How to Prepare Your finances For Working Abroad


If you’re about to go work abroad for an extended period of time, you have to do way more than just fill up on the local currency.

There are a number of steps you should take before, during, and after your trip to make sure your earnings are safe and your taxes are up to date.

Here is what you will need to do.

Hire a Bookkeeper

You may already have one if you’re a freelancer or self-employed. But if you don’t have one, now is the time to find someone reliable who knows how to help remote workers.

They can advise you on exactly how to handle your taxes and your expenses along the way. They may not be able to advise you on exactly how things operate where you’re going, but they can make sure everything is taken care of stateside.

Unless you’re leaving on midnight on December 31st, you’re likely going to have some earnings here and some overseas. A good bookkeeper can help you sort things out, while they keep in touch and continue to advise you overseas.

You may have questions like, “I broke my laptop and had to buy a new one in Beijing. Is this still tax deductible?

Spread Your Money Around

You’re not just going there with a big wad of local currency, or just a single debit/credit card.

Cash and cards get lost or stolen while you’re overseas. And when that happens, what do you do next?

This is why you need multiple cards, stored in multiple places, such as one in your wallet and one in your backpack.

You may also want to leave some money with someone back home as a bit of a safety net in case something happens. Make sure this is someone easily accessible who can transfer you the money in a pinch.

Get a New Bank… if Required

Many banks in North America have partnerships with other firms overseas, so there may not be a need to open a new account. But, don’t assume there that is the case.

Do your research to find out. And do your own research, as most banks will always try to talk you out of closing your account here and opening one overseas. But, it may be in the best interest of keeping your money accessible at all times.

Purchase Travel Insurance

The best financial decision you can make is protecting yourself from having to pay out of pocket for things, should something bad happen to you while you travel.

Your travel insurance will protect you and cover:

  1. Injuries or sickness that occur while you’re gone
  2. Broken, lost, or stolen items
  3. Reimbursements for some cancellations
  4. Travel costs in the event that your plans change

However, like most insurance, it won’t cover pre-existing medical conditions or injuries, nor pre-existing damage to your belongings.

Also, talk to other frequent travelers and pick their experienced brains about the best credit cards to travel with, the best banks to deal with, and any other money tips they care to share.