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Can Working Overseas Save You Money?

By , August 12th, 2016 | One Comment


Working Overseas Can Save You Money
Imagine being able to save over half your income, all while spending on luxuries and not adhering to a strict budget. And yes, this is not a fantasy. I know because I did it. How so? By working overseas.

I worked overseas for 8 years and because of that, it has made it really easy for me to save more than 50% of my income while still being able to spend quite a bit on luxuries such as going out to restaurants and going on luxury vacations. Now this is not for everyone, but if you’re adventurous and willing to give it a try for a few years, it could mean the difference between being further in debt or achieving financial freedom. Here are a few reasons why working overseas can save you a lot of cash:

Free Housing

For many people, mortgages and rent eat up a chunk of their budget. Many work contracts in foreign countries include some sort of free housing. Yes, you heard right, free housing. It really depends on the type of job you have, but you can get anywhere to a simple apartment (sometimes with roommate) to a fancy one with lots of amenities. Keep in mind that utilities aren’t included, but they tend to be much cheaper than what you’d pay in the US.

Another bonus is that many of these apartments come already furnished, so you don’t need to spend money on furniture. It might not be to your taste, but hey, free is free, right?

Simply take what you’d normally spend on housing and put it towards savings.

Typical savings: $800 – $2000 per month

Lower Standard of Living

Living overseas means you’re paying a lot less for daily expenses, such as transportation and groceries. With all those savings, you can easily take what you would have normally spent and put it towards a luxury vacation, going out to restaurants, or whatever your guilty pleasures happen to be.

Here are some average costs per month:

Utilities (electricity and water): $50

High-speed internet: $15

Restaurants (per meal):$10

Groceries: $150

Public transportation: $25

Subsidized Living Expenses

As if it couldn’t get any better, your employer might even pay for more stuff! If you’re a teacher an international school for example, you get a free return flight to your country of origin each year. Some schools would even let you use that money to fly to any country, as long as it’s cheaper than a flight to your country of origin.

Larger corporations will even pay for hotel and airport transfers or even vacations. Also, some contracts guarantee a bonus (as high as two month’s salary) if you stay a certain amount of years. Of course, every contract differs, but most will at least subsidize flights, even for your family.

Typical savings: $2000 – $4000 per year

Keep in mind though that you’re not going to be able to save a lot of money in certain countries that have a high standard of living. If you’re serious about saving cash, Asia is the best route. If you’re really feeling adventurous, there are tons of job openings in the Middle East.

One of the easiest ways is to ask your employer if there are any opportunities to transfer to a branch overseas. If you’re a certified teacher, you can participate in teacher exchange programs or apply to an international schools. Just do a quick search online and you’ll be sure to find lots of job openings.

Working overseas could be the solution for you if you’re up for an adventure and want to save some cash along the way. So what are you waiting for?


Author bio: Sarah Li Cain is the founder of High Fiving Dollars, a kickass blog showing you that loving your money is not only a priority, but a necessity. Download her free ecourse “High Fiving Your Dollars” so you can have a loving relationship with your money.

Photo: Flickr: Global Panorama

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