the year, why not rent it out as a holiday let while you’re not there, and help the property pay for itself. In many popular tourist areas, you can expect a yield of 6% or more and, with new services like Airbnb and Booking.com cutting out the marketing middleman, it’s relatively simple and affordable to manage lettings yourself.

Likewise, if you’re in your property full-time, but you have outbuildings, why not convert them into holiday accommodation? This especially common in countries like France, where there’s a strong gite culture. Many people who do this find it’s a win-win, with the financial benefits bolstered by the social benefit of meeting new people.

2. Property management

In the same vein, if you don’t necessarily want to rent out your own property, you can often easily pick up part-time or casual work in property managements for others. For a few hours of cleaning, checking change-overs, handing over keys and the like, you could have a small second income stream for the long-term. You could also find yourself house-sitting or doing casual maintenance on homes where the owners are absent for long periods and are not renting it out. A lot of this work will come to you by word of mouth, so it’s helpful to ask around in your local expat community.

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3. Blogging, copywriting and software work

If you have a way with words and an internet connection, there’s no reason you can’t earn yourself a tidy income anywhere in the world. Many copywriters work remotely, and you’ll find plenty of UK agencies and brands happy to take on people from anywhere around the world. In other words, you could find yourself earning a UK income while living somewhere with a much less pricey cost of living.

Likewise, if you have skills in software development or project management, you’ll find companies all over the world willing to take on remote workers. Most job sites now let you search by ‘remote’ or ‘home-working’, so give it a go. And, if you’re currently employed in one of these fields in the UK, it’s always worth proposing a move to working remotely with your current employer. The worst they can do is say no!

4. Teaching

Not only do you have a valuable asset in your property, but you also have a valuable skill as a native English speaker. If you have a TEFL or CELTA qualification, you should be able to find work teaching English relatively easily, either in one of the big companies like Berlitz or on a self-employed, private basis. Once you’re more settled into your local community, you might find your local secondary school will be happy to have you in as an assistant, even if they’re not officially hiring.

If you’re already a teacher in the UK with a PGCE, you can also look for work teaching your own subject in an international school. There are over seventy schools in Spain registered as following the British curriculum with the National Association of British Schools, for instance. Some countries – again, including Spain – have started pushing bilingualism much more strongly in their own state schools, and you may find opportunities to teach in English there, too.

5. Smallholding and food and drink

If you’re living in the countryside, why not try growing some of your own produce, or keeping animals like chickens? You will likely not make a huge return, but it can be immensely satisfying, and provide some extra cash. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you dreaming big: we have helped many of our clients over the years who have started successful businesses based on local produce, such as the MacColls who have set up their own premium craft gin business in Saint Amans, France.

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I think Smart is very good, you provide a really good, professional service, and I think that really helped to shorten the bureaucracy around setting up a business and managing the risk, which is a really important part of what happens when you move from one country to another.

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6. Estate agency

Working in property is another popular option for anyone moving abroad – after all, you understand the client base well, as you used to be one! You could either work as a self-employed agent/sales consultant, with the ability to set your own hours within reason, or you could work in the office functions of an estate agency, perhaps in their customer service centre on the telephones, or in marketing or administration.

If you have foreign language skills, either in the local language or in the language of a large expat community, such as German in Mallorca or Dutch in the Charente, you’ll be even better placed to make sales, being able to deal with non-British clients, too.

7. Sports and outdoor activities

Why not spend your working time enjoying the sun and warm weather? If you have skills in a particular sport, you could look for work coaching children and teenagers, or perhaps strike out on your own running classes, which you may even be able to offer in English as an added bonus.

Equally, don’t forget the tourist market. From yoga retreats to snorkelling experiences, there’s any number of activities you could offer self-employed to visitors. And, just like with renting out your property, promotion is easier than ever, whether on social media or on sites like Airbnb and Get Your Guide, which both now list the ‘best experiences’ in a given area.

8. Tour guiding

Again, the tourist market can be a boon here. If you’re not looking for year-round work, and you’d like to set your own hours and meet new people, why not give tour guiding a go and share your love for your new home? Even if you’re in a less-touristed area, you may find that actually works to your advantage, with less competition. Again, being multilingual will be a big help.

9. Customer service

Many companies now offer their customers an English-speaking service, and that means they need English-speaking reps. This could be in your local bank, working in a travel agency or even local supermarkets – Iceland in Spain looks for English-speakers, for example. The pay might be relatively low compared to the UK, but it’ll give you stable employment that you can leave behind the moment you leave work.

10. Construction and trades

If you have skills in the building industry, or a trade like plumbing, carpentry or electrical work, you’ll find these skills are in-demand the world over. And, if you’re in somewhere with a large number of overseas buyers, they’ll often be happier to deal with someone who speaks English rather than trying to explain the ins and outs of their plumbing system in another language.

Do note that, for a lot of trades, you will need to register yourself or prove the equivalence of your skills with the local authority. It’s mainly just a case of some paperwork, similar to coming to the UK from abroad.

Making your move and managing your income

We’re in a volatile time, what with Brexit, the general election, worries of a slowdown in Europe and more, so it’s crucial that you don’t just leave your money to chance. Whether you’re transferring over a lump sum to start a business, or you’re sending money internationally for payment or to savings accounts, a sudden drop in the markets could see you lose thousands.

Luckily, the solution is simple. A forward contract is a way to lock in today’s exchange rate for up to twelve months, so that, even if the markets drop, the exchange rate you get doesn’t change. As the current markets are about three percent above the markets, now is a good time to get started. Simply call your Personal Trader on 020 7898 0541 today, or register for an account today.

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