An expatriate lifestyle can be exciting, adventurous and rewarding. Most people living abroad often find that the years spent away from their home country are usually the most financially rewarding of their lives. However, even as their careers flourish and bank accounts expand, most expats are usually too busy to create a financial plan.
Most expats find themselves easily caught up in the lifestyle. Whether it is taking more holidays, living in a better house or hiring extra help, it is quite easy that at the end of your stay, you find that you have nothing tangible to show for it.
To prevent this, we highly recommend that you organise your finances as soon as possible. Here is a simple guide for expat financial planning:
Step 1: Establish your personal and financial goals
To create a financial plan as an expat, the first thing you need to understand is your goals and aspiration. This way, you can create a plan that will help you achieve what you want in life.
Start by establishing some short to long term goals. Just like any goal setting, set priorities for each of these objectives to understand what needs to be achieved first and what can wait. Some of the common goals that you can set include;
- Educational goals
- Occupational goals
- Lifestyle goals
- Residential goals
- Retirement goals
Step 2: Organize your files
It is paramount that you develop a filing system for documenting and saving your finances. You can have the file either as a physical repository or a computer. Whichever you choose, make sure to create a backup system, just in case anything happens.
Some of the documents to keep include receipts, pay slips, statements, contracts, deeds, wills, policies, titles and any other thing related to your financial state.
Step 3: Create a Budget
When creating a financial plan, it is important that you build a budget. A budget will help you identify how much you are earning, how much you spend, and how much is left for saving.
A budget is a great financial tool that lets you understand your financial situation every month. Fortunately, there are many apps that can help you put your earnings and expenditures and measure them against your goals.
Step 4: Manage your Budget
Once you get started on a budget, over time, you will be able to see what changes you can make to bring your costs of expenses in line with your goals.
Step 5: Set Time Frames
A financial plan would not be complete, or rather effective if you don’t set a time frame. Start by assigning short term goals of up to 2 years, medium ones of approximately 5 years and long term goals of 10 years.
Step 6: Income Allocation
Once you have taken into consideration your expenses and where you can make adjustments, try to figure out how much money you can assign to different financial objectives and personal priorities.
Step 7: Evaluate your Financial Plan
With time, you will be able to appraise your plan to check whether it is helping you achieve your ultimate financial goals or not. Use this information to decide on whether to refine the plan to meet your financial objectives sooner or if you can loosen it a little bit to have some extra expenditure money to enjoy. If new opportunities that increase your income have risen, evaluate them against your plan to see if you can make any informed changes.
Step 8: Protect your financial future by investing in property
Being an expat opens an array of tax-efficient investment opportunities for you. To protect your financial future, carefully consider investing in property to build your wealth. For instance, if you plan to return to your country after a few years, you can purchase some property back at home that you can rent out while you are overseas. This is a great long-term investment idea. Just make sure you have a reliable property manager to handle your investments.
Also, ensure that you find a fast, reliable, and affordable international money transfer service provider like DeeMoney to help you with bulk and frequent money transfers whenever you want to invest back at home. The DeeMoney app is a fast and secure money transfer service in Thailand that offers competitive transfer charges in the market. Expats living in Thailand can take advantage of DeeMoney’s fixed money transfer fees when sending money to their home countries whenever they need to invest.
The process of meeting your financial goals in life involves proper planning and management of your finances. Having a financial plan will give you peace of mind knowing that you are taking the proper steps towards a stable financial future and that you will have something to show for your time overseas, apart from great photos and stories.