Money-saving tips for expat life in France

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Expatriation can be expensive, but there are a few tips and tricks you can use to cut back on the costs. Here are some simple ways you can save money as an expat in France.

Seek professional financial advice

Whether you’re already settled into life as an expat or you’re just planning your move, getting good financial advice is vital.

If you’re used to the British tax system, your income and investment strategy might not be so savvy across the Channel. France’s tax laws are very different from the UK’s. A specialist company that fully understands the French system can help you restructure your finances so that they give you the best returns.

We also need to mention the B word. While the UK has now officially exited the EU, there’s still a lot of uncertainty around the relationship Britain and France will have, and how this will affect expats and their finances. A good financial advisor should be able to help you to Brexit-proof your budget.

Of course, the advice itself will incur a cost, but it could save you a considerable amount in the long term.

Get your taxes in order

One simple step you can take towards getting your finances ready for France is just to let HMRC know that you’re moving. After all, you really don’t want to end up paying tax in two countries. While you should get any overpayments back, you could still find yourself in a sticky situation.

When leaving the UK, make sure you fill out a P85 form. If you’re going to receive interest from any savings still in the UK after you move, you’ll also need to send off an R105 form.

Know the housing market

We’ve covered money-saving tips for buying French property in detail before, so we won’t rehash it here.

Suffice it to say that by keeping an open mind, doing your research and taking your time, you can really reduce the associated costs of purchasing a property in France.

Shop around for shipping

Moving your possessions can be costly, whether you’re going from the UK to France or vice versa, or if you’re relocating to a new French property.

The best thing to do is to shop around and get a few different quotes until you find the best deal.

It’s also much cheaper to move your stuff by sea rather than air. However, shipping takes significantly longer than transporting cargo by plane, so you’ll want to plan it in advance.

Obviously, the more you ship the more expensive it is, so moving house is the perfect time to channel your inner Marie Kondo and declutter. Cutting back on possessions will cut the cost, and you can sell anything you want rid of to make a little extra money.

Use a specialist forex service

Just as you wouldn’t go to the Post Office to ship your possessions overseas, you really shouldn’t go to your bank to make money transfers. This is because banks don’t specialise in personal foreign exchange; they tend to offer uncompetitive exchange rates, and they sometimes tack on transfer fees.

With a specialist currency provider, such as TorFX, you could get way more from your money.

TorFX offer excellent exchange rates, and they don’t charge transfer fees. They also offer a variety of tools and services to help you make the most of any movements in the currency market.

The TorFX app is especially handy for expats, as it allows you to make transfers of up to £25,000 on the go, 24/7. You can also check live exchange rates and set rate alerts, so you can time your transfers for when the exchange rate is strong.

So those are our money-saving tips for life as an expat in France. If you’ve got any more, please go ahead and share them below – you could help a fellow expat save some cash!

This article was provided by TorFX – a leading international currency transfer specialist. TorFX have been helping people save time and money on currency transfers to France since 2004 and they have an ‘Excellent’ rating on Trustpilot. Find out how much you could save by getting a free quote now.