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Posted by Carley Stein (MONEY FORUMS: 6, Answers: 2)
Asked on December 6, 2015 2:29 pm
It's very confusing when figuring out a budget and living abroad. The first thing I did before I went abroad was to make sure I had a credit card that didn't charge me foreign transaction fees. This allowed me to use my credit card for purchases and avoid the fees associated with ATMs as much as possible (while earning cash back rewards at the same time). Before I went abroad, I tried to budget in US currency, and then once I was abroad, I tracked my spending on my credit card and bank statements. At the same time, I began to understand which stores were cheaper for food or other necessities, and that helped even while I was tracking my spending online. The best advice I can give is to make a budget based off what you want to spend total but recognize that it might take you a month or more to understand how much things cost in a different country. Don't forget to include travel while there, including flights and ground transportation and special experiences. I didn't want to miss out on hiking on a glacier, even though I didn't include that in my original budget. In the end, it all worked out for me. Good luck!