It is literally a reboot of your financial life when you move from one country to another. Getting your finances in order is crucial and in order to settle into your new life smoothly, it is important that you get on your finances early. The necessities of life may require you to pay for rent, buy a car, pay for groceries, and you might not be able to accomplish these things if you haven’t organized your finances.
We will share tips to help you learn how to start off in a new country, form good financial habits, and ultimately grow wealth. Due to our own experience as the neo bank for immigrants everywhere, we understand how difficult it is to sort out your finances and we would be delighted to assist you in avoiding them.
One of the smartest things to do as a new migrant as regards finance is to
- Educate yourself: One of the best things you can do to make your stay worth the while as a new migrant is to be financially educated. You’re in a new country, you’ve got a ton of questions to ask and you probably don’t trust anyone. We totally understand because we’ve been in these shoes too but a lot of immigrants miss out on juicy life opportunities because of lack of trust. Be open-minded. Seize every opportunity there is in order to get educated financially. Search online for resources, ask questions, speak with professionals and get as much help as you can. Read books on personal finance, listen to podcasts too. You can find a ton of helpful podcasts on google podcast, anchor or any other podcast platform you’re familiar with. According to Investopedia.com, some of the best podcasts on personal finance are “Afford Anything”, “The Dave Ramsey Show”, “The Clark Howard Podcast”, “So Money”, “Women and Money”. Being financially educated will not only help you with knowing what bank accounts to open but give you an insight as to how much you need to earn monthly, how much you need to save and how much of your income you need to invest. It will also help you decide on what to invest in. Financial literacy has never been a waste so embrace it. Being educated can help you live a stress free life in your new home country. The first few months of your stay may seem a bit difficult because you’ll be adjusting to a new life. Don’t panic, this is normal. Everyone who’s been exposed to a new life has probably experienced this but it soon becomes a thing of the past as you get familiar with the environment.
- Get a bank account: Before getting a bank account, it is important to weigh the banking options that exist within your new country of residence. In the UK for example, some banks have physical presence while others operate via a mobile app. You can research various account options to help you come to a decision. Setting up a bank account is pretty easy. Depending on the unique requirement of individual banks, all you’ll need would be your social security number or a means of identification like your passport, proof of address and immigration papers. It is also important to check with your bank of choice about what is required to open a bank account.
- Prepare a six-month to one-year goal list: There is a popular saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Your life can become a living illustration of this saying if you do not plan out your finances. It is important that you take control of your future by sitting down to plan out the money you have at hand. Write out clear goals. Some clear goals could be:
- Buying a car
- Paying your rent
- Taking a course/program
- Saving for a cause
Make sure you prioritize your goals when you write them down.
- Have a plan for both saving and investing: We encourage everyone – new migrant or not to have a plan for both saving and investing. What’s your plan for earning more money? How do you intend to put that money to good use? What’s your savings plan or what percentage of your income do you intend to save? Put into consideration short term and long term savings. Having a clear response to these questions will put you on the path to success. We do also recommend that you have a plan for putting aside some of the money you earn for the sake of emergencies. Emergencies don’t announce themselves before they come, in fact, most times you don’t get to see any sign so you don’t want to be put off guard when they arise.
Secondly, having a budget for the things you value most is essential for planning out your expenses. Expenses like transportation, accommodation, and food are likely to be a big part of your new migrant budget. These are the basics so they are a no-brainer. You cannot afford to compromise on these for the sake of your well-being. For new migrants, it may be difficult to set a fixed amount for expenses such as food. You can always search online for affordable stores in your area and window shop to determine an estimate. In spite of the fact that you may wish to send money home, it is important to understand that you may not be able to do so if you aren’t settled.
- Look out for scammers: New migrants are a major target of scammers so you want to be careful. A lot of migrants who don’t understand the working operations of banks within their new country fall prey to these scammers. One thing to remember is that no bank will call you to ask for your card details or your personal information. If you ever get that type of call, put a call through to your bank first. Be aware of the type of scams that exist in your new country. Don’t fall prey to Government grant scams, pyramid schemes, ponzi schemes, investment scams and the likes. Run from investments that promise ridiculously high returns with no financial risk. People usually say “If it sounds too good to be true, then it is too good to be true”.