How to Save Money While Working Abroad

There are countless reasons why people tend to work abroad, despite the challenges it might come along the way. Every day, more and more people are inclined to find the greener pasture in the foreign lands. However, working abroad is not a guarantee of landing a successful career, some may end up being abused, maltreated or even death.

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As an overseas worker myself, I have experienced the bittersweet of working abroad. Loneliness and homesickness are among our worst enemies. If you could have read my previous blog, I have listed down the disadvantages of working overseas such as “not everyone is really well paid,” but only for the lucky ones. Compensation package really depends on your profession and what kind of company you are with.


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Many overseas workers came home bankrupt simply because they failed to save money while working abroad. Now the challenge is, how can we maximize our income abroad and save for retirement. I have been an overseas worker for more than five years now and below are my techniques for maximizing and saving my income:

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1. Save first before spending – The first formula of effective saving is to save first a portion of your income before spending it. See to it that you allocate at least 20% of your salary every month. If you can’t save 20%, you can lower it down to 10 to 15% from your income but ensure it’s done regularly.

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2. Avoid buying stuff that depreciates – Our lifestyle abroad may be different from our lifestyle back home. With the rise of the social media platforms, we tend to catch up with the latest trends in the society. Sometimes fueled by our ego, and simply wanted to show off to our friends and family members that we have the latest gadgets and designer brands. There’s nothing wrong buying this stuff, if there’s really a need for it or if you could really afford it. What makes it wrong is when you’ve spent your saving and end up starving in the end.

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3. Know your priorities – What are your priorities in life? Have you properly identified your priorities? Perhaps not all of you did! When someone asks you now this question, would you be able to tell the right answer? It may be sound easy, but I’m telling you, it’s one of the most difficult questions to answer. Knowing our priorities are the key to successful saving – our priorities maybe our families, preparing for retirement, saving for our children, or buying that dream house. Knowing our priorities help us properly dispose of our income, by now, be sure to identify your priorities.

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4. Control your emotion before it controls you – Are you feeling jealous seeing your friends posting the latest gadgets on their social media accounts? What about your friends posting their latest trips abroad? Admit it! We’re all guilty with this! Whether we like it or not, it’s human nature to feel jealous sometimes of the things that we wish for or dream about. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s normal. However, it’s wrong to make an impulsive decision out from it, that doesn’t mean because your friends bought the most expensive iPhone then you have too. Sometimes our worst enemy in saving is really ourselves, knowing how to control our emotions is the key.

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5. Make a list – Have you ever made a list of all your daily, weekly and monthly expenses? If you did! Then you’re on the right track of saving money, if you didn’t, then you must start it now. Making a list of everything of your expenditures helps you keep track of your expenses which later on would help you minimize unnecessary spending. List down all your daily expenses whether it’s a small or large amount, it could be your groceries, fuel, dining out or whatever of significant value.

Saving money may be seemed very easy to say, the truth is – it’s a difficult challenge that almost everyone fails. Let us bear in mind that working abroad is not forever, at the end of the day, we’re still at the mercy of the country we’re working with. Labor laws and foreign policies could change at any time.

I hope this simple tips may help you save a portion of your income while working abroad. Do you have any effective saving techniques that you can add on? Let me know in the comment box below, don’t forget to share this blog with your friends if you find it great.

Author: montergv

The author is currently based in Saudi Arabia, the holiest land of Islam. He’s a full-time employee of the largest energy company in the world. He’s a graduate of Communication Management, loves to write and travel.