You’ve probably heard quite a few people say that moving overseas was the best decision they’ve ever made in their life. I’m definitely one of those people.
Moving out to Asia nearly three years ago was a big decision – and one that many people I knew doubted at the time – but I’ve enjoyed every day of my life since I made the big move and have grown so much along the way. I can’t even imagine what life would be like if I didn’t make this jump.
Moving overseas isn’t something you just do overnight. You need to plan things out and make sure that you’re ready to make such a drastic change in your life. In my last post, I told you all about the plan I followed to successfully move overseas and start a new life in Asia.
Today I’m going to go into more detail about one of the most important aspects of getting overseas – saving up the money you need to make it over in the first place.
A lot of people dream of moving overseas, but they find themselves getting stuck on this point. You might be asking yourself how it’s possible to save up enough money to move thousands of miles away from home. I’m here to tell you that it can be done, and it’s not that hard. You just need a plan that you can follow and the will to see that plan through to completion.
How To Save Money To Move Overseas: Create Your Savings Plan
The first thing you want to do is sit down and take some time to think about how much money you’d like to save up before you move overseas.
The amount you need to move overseas will vary depending upon the circumstances you find yourself in. For example, if you already have a job waiting for you in your new country, then you won’t need to have as much saved up as if you plan to search for jobs for a few months upon arrival.
Here’s a good idea of how much money you’d want to bring to China as an example.
Once you figure out how much you want to bring with you, think about when you’d like to leave. How many months do you want to wait before starting this new adventure?
Once you know how much you need and when you want to leave, you can decide how much you need to save per month.
Divide the total amount you want to save by the number of months left before you take off – and now you know precisely how much you need to save per month.
When I was planning to move overseas initially, I decided that I needed to save half of my paycheck each time I got one. You might decide you need to do the same.
I often tell people this and they ask me how I managed to live on only half a paycheck for as long as I did. That’s where the next step comes in.
How To Save Money To Move Overseas: Ruthlessly Cut Spending
Take a look at where your money is going and start deciding what you can do without. Anything that isn’t an absolute necessity should be removed from your spending habits.
This will be easier for people that already keep budgets and track their spending, but anyone can do this step without much issue – especially with online banking being so prevalent these days. Once you figure out what you can do without, start removing those expenses.
When I was in the process of saving to move overseas, I moved out of a really nice house I was sharing with a good friend and into the cheapest studio I could find in downtown Phoenix.
I saved hundreds of dollars a month doing this. Can you move to a smaller place? Stay with your parents for a few months? Do it!
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I then canceled my cable, downgraded my phone plan, canceled multiple memberships for websites I wasn’t getting much use of, and kept digging for more ways to cut spending.
Cancel everything you possibly can – you’ll be just fine without it.
I stopped going out to eat and began to cook all of my meals at home. This saved me money and helped me get much healthier than I was when I used to eat out all the time.
I also stopped going out and drinking with my friends all the time. This saved me hundreds of dollars a month, and along with eating home cooked meals, had me feeling healthier and happier than I had in many years.
Look for all these types of opportunities in your own life. Be honest with yourself and don’t go easy on yourself. Anything that isn’t a necessity must go!
Remember, you’re sacrificing now to be able to live a life that few people ever get a chance to live in the near future. Remind yourself of this whenever it feels like too much.
Got a $5 a day Starbucks habit? Lots of Americans do. Before you spend $150 a month on Starbucks, think about how that money can easily feed you for a month when you’re in China.
How To Save Money To Move Overseas: Make More Money
It’s very possible that you’ll be able to save up enough money to move overseas simply by creating a savings plan and cutting your spending so that you can stick to it.
However, it will be much easier to save the money you need if you make more money than you’re used to while you work on saving to get overseas. Plus, having more than you need certainly never hurts when you’re picking up and starting a new life thousands of miles away.
Look for ways that you can make more money. Can you take on more responsibilities at work for additional pay? I was able to do this at my previous job and you might be able to at yours as well. Ask around and see if this is possible.
Can you work OT hours? Most jobs will offer some sort of OT and that can greatly increase the amount you bring home on your weekly pay checks. Start working that OT!
Can you get a PT job? Working an extra 10-20 hours per week at a second job could leave you with a very fat bank account when you finally hop on that plane.
What about freelancing? Do you have a skill such as web design, copywriting, etc that you could use to make you extra money? There are endless freelance opportunities available online. You can make A LOT of money this way, and it’s one way I saved up so much money before I moved to Asia. Don’t know where to start? We offer a great way to get started freelancing right here.
There are more ways to make extra money than I have time or space to write about, but pick at least one and get started. The sooner you do, the more money you’ll have when you leave.
How To Save Money To Move Overseas: Sell All Your Stuff
This one can be tough for people, but I highly recommend you do it. Sell all your stuff!
Most of us have collected a ton of belongings over the years that just sit in our closets and are never touched. It’s time to get rid of all that!
Sell your stuff on Craigslist, sell it to your friends, have a garage sale, whatever works!
This will get you some additional money and make it so much easier for you to move.
You want to limit your possessions to the bare necessities when you move overseas. Trust me, it’s a major pain trying to carry a ton of stuff on planes, subways, and wherever else you might find yourself before you arrive at your new apartment overseas. It’s time to downsize!
You’ll probably have some things that you want to keep safe that remind you of good times in your life. Try to put this all in one box and keep it at your parents’ house or somewhere else safe.
Trust me, you’ll thank me later when all you have is a backpack when you get on that plane.
If you follow these steps, you’ll have no problem saving up the cash you need to make your dream of moving overseas a reality. Stick to the plan and I’ll see you on the other side of the world!