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  • Wandering Soup

Broke and Moving Abroad

Let me preface this by stating "from my chest" that moving abroad broke isn't the best thing to do "on paper" but life happens and more importantly moves happen- good, bad and indifferent.

Now on to the subject at hand - Moving Abroad Broke.

Can you do it?

Simple answer is yes. The better question is should you do it and if I'm being honest I would also wonder why you want to move abroad broke. Why you would choose that level of stress because make no bones about it, you will be stressed. The Instagram pictures won't show it but you and I both know you are counting coins in your temporary new space.

But here we are, you are going to do it for whatever reason that makes sense to you so let's talk about doing it and hopefully doing it in a way that you will be successful.

First step is to start with a master plan. And let's always remember that plans can and will change so don't set anything except the title "Move Abroad Broke" in stone.

1. Part of that master plan is deciding when you will be moving and of course where.

When and where will give you some idea on how much money you will need just to make it 30 days or more. Thirty days worth of living is the bare minimum you should have even when moving broke. Enough to live and eat off for a month.

When thinking on the where, remember to research visas and the requirements for obtaining the type of visa (work/student/tourist) you would need to live in that country with no issues. Lay hands on your passport to ensure that it is up to date and has at least a year or two of time left before it expires, hopefully more. If you don't have a passport then what are you waiting for? Apply today!

2. You've decided on a when and where and your passport is either in hand or on the way, it's now time to look for a job either in the new country (if possible) or remotely working for a company in your home country. If it's for a remote position with a new company be honest and up front during the interview process that you will be moving abroad sooner than later. You do not want to be one of the horror stories that are currently circulating regarding those who have moved abroad, without telling their employer, only to be fired when their company found out. And they will find out because nothing tech related (VPN) is infallible.

This also may be the time that you become the entrepreneur that you've always wanted to be. Set up that website, provide the product and go!

3. Next part of the plan should be to sell everything you own!

You have to commit! If you are moving abroad broke every dollar you can take from stuff that won't be going with you is a dollar you need. It takes time to sell everything so don't plan a garage sale the day before you fly out, do one a month before, then again the next weekend and even the weekend after til it's all gone. Sites such as Offerup, Facebook Marketplace and yes Craigslist are also great online options. Don't get caught up in haggling, be firm as every dollar counts, but you also don't want to be stuck with a load of items that won't fit in your suitcase.

4. Buy the ticket.

It's time to go all in! Buying a ticket gives you an end date for all the steps above. Start packing for where you are going, not where you are. If it's a warm climate, leave the ski boots and woolies behind. Less is more when you are moving abroad broke as you need to be light and loaded vs complicated.

5. You've arrived.

Now what? Be cheapish til the money flows better and you have a grasp on your finances. That doesn't mean you can't see your new country but it does mean don't commit to a 1 year rental agreement or pick the most expensive home you can find to show off for the Gram. Don't forget to grow/build your community.


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