Spring is the time for new beginnings and exciting projects. Such as moving abroad. But while emigrating has rarely been easier, avoiding becoming a “boomerang Brit” who comes flying back too soon requires careful planning. Keeping your finances on a firm footing will help you settle in and enjoy your new start, and that’s where Smart can help.
For many of us, moving abroad is an exciting project. For younger people starting lives in Australia, Canada or New Zealand, for professionals starting new jobs from New York to Cupertino to Singapore, or for older people looking forward to a healthy retirement in Spain or Cyprus, easy transport and the internet mean that leaving family and friends at home isn’t quite the wrench it used to be, while the sunshine is as tempting as ever.
But being short of money is never fun. And neither is feeling you’re wasting a fortune. Smart can help in several ways. Firstly, we can fix the exchange rate. That means that you can budget effectively. Because while your own bad planning can scupper your successful move abroad, so can outside interference. For example, an economic or political problem that weakens the pound.
Secondly, it can take a while to settle in. In our “home” country we maybe take for granted which bills we can wait until the red reminder and which we have to settle immediately! Do that in some countries and you could face some hefty penalties. Fortunately we can automate those payments while you get on with something more fun.
When moving abroad you may have income from a home in the UK you’re renting out, or investment and pension income. Maybe you’re still doing a bit of freelance work for your old company. (How nice that your old colleagues imagine you working on the beach while they’re in the office!).
But if your income is from one country and your expenditure in another with a different currency, you need a way to make those transfers cost effectively. Banks can charge large sums per transfer, while doing it on an ad hoc basis could leave you short, as well as being time consuming (and boring!).
A Regular Payments Plan automates those payments so your money arrives each month, quarter of week without you needing to worry about it. They can be set to arrive at a particular payee, such as your landlord, or just to come into your bank account.
Fixing the rate
Helpful as a Regular Payments Plan is, changing exchange rates will mean that you’ll never know how much your sterling income will be worth abroad. They will be moving up and down a percentage point or two every day, and by as much as five or ten percent over the course of a few months.
No problem, just set them with a Forward Contract – on payment of a small deposit. This will remove all the uncertainty from your payments and mean you can budget more effectively.