Thursday, 18 October 2012

Budgeting for your children abroad

Moving abroad with your children can be such an all-consuming and emotional task that budgeting plans can go out the window. Once you've broken the news to your little ones, described the new house, city, school, helped them pack up their books, toys and clothes, let them say goodbye to their friends – and then helped them find new ones and settle in upon arrival – it’s understandable that budgeting can be forgotten.

Image source: Creative Commons mikebaird 

Here are some top tips to make the budgeting side of moving with children as easy as possible.
  • Look up free things to do with children in your new city. There are usually plenty of blogs, forums or websites to provide this information – instead of going to the cinema, try the beach or a museum
  • Work out how much you aim to spend on your child per week and do your best to stick to it. Draw up a plan of things that they might want to do – swimming, cinema, etc. and decide how many times a week they can do such activities and how much they’ll cost in your new city
  • Speak to other expat parents and see if they have any recommendations for babysitters or childminders. If you want to avoid the extra costs of an agency, often word-of-mouth can be the best way of finding a great babysitter
  • You should research into the cost of education. This can vary dramatically from country to country so start as early as possible and make enquiries about school fees. If you can’t afford the school you want then scholarships and bursaries are an alternative option but again will require some forward thinking. You can check out HSBC’s Education Planning calculator to give you an indication of education costs and more
  • Finally, make a note of your finances, including the amount you spend on yourself, your home and your children. This is often the best way of seeing exactly what you spend money on.  You might be surprised at how much of your discretionary spending can be saved!

If you've got any tips on budgeting for children abroad, let us know in the comment box below!

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