Some Helpful Tips for Managing Money When You’re Overseas

Spending a significant amount of time abroad can be a fantastic adventure.

When most people first start on their journey, they focus on the obvious positives like embracing a different culture, seeing the sights and meeting new people.

But whether you’re studying overseas, retiring abroad or just planning an extended vacation, there are a lot of challenges you’ll have to face as well. Expats and long term vacationers often talk about how homesickness and culture shock can be much more difficult than they’d ever imagined.

Then throw money into the mix and you’ve got some huge headaches. With that in mind, here are some ideas to help make managing money when you’re overseas just that much easier.

Cash is King

Pick up some cash in the local currency before you travel. That way, you’ll hit the ground in your new country with some peace of mind. It’s always possible that there won’t be an ATM in the airport, and there’s always a chance that your bank card won’t work in a bank machine in a foreign country.

Travelex Australia is a great place to start, as they offer cash in almost any currency you can imagine, and you can pick up your cash in store or at the airport. There’s no limit on the amount of currency you can take out of Australia, but you must declare any amount over 10,000 in Australian currency or a foreign currency equivalent.

Tips: You can find Travelex stores at many travel agents, CBD locations, and suburban and key tourist areas, and they have offices in most major airports in Australia.

Moving Money Around

If you’re spending a significant amount of time abroad you’ll likely have two bank accounts: one at home and one abroad. Getting money between the two accounts can be tricky, so it’s helpful to know a few things to look for in a good company that handles money transfers.

  1. Look for a company that will let you make regular payments. Setting up regular payments can save you a lot of time, rather than having to set up the same payment every month.
  2. Find a company that will let you look at the exchange rate up front and lock in that specific rate.
  3. Make sure you can do all of your transfers online. Waiting in a bank, especially in a country where you may not speak the language fluently, can waste endless hours.
  4. Try to make sure that your money transfer company offers 24 hour support. You may be in a completely different time zone when you need help, so it’s almost essential not to have to wait on the office hours of someone halfway across the world.

Do you have any tips for managing your money when you’re overseas? We’d love to hear them.

Photo by Martin Howard on Flickr.



3 Responses to “Some Helpful Tips for Managing Money When You’re Overseas”
  1. Alisha says:

    Great tips! I will be book marking this!

  2. Great tips! One thing to consider is making sure the paper money is as new, wrinkle and harmfree as possible. For instance, in Ecuador, where I live, people, and banks, won’t accept old, wrinkled or torn paper money.

  3. What great tips for handling money abroad. Hopefully someday when I am older I can spend some extended time overseas!