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How To Save Money While Living Abroad

May 6, 2014

A Step by Step Guide on How To Budget Whilst Living Abroad

Studying, living, relocating or retiring abroad can be an amazing and inspiring experience. It can also be a costly one, especially if you are not all that familiar with the country of choice. How To Save Money While Living Abroad

However, living abroad does not have to break the bank. Just like anywhere else, you can learn to live on less and save money while living abroad.

Learn to Save Money When You’re Abroad

Making & Sticking To A Budget

No matter where you are or what country, you will need to learn how to create a budget and stick with it. Different budgets show up differently for each individual and family. If you are a student for example, your budget will probably need more funding for books and social events than for other items. On the other hand, a family will undoubtedly have higher housing expenses and food bills.

So, create a budget that works for you. Make sure you allocate some money for leisure and entertainment but keep your budget aimed at the higher necessities.

Creating a budget is only half the battle. Once you make that budget, you also have to stick to it. And, if you find it difficult, have an accountability partner – for example, a friend or spouse who will hold you accountable for your budget.

There are so many excellent budget apps to use on your phone and they have definitely made budgeting much easier than it used to be.


If you need to transfer money abroad from time to time, your best bet is to do some research and see which service is best for you. Traditional banks and walk-in service centers are typically the most expensive.

Try to locate a trustworthy money transfer service that will save you money for these recurring transfers and/or payments. It will be well worth the time and effort to find a good reliable service before moving abroad.

You will be surprised at those hidden commissions and add-on fees banks and other institutions may charge you.

The following video explains your four main options.

Housing Arrangements

Whether you are retiring or a student studying abroad, you may want to consider the buddy system. Having a roommate is something hundreds of thousands of individuals do in the name of saving money.

For retirees, house-sharing is not all that uncommon. Many retirees will pay expenses for a certain portion of the year in a vacation home abroad and share the other half with another family. For students, buddying up means saving costly room and board expenses as well. While buddying up is not for everyone, you will never know unless you try.

For specific links and tips, check out the accommodation section of this blog post: Moving Abroad – 100+ Helpful Resources, Guides and Websites.


If you are living abroad, the inclination might be to eat out just about every night. How To Save Money When Living Overseas

However, you will quickly see how expensive this can become. Try to learn how to cook the food of the culture you are living in and you will probably be pleasantly surprised at how much extra money you have at the end of the week.

So, as you can see there are ways to save money while still enjoying yourself when living abroad.


If you are retiring, relocating or studying abroad, chances are that there is still a lot for you to explore. Walking on foot, taking public transportation or riding a bicycle are all options for getting to your destination, but also for exploring your new territory.


Good luck with your new life and have fun!

Remember, for more good ideas and handy links, check out: Moving Abroad – 100+ Helpful Resources, Guides and Websites.

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