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How to Live on Your Own in Another Country With Limited Resources?

Posted June 7, 2022 In Settling In,
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

Leaving the parents’ nest is never easy, but relocating all the way to another country makes this task a lot harder. It gets even more challenging if you add possible financial limitations to it. So, how to live on your own after relocating abroad and not lose your mind in the process? We have some ingenious tips to help you manage your new independent life successfully.

If you wish to live on your own and become independent financially, you have to learn how to manage the limited resources at your disposal. After finding a job abroad, you must set your priorities straight, track your spending, make a short-term saving plan and learn new skills. A low budget also implies that you’ll need to find a way to reduce your relocation costs and find a country, city, or neighborhood that can offer lower expenses.

How Much Money Do You Need to Live on Your Own Across the Pond?

If you’ve expected a straightforward answer to this question, don’t end up disappointed – it’s impossible to give one. You must count in all the relocation costs you’ll be facing (hiring an overseas shipping company, gathering materials to prevent things from breaking, and the like), expenses you’ll meet while obtaining documents needed to travel abroad, and living costs in a country you’re relocating to. There are just too many variables for calculating the exact sum.

The amount of $20,000 is the optimal one – it’s a sum that will cover all of the relocation costs and expenses for the first few months in another country. However, not all have that kind of funds at their disposal, especially not young adults who are just now entering the real world. Still, we are here to help you learn how to balance your finances abroad, so you get the most out of your move – even on a limited budget.

Planning a Relocation Budget Can Help You Save Up Before You Leave the Old Home

How can I live on my own with no money? Make no mistake – it’s not possible. You’ll need to have some resources saved up before the move. That is why it’s essential to create a to-do list and a relocation budget that goes with it. It will provide you with a broader picture of where and how saving up is possible. Consider:

  • Opting for international moving by sea instead of a costlier move by air,
  • Using cheaper or cost-free supplies, such as used boxes, linens, newspaper, and alike,
  • Relocating only the essentials (the price of shipping overseas is determined based on your cargo),
  • Organizing the move outside of the relocation season (which lasts from April to September).

However, know that you’ll most likely need additional services. Packing services, for example, will be necessary in most cases – that is, if you don’t plan on relocating with just a couple of suitcases. International movers often have to vouch for your cargo at customs, and the only way they can do so is if they were the ones packing them. Therefore, these additional costs must be counted in the budget you’ll be creating.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask Your Parents for Financial Help and Advice

Starting your life on your own can be terrifying for both you and your parents, and they will want to do everything in their power to reduce your relocation stress. Don’t be too proud to accept what they’re offering – especially if they have some experience living overseas. Their financial assistance can allow you to breathe a little easier and make your limited resources less so, which can only positively affect your relocation experience. Remember – it doesn’t mean you’re not independent, just that you’re conscious of your current circumstances and look for the most reasonable ways to improve them.

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Take Your Time to Choose the Future Country

Currently, there are 194 countries in the world (excluding the USA) – and they all have more or less affordable costs. If you’re relocating abroad alone on limited resources, it’s in your best interest to research which country holds more affordable prices. If you have the freedom to decide where to move, you should consider choosing a place for which you don’t have to break the bank. If relocating to Bulgaria, Thailand, Vietnam, or China sounds exciting to you, know that these are some of the most affordable countries in the world. On the other hand, stay clear from relocating to Norway, Switzerland, or Japan and their high costs – even though they are some of the best countries to live in.

Of course, your reasons to move could predetermine the future relocation. In that case, the cost of living still must be researched, but this time regarding cities and neighborhoods. Use websites such as Numbeo to compare the prices in different cities and pick an area that most fits your current financial situation.

Create a List With Living-on-Your-Own Expenses You Should Anticipate

How much does it cost to live on your own? There is a good chance you’re not aware of all the costs you’ll face once you move, especially if you’re relocating from your parents’ place for the first time. Here’s a checklist of all the basic things you’ll have to pay for once you start to live abroad:

  • Apartment rent,
  • Healthcare,
  • Utilities,
  • Transportation,
  • Clothing,
  • Toiletries,
  • Groceries.

Living on Your Own Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Share the Apartment Space

Those with limited budgets don’t have enough resources to become homeowners, so you’ll be facing renting costs instead of mortgage installments. To lead a comfortable life, the rent price you decide to pay shouldn’t be above one-third of your total monthly income.

