British Expats in Spain: How to Save Money and Manage Your Finances

With glorious weather, great food, glittering coastlines and gorgeous beaches, it’s little wonder that there’s such a thriving British expat community in Spain. As of September 2019, there were estimated to be more than 360,000 Brits officially registered in the country, although recent political developments have led to a huge amount of upheaval.

The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union has meant changes to the rules, with some Brits dashing to Spain to secure residency before the Brexit deadline while others moved in the opposite direction. 

Those who have holiday homes but are not classed as Spanish residents are now limited to how much time they can spend there, while those who do wish to live there must prove they have at least £2,000 coming into their account every month. Moving abroad is a big step and managing your finances can be a tricky part of the process, so here are a few tips to help you out.

Set out your budget

First of all, it’s important to gain an understanding of how much things are going to cost and how much you’re going to have left to play with. Sit down and take the time to carefully work out your incomings and outgoings, making sure to account for all the essentials such as your home, transport, food etc. It’s important to live within your means and some sensible budgeting can help you achieve that.

Create a savings pot

If you find that you’re likely to have some money left over at the end of each month once all your expenses have been taken care of, it might be wise to stick some of that away in a savings account. You never know when you might need to fall back on those funds to cover some emergency repairs or an unexpected bill.

Transfer money wisely

If you need to send money home – whether that be to your own account or to a loved one – think carefully about the method you use. Some money transfers across Europe can prove costly when exchange rates and other admin fees are taken into account, so do your research and make sure you’re using an app that offers competitive pricing.

Understand the laws

Before you settle, try to get your head around Spain’s tax legislation, as it’s dangerous to assume you’ll simply be required to adhere to the same rules as in the UK. It can feel like a lot to take in, so you might be better served calling on some professional, expert advice to help you navigate the laws and make sure you stay on the right side of them.

Seek advice

Take advantage of the thriving expat community and call on their experience of living in the country. They’ll likely have some money-saving tips and hacks to share, and it can be a great way to meet people as you start a new chapter in your life.

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