useful financial advice when working in a foreign country

Useful Financial Advice When Working in a Foreign Country

The modern world affords workers opportunities which generations past could scarcely imagine. Aside from generous holiday allowance, the chance to work from the comfort of your own home, and HR policies which often put the employee first, working professionals can even opt to start a career in a country other than their own.

But while this sounds exciting (and it is), there are still precautions which you’ll need to take before fully engaging in the jetset working lifestyle. Chief amongst those is the need to ensure your finances are well managed and orderly.

In this short guide, we’ll assess four of the most important factors professionals need to remember when managing their money in another country. From using specialist banking services, to finding the most cost-efficient way to send cash internationally, these pointers should keep your bank account looking healthy.

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1) Keep the Exchange Rate in Mind

If you’ve moved to a country which uses different money to your own, you’ll need to try and maintain a strong grasp over what prices in stores, at restaurants, and even business transactions translate to in your native currency.

Maths isn’t everyone’s strong suit, so your best bet here could be to turn to specialist mobile apps – which should provide you with instant and accurate conversions. Failing that, try to keep a rough picture in your head of what the average conversion is. For example, if you know £10 is close to $11, it can help set a benchmark against other numerical figures.

2) Get Global Bank Cards

As the world shrinks, banking systems have found ways to adapt. One such method was to become exclusively digital – meaning in many instances that international exchange rate fees are all but eliminated when shopping abroad.


A handful of these app-based banking systems now exist to make spending money overseas easier and more affordable than ever. Monzo, Koho, and Wise are all good examples of accounts which won’t charge you extra for using them abroad.

Don’t forget to take care of these and add them to your packing list when moving or travelling abroad.

3) Use Money Transfer Services Instead of Banks

Just because you’re working in another country, it doesn’t mean you won’t still want to transfer money to your domestic account (or someone else close to you in your home nation). Banks charge an average of $44 each for international transfer fees – largely because they have not historically had to process these kinds of payments very often.

Money transfer services, by contrast, have been set up with the intent and purpose of processing the movement of money internationally. Because of that, their fees are considerably cheaper, meaning you get more bang for your buck when it lands in the account of the person receiving it.

4) Understand Your Credit Score

Credit scores are a complex thing. Lots of factors will determine how good or bad your score is. But did you know that when you move abroad, you’re effectively starting from scratch? That’s right – credit scores do not travel overseas with you.

With that in mind, it’s important to understand what you can do to build good credit as efficiently and quickly as possible. Some of the most effective steps would be to:

  • Open a credit account as soon as possible
  • Pay all bills on time
  • Utilise roughly 30% of the credit you’re given
  • Ask for the highest credit limit possible

Also be sure to be wary of hard credit checks. These will lower your score – which can be disastrous if you’re building it from the ground up. Fortunately, lenders are very rarely allowed to perform a hard credit check without asking for your permission first.

foreign currencies banknotes

Final Words

Have these financial tips helped set you up for a working life abroad? Be sure to keep them in mind when you’re overseas.


Hey, I'm Camille! I quit my life to travel the world in 2013 – and I haven’t stopped since! I have visited 40+ countries as a location-independent travel/lifestyle writer and digital marketer. I like hammocks, scooters, eating, and scaring my mother trying adventure sports! I was chosen as a top travel influencer by, and have co-founded Helipad Marketing to help travel & lifestyle brands soar with killer online marketing.

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