However, if you plan to relocate to some costly places or metropolises, sometimes this rent-to-income ratio won’t be possible. Of course – all you have to do is find someone with whom you’ll share the apartment and rent. Not only will you be able to save up a lot this way, but also to find a home in a good location and with better access to the city’s amenities.

Find a Job as Soon as Possible

How much money do I need to live on my own, you asked? The answer to this question will depend on how long you’ll need to find a job. Note that the sooner you find a way to support yourself financially, the less you’ll have to worry about budgeting.

If you are one of many who hopped on a plane with a work visa in their pocket, you’ll have nothing to worry about – it will mean that you either got a job or have excellent skills and qualifications that will enable you to find a job right away. In that case, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of moving overseas in no time.

However, know that in most countries, you won’t be allowed to work on a travel visa, which made many wonder – Can I survive living on my own without a work permit? If you’re working in the digital industry, you can always choose to become a digital nomad. It’s an option that will allow you to work from any part of the world. The other solution is to look for a job even before you leave and move overseas. If you’re not sure how to do this, take a look at the video below:

Explore Options for Cost-Free Activities in a City You’ll Live In

You can learn how to move efficiently and find plenty of helpful relocation hacks, but you also must think about how your days will be filled after the move. Aside from working or studying, you should try finding activities and hobbies that will allow you to meet people, deal with culture shock, and adapt to unfamiliar surroundings. So, what is the cheapest way to live by yourself and have fun? Here are some low (or free) cost entertainment options to consider when relocating across the world:

  • Visit a museum or zoo that offers free entry,
  • Enjoy walking, biking, or hiking in parks and nearby areas,
  • Volunteer,
  • Take someone out for a picnic,
  • Visit the city’s famous landmarks and learn more about its history,
  • Check the farmer’s market,
  • Search for meetup groups.

How Can I Start to Live on My Own? Learn How to Manage Your Finances After Moving Abroad

Part of becoming a responsible adult is learning how to run your finances and not go broke in the process. Here are some of the best money-managing tips that will make budgeting a piece of cake:

Consider your priorities

It’s essential to separate your wishes from your needs. While paying for groceries and meeting rent on time is necessary, getting the newest smartphone on the market is not. You may have had some freedom when your parents were paying the bills, but as a young adult who wants to become financially independent while living in another country, you should try to learn how to prioritize.

Get rid of recurring charges

Monthly subscriptions don’t cost a fortune. However, when you have limited resources, each cent counts. Therefore, start with canceling services you haven’t used for a while and think about which options you must keep in the future. Once you improve your financial situation, you can easily re-subscribe.

Analyze your spending habits

There is no better way to save up than figure out where your money is going each month. You’ll get to see where you spend more resources than necessary (fast food, coffee, cocktails, and things alike) and reduce these conveniences.

Set a goal for saving

After the first month or two, you’ll get a good picture of how expensive the city is. Only then can you really perceive how much funds you can save per month. Once you do, make sure you calculate how much money you should set aside and be determined to meet that goal.

Take care of your debts

Since debts impact your monthly income and credit score, it’s in your best interest you have as few of them as possible. However, if you have huge loans on your name (such as student or car loans), contact your lenders and agree to pay minimum monthly installments until you’re back on your feet.

Open up a local bank account

Do you want to avoid paying international transaction fees every time funds get deposited into your account? Do you want to worry about the foreign exchange rate and its changes? If the answer is no, opening an account with a local bank can be a good solution.

Learn a Few New Skills That Will Allow You to Save Up After Moving Internationally

The more things you can do yourself, the less you’ll have to pay other people to do for you. For example, instead of eating out, learn how to prepare your favorite food – home-cooked meals cost a lot less than what you’ll spend in a restaurant.

You can also learn how to manage some basic repairs and avoid calling a handyman for every minor issue. While you’re there, you can also find out how to iron, sew, and fix a broken zipper. These skills, and those similar to them, can be of great help when your resources are limited.

Now That You Know How to Live on Your Own, Hire Prime Overseas Moving Company to Help You Ease the Transition

No matter how much you are aware of many problems that may or may not occur during the move, there is plenty of room for many relocation mistakes. If even one of them appears, all hopes of a problem-free move will be lost. Imagine adding more stress to an already stressful move to another country! However, there is a way to avoid it – you just have to find the best international moving company to assist you. Let experienced movers take care of daunting relocation tasks while you prepare for everything a life abroad brings.

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