The working world has never been as flexible as it is today. Technology allows us to speak to clients and colleagues on the other side of the world, or use any coffee shop with a plug point as a temporary office. If you're working in one country (either remotely or physically) while living in another, we've got some pointers on how to keep control over your finances. So you can make sure that you're not needlessly overpaying, and also playing by the rules.
Speak to your UK bank so that they know you're not physically in the UK. Ensure you've got online and telephone banking set up. For more comprehensive advice, read our guide to managing your UK bank account from abroad.
If you're getting paid in one currency but operating in another, the exchange rate can be a real headache sometimes. If you're transferring money from the UK to your local bank account, then a sizeable drop in the rate could make a real difference to how much you see on the other side. Always shop around for the best deal; it might not be from your own bank. And make sure you have an account with TransferWise so you are not paying large bank fees to transfer your money.
Especially useful if you're a freelancer, and travelling a lot, these accounts allow you to operate in more than one currency - but with the ease of only having one account number. You also save money on transfers, as the transfer is happening within the bank itself - but there might be a charge for the account itself or for transfers outside the bank. Speak to your bank to find out more.
If you're regularly getting income from in another country or currency, even if it is going into a different bank account, it's possible that you will be liable for the tax in both the country you are earning it and the country in which you are resident. Luckily, if you're within the EU you are probably exempt from this through the EU’s double taxation relief scheme. It is definitely something you will need to look into, however.
If you are staying long-term in another country, then you will definitely want to open a local bank account - just the ATM fees alone when withdrawing money from your UK account when abroad can be crippling. Make sure you choose one that has good English language support if your local language skills aren’t up to deciphering the small print on financial papers yet. If you're looking into retiring abroad, then make sure you take a look at our guides on the pension, tax and the financial matters you will need to think about.
If you have international clients, you can use Request Money to maximise the amount you receive per invoice. You'll save on fees plus get the real exchange rate.