Uprooting your life and moving to another country is undoubtedly one of the major events in any person’s life. It can be exciting and stressful in equal measure; there are lots and lots of things to think about, with the prospect of a whole new life at the end of it. One of the most commonly forgotten things however, is the changing of money between the two countries.
When you go on holiday, it’s a simple matter of changing your money at the local bureau de change or even ordering your money online. You might even still be able to use your credit or debit card. You’ll look for the best rates possible, but as this will only amount to a few dollars or a few pounds difference, it’s not exactly something that you lose sleep over. When you’re actually emigrating however, this is a much bigger financial decision. Moving savings from one country to another can cost a lot of money in both taxes and differing exchange rates. This can be in the thousands, so it’s absolutely essential you do your research beforehand.
Avoid the Banks
The most obvious choice is to simply go with your bank. They deal with almost all financial transactions in your life, so why choose someone else for this one? The simple fact is that banks rarely offer the best rates and deals. They capitalise on the fact that consumers often go for the most convenient choice, and charge higher processing fees as a result. There’s every chance that if you convert your savings into a new currency through a high street bank, you’ll be missing out on a hefty amount of cash.
A better option is to look for a dedicated foreign exchange broker. They tend to give far better rates, and usually have lower fees too. In many cases they won’t even charge some of the fees that banks do. The other major bonus is that if you get a good company, they’ll also be able to help you figure out exactly where to go for currency exchange. The financial markets change second by second, and the difference in exchange rates could mean hundreds in difference day to day.
If you’re emigrating, don’t leave your currency swap until the last minute; plan ahead and you could well save yourself a lot of money.