Relocation can cost a lot of money. Although moving expenses vary from one territory to another, moving expenses tend to pile up. Take the average removal cost in the United Kingdom, for example. Legal fees, insurance, agent fees (if you’re selling your old home), removal services, and settling in can cost an average of £8,885.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t find ways to save money. Even small amounts chipped off every aspect of the move can accumulate into huge savings.
Ready to move abroad without busting your budget? Here are the best money-saving hacks recommended by relocation consultants that could help you do so:
1. Purge your belongings.
One thing that can cost a lot of money on an international move is the amount of luggage to be transported. With that in mind, logic dictates that you’ll spend less on packing, removal, and logistics if there are fewer items to bring.
To do so, removalists recommend purging your belongings to make sure that you only bring what you need to your new home.
This so-called “minimalist” move begins and ends with decluttering. This task is time intensive, so you’ll want to get started as soon as you confirm you are moving. In fact, it would be best to declutter before you start packing so you can focus on segregating items for keeps and to be thrown away without feeling overwhelmed by all the items you need to box up.
When creating a decluttering plan, you need to tackle two things: 1) what items you need to get rid of and 2) what you intend to do with them.
For example, big items like furniture require extra effort in planning if they are to be donated.
Other stuff you can pare down are:
- Outdoor gear
- Kitchen items
- Holiday decorations
- General décor
2. Set up your bank account in the new country.
If your time allows, begin gathering all the requirements you need for setting up an overseas bank account before your flight. Although you may not be able to finish the process since you need to show up at the bank to open an account, at least you have gathered the necessary documents to file your application.
Delays can happen when opening your bank account, which can lead to financial stress. Having no local bank records can make it difficult to apply for a phone line, credit card, or mortgage. You might even have a bit of trouble cashing your pay cheque.
Pro Tip: Choose a bank way ahead of your moving day. Conduct advanced research and check bank requirements as well as their credit card offerings, account guarantees, and overall company stability.
3. Look for agreeable exchange rates.
Another way you can save money is actually to save it. In other words, you should be mindful of the exchange rates when transferring from one currency to another so that you can get a bit more value for your hard-earned cash.
Many companies offer what they call the “best rates,” though it would be best to do a background check and read reviews to verify the veracity of those claims.
Always get country-specific rates to ensure that you get deals that are most suited for your new home. Though it may not happen very often, some people still mistake other currencies for US dollars and vice versa.
Be careful with hidden fees. If left unchecked, these can eat up your money in a flash.
Search for alternatives to international exchanges. An excellent example of this is using a travel card, which offers better rates for smaller amounts of cash.
4. Create a budget and stick to it.
Settling abroad can cost a lot of money. A good way to streamline your expenses is to develop a budget that you need to follow religiously. Include allowances for area exploration and socialising on top of utilities, food, clothing, and other household expenses.
Don’t forget to save and keep track of your cash flow.
5. Schedule the move wisely.
If you have the luxury of picking the date of your move, be sure to set it during the off-peak season.
In many countries, relocations peak during the summer and go down during the colder season. Many movers also choose the weekends to travel, which is why weekday airfare rates are a tad lower.
6. Ask your employer for help.
If you’re relocating because of a job, a good way to save money is to seek help from your employer. You can request it to be added to your employment package. If you’re lucky, your company might even volunteer to pitch in a percentage of the moving expenses, if not all of it.
7. Recycle packing supplies.
While you cannot reuse packaging tapes and markers, you can definitely forgo buying new boxes and use sturdy plastic containers for your move.
Reusable cardboard boxes from supermarkets and stores are also okay, as long as they’re still in good shape and can handle the long trip.
You can even recycle old documents and newspapers or use blankets and socks to serve as a cushion for breakables instead of buying several rolls of bubble wrap or packing peanuts.
8. Hire an efficient removalist.
There’s no need to pay for services you don’t need. But when it comes to moving overseas, you’ll need all the help you can get to hasten the process and make it less stressful.
You see, many reliable international movers offer services beyond the transport of your belongings. They can also help with the packing and storage (short- or long-term) of your things and aid in processing customs clearance and settling in. Some even provide insurance to give you the peace of mind that your precious belongings are protected during the move.
Having an efficient relocation expert by your side not only makes the whole endeavour easier, but it can also help you get the most value out of your moving budget. Just remember to be clear about what you need.
Save on Your Move
Staying in an unfamiliar country is an expensive endeavour, so you need to save as much money as you can during the process of relocation. Use the tips listed in this article as your guide to make your international relocation smooth and cost efficient.
Lee Brewin is the CEO of BTR International, one of the UK’s premier corporate relocations companies. Providing services which facilitate companies to aid their employees to move and settle down in their new country of assignment, BTR International is all about taking care of people, simplifying business, and bringing optimal efficiency.