Monday, May 20, 2024
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Expats beware: Sending money home can cost more than you think

Expats beware: Sending money home can cost more than you think

When people go to live abroad, they often need to send money back home for various purposes. Using foreign exchange specialists like Currencies Direct can eliminate fees and help with unwelcome changes in the exchange rate.

Let’s face it, life in the UK can be, well, a little more difficult than the government would have us all believe. Rising living costs, not least in terms of utilities, the ongoing increase in property prices, especially in the South East and London, and an atrocious weather system that’s never too hot, too cold, or particularly dry, all add up to a somewhat dreary, drab and, during the wetter months, miserable time for everyone.


As such, it’s no surprise that you decided to go all-out and relocate to a sunnier climate. It’s hardly an easy option, with so much paperwork, research to do and potential difficulties of settling in.  Anyone who has decided to move abroad deserves to enjoy their time there once they step off the plane and finish unpacking. Unfortunately, though, it’s very easy to lose out once there, even though that doesn’t really have to be the case.


Take international monetary transfers, for example. Perhaps you’ve just sold that villa in Spain. Maybe you’re planning on eventually moving back to the UK and want a nest egg to return to in Britain. There could be family problems at home, and people needing your support. Whatever the reason, there’s every chance you’ll need to move cash between countries, and currencies, after you have left Blighty for a new life, whether it’s a temporary or permanent move. But that shouldn’t mean paying over the odds for the privilege of doing so.


Let’s take Spain as an example. A typical Spanish bank would charge an average of 1.25% of the amount you’re looking to transfer for a deposit, plus a further 1.25% of the amount being transferred to cover the transfer fee. That’s 2.5% in total, which may not be much when you’re dealing with cents and pence, but can quickly add up to far more when you get into the hundreds or even thousands of pounds. There is another way, though, and a simple online shop-around can easily open up much cheaper options.


Foreign exchange specialists like Currencies Direct don’t charge any fees at all, and can help with unwelcome changes in the exchange rate. For a one-off transaction, it may be useful to set a “target” rate, whereby the moment the market hits that rate your money will be transferred. Meanwhile, if you intend to send money back regularly, rates can be fixed for 12 months, ensuring you know exactly what the costs will be, not just today, but tomorrow and next month too; exactly the kind of peace of mind that will take the stress out of this process, and leave you free to continue making the most of that new life in more exotic surroundings.

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