One of the biggest issues that expats have regarding their personal finance is being able to move their money from their home country to their current country of residence. Many think that since we are now at the digital age it would be much easier but on the contrary, there is still many gaps in the personal finance world that needs to be addressed.
The most common way of going about finances is physically bringing money from your home country to your country of residence. The problem is, there are many international laws regarding the transfer and physical carriage of money. Aside from fear of losing the cash you are carrying, the exchange rate would also be a problem because the fluctuations and the areas where you can exchange the foreign currency for the local currency may be few and far between with the volume of money you may be bringing along.
The following are some of the options available to make personal transfers of funds easier to properly manage the finances of the expat in a foreign country:
- Finding the bank to transfer your funds. Many think that banks would have a far reach with regards to the personal finances of its clients. This is not so true. You need to find out from your home country’s bank as to the affiliations it has with the local banks in your current country of residence. Also, find out the transfer costs if it is too expensive for your money to be transferred in this manner. You may end up paying very high rates for one particular affiliate bank in an out of the way area just so you can receive your funds when in the local country.
- Using online transfer facilities. There are many available options nowadays as to transfer personal funds through online systems. These include Paypal, Xoom or Western Union. Like banks, finding the branch where you can pick up your transferred funds as well as the exchange rates and administrative costs may lower the overall value of your money. While these facilities are quite popular, they offer less than market rates and you may end up receiving your funds in the local currency instead of the original currency.
- Using a foreign exchange broker. Foreign exchange brokers are individual financial advisors that practice money exchange. In their field, they have contacts that receive money from the home country and then upon communication they would provide the money to the expat in the local country. Not only are they much less expensive than banks or other facilities, they offer higher exchange rates. Just look for a trustworthy broker where you can entrust your money to reach its destination through private means.
As can be seen, moving money from the home country to the current country of residence is but one of the major issues that expats have to learn about. If the current country of residence is one of the popular ones, then transferring money would be easy, albeit a little expensive. If the country is in the Third World or the former East bloc countries, then it would be a little more difficult. What is important though is doing your research to make the right decision regarding your personal finances when you move your money around as an expat.