5 Unexpected Expenses for Expats

Posted By Gerardo (gerardo@expatistan.com) on 05/05/2013

This is a guest post from the blogger Madoline Hatter.

There are many expenses that one must consider as an expat. Whether they are rolled into the start-up costs or jumbled into the relocation, expenses can be generally forecast. However, are you ready for an unexpected expenses that you didn't realize previously? Sometimes, you can get caught up in needing extra money in order to cover the unexpected. Even if you have everything planned perfectly, life has a way of happening and creating circumstances that you may not have considered.

1. Driver's License - Depending on how you plan on getting around, the area you choose to live in may require you to pay for a driver's license or permit for the duration of your stay. You could as easily pay for public transportation if it's available, but this is an expense that many might forget. If you are expatriated because of your employment, you may still need the permit in order to drive around the location. If you are unsure about the locations laws about driving permits, you would be wise to find information regarding the driving policies of such location.

2. Importing Belongings - Many countries will charge you an import duty tax on your belongings that you bring with you. Although you may establish residency within your new country, you should find out if you are going to be charged a tax for goods you are bringing with you. Also bear in mind that some countries deny certain transportation of electronics, foods, and other tangibles without a permit. Contact your embassy and find out if there will be unexpected import taxes imposed on your belongings.

3. Insurance - If you're moving to another location because of employment, there may already be an insurance coverage for you. However, don't forget that insurance for automobiles is mandatory in many countries. If you plan on having a vehicle, pet, home, or simply want to protect yourself from financial pains from injuries, then you may want to investigate what kind of insurance premiums and coverages are available. It could save you from higher costs later on if something were to happen.

4. Repairs - If you plan on driving your own car or one that you bought while in your new country, you should figure in saving money for eventual repairs. Although you may be handy with a wrench in your country of origin, it doesn't mean that you would be able to tell the difference between the fuel tank and an oil pan in a foreign vehicle. This is an expense that nearly everyone neglects regardless if they are expatriated or not.

5. Legalities - Before you decide to live abroad in a foreign country for any length of time, you should consider familiarizing yourself with the local laws. Not every country follows the same guidelines as your originating country. What may be viewed as a common practice in one locale, could be considered highly illegal in another. In this eventuality, having the money readily available could pay fees and tickets should you do something that is considered unlawful.

As long as you keep a sound mind about you, unexpected expenses don't have to be met with stress and fear. It is always better to over prepare yourself than to be short. Try to keep your spending to a minimum and save what you can for that proverbial "rainy day." It could help you from choosing between a meal or a handful of crackers for dinner.

About the author

This article is contributed by Madoline Hatter. Madoline is a freelance writer and blog junkie from ChangeOfAddressForm.com. You can reach her at: m.hatter12 @ gmail. com.