There’s a lot to love about Great Britain but also a lot to feel frustrated by. In fact, many families are choosing to up sticks and move home, work, and school abroad.
However, as well as startup expenses such as visas, flights, and of course, accommodation, potential expat families will also have to weigh up the costs of healthcare, education, and, of course, a country’s general cost of living.
If you are considering starting a fresh overseas, read on to find some top tips on making your move more cost-effective and manageable.
Careful cost of living analysis
We often automatically associate the cost of living with groceries and energy bills, but there is so much more that needs to be taken into account. It’s all a balancing act. ExpressVPN’s blog piece has revealed that the rising cost of living is one of the main reasons for families wanting to move to another country, but moving your entire family across the globe can also prove costly if you don’t get it right.
Take Sweden, for example. Yes, overall living costs are expensive, but if you’re an expat rather than a tourist, flexible working hours, substantial parental leave, and low-cost after-school childcare make living there all the more affordable for working expat families.
Compare this to somewhere like Thailand. The cost of living when it comes to food and accommodation is lower than many other destinations, but the school fees are much more expensive. This means your monthly outgoings could actually be more than places with a higher general cost of living (even despite all that reasonably priced, delicious food!)
Whilst choice is wonderful, it can also be overwhelming, and it may feel like you’re going around in circles. The only thing to do is get the calculator out, make a good old-fashioned spreadsheet, and add everything up. You’ll soon see which options are most affordable and gain some clarity!
Depending on where you go, if you want your children to be taught in their first language, you may have to send them to an international school, which often comes with high fees. A couple of advantages of international schools are that lessons are taught in English and they follow the English curriculum, which is particularly important if your relocation isn’t a permanent one. When your child returns to school in Britain, they will have studied the same as their peers despite being on the other side of the world, making it less of a challenge to resume their education back home.
If you’re headed to an English-speaking country, then there isn’t, of course, the language barrier so public schools are an option, provided you’re happy for the children to potentially follow an alternative curriculum to the one back home.
Some companies will pay towards school fees as part of expat packages, so it may be worth speaking to your employer and seeing what they can offer you.
Most of the decisions you make surrounding housing will depend on whether or not your move is permanent. If it’s a temporary stay then you’ll obviously be better off renting. Many families also choose to rent out their homes while they are away; however, if you have a lot of upfront costs to cover, it may mean considering a sell-up altogether.
Moving the family across the globe can seem like a highly daunting prospect, particularly when it comes to managing your finances. However, with so many countries ahead of the game when it comes to affordable childcare, accessible healthcare, and the provision of first-rate education, provided you do your research, it could be the most enriching and cost-effective move you’ll ever make!