Being an expatriate or shortly called as an expat is not easy. Just try to imagine. You’re not at your homeland. You are so far that not even a single car ride would take you home. You have to work harder so that you could earn a living and you could help your family back home. With all the possible loneliness and pressure that they have to go through on their own, it is inevitable that they would feel that as if there is a need for them to learn how to manage everything correctly. Specifically, finances or also commonly known as personal budgeting.
Finances are one of the top priority for expats. Monthly, as they get their salary, they would usually divide their income into where they are supposed to be allotted. They pay their bills, they send money to their families, and they try to as much as possible, save.
Although at times, they find it difficult to handle these, they still try it out because they know that every penny they spend is precious for it is equivalent to every minute that they are away from their respective families. So, financing now becomes a little bit more challenging than the usual.
That’s why if there is one thing that would like to share to you now as an expat, I would like to share something about proper budgeting for you to be able to manage your finances properly. With the help of some tips and tricks, I am pretty sure that you can efficiently make it.
1. Study your costs for bills
If it is possible for you to cut some monthly bills or to merely reduce them, then, by all means, do so. May it be the internet, water, or electricity bill, just a little sacrifice on these aspects would help you maximize saving potentials and save a lot of money on a monthly basis.
As for those who are renting rooms in a flat, if it is okay with you to do a share with someone you personally know from work so that you won’t have to pay it all on your own, then, by all means, do so. But if you somehow want to do it on your own for privacy purposes, try to choose a place that will be within your budget range. All you have to do is cut a little out of the ordinary monthly dues, and you are good to go.
2. Strategize your shopping gigs
You do not have to join a very shopping craze being offered by malls and shopping markets. At times, when malls offer 25% up to 50% of discount to this shopping items, you get to be so indulged to it so much so that you buy every item your hands can grab. To aid this budgeting tips, then you have to let go of this kind of habit. Shopping would only fill your closet with clothes that you could wear occasionally. Savings would never be out of fad.
3. Avoid using your credit card
Credit cards would most of the time give you the impression that you can spend as much as you want. Only to realize later on that it just makes you spend beyond what you can pay. In line with this, you have to avoid using your credit card as much as you can because this could only make you overspend.
Jeffrey Strain wrote on his blog;
The main problem is that credit card companies make their money when you make financial mistakes with your credit card and thus encourage you to fall into debt.
If you are a credit card swipaholic I would suggest to start using cash to purchase your personal necessities so that you discipline yourself to save money.
4. Plan your meals
Here is no need for you to try every dining restaurant or food parks out there. If you know that it is not a meal time or there is no specific occasion to celebrate, then you could reduce trying out different meal options. Remember that when you make some food trips without any reason, you do not only over-spend, you also develop poor eating habits. This will be good for your health and to your wealth! You could actually contribute a lot to your personal budgeting goal. If you know how to manage your meals.
You can also make a plan for your other daily necessities and prepare a personal budgeting for them.
5. Do not belittle yourself
As an expat, you might at times think that you are poor and that you suffer a lot without treating yourself. The truth is, you are not! You do it out of love, not out of any self-serving purposes. So, there is no need for you to look so little of yourself because by doing this, you will only over-spend in making yourself feel comfortable. Do not look lowly of your situation because you’re far luckier and blessed than those who do not work or eat at all.
6. Go for side jobs
Admit it or not, being an expat entails taking multiple positions! They work full-time in the morning, they make an extra job in the evening, and they also grab some work gigs on the weekdays! Remember that for as long as your health and personal wellness permits, you can always try this out. This will enable you to earn and save more as you do multiple jobs. For as long as you’re healthy to do it and you’re happy to get more work, you’re on the right track.
7. Save some pennies
You might be thinking now that these are just coins and they do not matter that much. Well, if you will keep those pennies or coins with you together and every month, deposit them on your bank account, you will be shocked at how much you could save out of these coins.
I would suggest to get a piggy bank and maintain putting the coins every day. This way you are able to discipline yourself on saving regularly, doing this on daily basis it could become a habit and eventually become normal to you. And you will see the impact on your life doing it the whole course of your life.
8. Do not join the bandwagon
By bandwagon means joining the trend. Being in a trend does not expect that things will last for a long time. Most are only temporal. So, why spend your hard-earned cash on something that will pass through in a blink of an eye? What I am trying to say here is that, do not be easily be persuaded with what is hot in the market.
9. Set your priorities
Working on your preferences and making sure that you target them on a daily or monthly basis is something that you should do. What are your priorities? What do you want to focus on? Is it your family’s monthly support? Is it your savings? Is it for health purposes? Whatever that may be, come up with a concrete list of it and make sure that you accomplish them on time. Remember, to learn how to do personal budgeting should always be part of your priorities!
10. Use coupons
This may be funny for some, but do you know that the coupons you see in your newspaper and even magazines could do the magic? All you have to do is collect those coupons, cut them out, and bring them with you once you decided to use them. And voila! It is going to be an additional saving for you.
Budgeting as an expat is not easy at all because you get to be pressured to buy a lot of things for yourself and your family. All you have to do is to always remember that you can do it for as long as you always remind yourself that you are responsible and disciplined enough to do it. In that case, personal budgeting will become a natural thing for you! You can make the most of you being an expat since you know that you do not only provide your family with what they need, you also get to save a lot as an anticipation of the future.
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Do you follow the above budgeting tips? You can share your own budgeting ideas below.