Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Some financial advice for expats

A surprising number of expats fail to streamline their banking and financial practices once they have taken up residence in their country of choice. International banking makes it possible to hold an account in a country and access your funds from anywhere using either a debit card or ATM. Although this makes life very simple, it comes with a cost, often international transactions will carry an additional fee for handling and administration, and whilst these costs are relatively small at transaction level, they can mount up to a significant figure over time.

ATM charges are particularly hefty when using your card in an overseas ATM; some banks are keener than others in their price structure, whilst some may charge as much as $2.00 per transaction regardless of the quantity of cash that is withdrawn via the ATM.

Many banks will also charge an additional fee for forwarding mail to an overseas address, meaning your bank statements and other documents will cost more. Almost every bank offers internet banking these days, reduce your costs by switching to on-line statements only.

Possibly the best way of reducing your banking costs is to open a bank account in your country of residence, and transfer money from your home country directly into this account electronically, then use this account to fund your stay in whichever country you have chosen to reside in.

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