Expat Banking

Living overseas can make managing your finances difficult at times, especially when you have significant ongoing expenses in your home country. Fortunately there are various ways to send money internationally. Here are a few I have used (and a chance to win a hamper of sweets!) With the increasingly global movement of people these days the ability to transfer money internationally is more important than ever before. Whether it is to keep on top of mortgage payments or simply to send Christmas or birthday gifts, as soon as you become an expat, and even in the planning stages ahead of a move abroad, the need to be able to control your finances on an international level becomes essential. Here are a few options I have used to keep my finances in order in various countries.

International Bank transfers

Just a few years ago I remember it being only certain account types that were able to send money internationally but now many basic bank account holders seem able to. There is usually a fee of around GBP £20 or AUD $22 to pay and the bank will also use their own exchange rate. Transfer times vary and can take up to two weeks.

Western Union

International money transfers made using Western Union are much faster than with banks, Western Union takes one to three days to transfer money between bank accounts, depending on the destination, and can transfer money faster if it will be collected at an agent. If your money needs to be somewhere else fast then Western Union knocks the socks off bank transfers. Western Union is currently offering international direct to bank account transfers fee free and at a better exchange rate than banks. To make a $0 fee transfer click here.

Visitor Exchange

Another method I have occasionally used to transfer money to my bank account back home is to pay for things for friends and relatives while they visit me overseas and ask them to deposit the equivalent amount in our home currency in my bank account when they get home. Clearly the availability and suitability of this will vary. If you struggle to trust internet banking then it might appeal, but if you have forgetful friends it may leave you out of pocket, so beware!

The Give Away

This post was sponsored by Western Union which with over 510,000 locations in over 200 countries and territories worldwide is the global leader in money transfer.

To celebrate their fee free direct to bank account service, Western Union is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a hamper stuffed full of traditional British sweets. Yum! Nothing quite like a sweet taste of home is there?

To enter please leave a comment on this post about the things you miss most from home (or would miss if you are not an expat yet!) I will draw a name from a hat on New Year’s Day and publish it on The World is Waiting’s Facebook page as well as with an update to this post. The prize can only be delivered to an Australian address. The give away closes on 31st December 2012. Thanks to everyone who entered and congrats to Stephanie who has won the give away! I will email you for your address.


  • Stephanie

    Hey Liz, your website is looking great. Mmmmm, what do I miss most about the UK, not mention people….I miss Topic chocolate bars, mmmmm, my favourite choc ever 🙂

  • James

    Have I declared my undying love for Western Union yet? They’re just great!

    Anyhow, I would miss being able to walk into a shirt topless after a day on the beach and have nobody batter an eyelid. I don’t think you can actually do that in any other nation than Australia.

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