One of the main reasons why a lot of expats make the move to another country is because they want to benefit from a better quality of living on a smaller budget. In some countries, it seems that living costs and taxes are rising all of the time, which is why a lot of people opt to relocate. In this post we are going to take a look at some of the cheapest places to live in the world, whilst also providing some top tips on saving money when moving abroad.
Cheap places for expats to live
- Ecuador – There is only one place to begin and this is with Ecuador. The reason why Ecuador leads the way is because it came out on top in the annual InterNations study from Expat Insider. Not only did Ecuador offer the lowest cost of living, but personal satisfaction amongst expats living here was very high. Approximately 85 per cent of expats in Ecuador rated their financial satisfaction positively, with only six per cent stating that they felt they did not earn enough money for their daily life. Another reason why Ecuador is a popular choice is because housing is very affordable in the country.
- Chile – Chile is becoming a well-loved expat destination because people get to benefit from a semi-tropical climate without having to pay the huge prices of other nearby destinations, such as cities in the USA. You can actually live in Chile and spend less than $1,000 on a monthly basis. The country is also one of the most stable Latin American locations and personal liberty is actually on the increase. There is a lot to love about this location.
- Bahrain – Bahrain is often described as the jewel of the Middle East for expats nowadays. This is fast emerging as one of the most popular spots. In the HSBC Expat Explorer survey, which rates expat quality of life, Bahrain featured right at the top. It offers many perks for people to take advantage of, with low cost of living being the obvious one. Nonetheless, it is also considered one of the best places to work and live abroad, with expats enjoying a good balance. It is a westernised country with a lot of job opportunities, especially for those in the IT industry. The cost of living may not be as low as other places mentioned in this post, such as Chile and Ecuador. However, Bahrain certainly offers a westernised experience and thus is much cheaper when contrasted with other countries of this standard so to speak.
- China – Next we have China, which is where value really lies. China is dominating when it comes to business, with the economy surpassing the USA in terms of size. China attracts professionals and new businesses because living costs are low. The majority of expats in China report a positive experience and there is huge satisfaction regarding the quality of living. Almost 60 per cent of people state that their income easily covers the expenses they have on a day to day basis. This figure may not seem high, however when you compare it with the global average of 45 per cent you can really see the difference.
- Thailand – Thailand is certainly an expat hotspot. The cost of living is astonishingly low. This is especially the case when it comes to the likes of food shopping. You can do a weekly shop for less than $15. A lot of foreign workers report that the country is one of the best places to work in. Aside from this, health care is quite impressive in Thailand as well. It is professional and modern and the facilities are good. So long as you have a global health insurance plan in place you have nothing to worry about.
Expat money tips
- Create A Budget – It is always a good idea to have a financial strategy in place. You should establish a budget and define where you are going to spend your money. By prioritising you can ensure you don’t overspend. After all, moving abroad can be very expensive and if you do not restrict yourself you can end up spending much more than intended.
- Talk To Other Expats – It is advisable to speak to people that have been in your shoes. Ask for their advice. You will often find that expats and locals know the cheapest places to eat, shop and such like. If you move to a holiday destination and you shop in the tourist areas you will undoubtedly end up spending much more money than is necessary.
- Invest In International Medical Insurance – You can save yourself a significant amount of money by taking out a global health insurance plan. Medical bills can be extortionate in some countries, especially for expats who often do not have access to free health care. Thus, for financial protection you should certainly look for an international medical insurance policy. By doing this you will be able to manage your money better whilst having the peace of mind that you are protected if you happen to fall ill.
- Use An Offshore Bank Account – You may also be able to reap monetary benefits from the usage of an offshore bank account. By having an offshore account you can manage your investments and savings in a manner that is tax efficient. You will also be able to take advantage of exchange rates as well.
So, now you have an insight into some of the cheapest countries for expats, as well as some top financial tips. Assessing the cost of living before moving to a country is imperative. You need to take everything into account. There is no such thing as too much planning and managing your money is one of the most important steps when it comes to a successful expat life. If you are moving abroad without a job lined up, it is always a good idea to make sure you have at least enough money to live for 18 months without work. It is always better to overestimate the costs involved. The last thing you want to do is feel forced to move back to your home country, as the move proved to be more costly than expected.