I work for a multi-national organization that offers e-commerce solutions. We work hard to make sure all of our clients are running a successful online business. Since we have offices in different countries, we have to make sure all the employees are on the same page. In order to accomplish this, we have a few groups of people in our US office that travel to the other offices. They do this to make sure that everything is running smoothly and any technology is being implemented correctly. I was thinking the other day about the tolls of travel and decided to ask one of my fellow employees that gets to travel and live abroad on a regular basis.
This employee, we will call him Bob, gets to travel to the UK on a regular basis. He is the one that keeps the UK office in check and he will sometimes stay there for a few months. I was wondering how he handles the months away at a time in a different country along with dealing with his finances. Of course, I had to ask about his finances ;).
Bob takes care of his finances by setting everything up on auto-pay when he is out of the country. His mortgage and regular bills are automatically deducted from his checking account, so he doesn’t have to deal with being late. If he gets any other bills when away, he has someone from his family take care of them when they go and check his mail. I thought this was a pretty good setup for the circumstance. He gets his bills paid on time and doesn’t have to worry about paying late fees. What a setup. Then I asked how he dealt with banking.
If I were traveling, I would just deal with exchange fees when I need to get money out. Since I don’t travel often, I don’t have to worry about having multiple currencies. Bob has a different way of handling it. Instead of dealing with the exchange fees every couple of months of going back and worth, Bob just decided to setup an international banking account. This allows him to deal with the local currency each time he is in the UK. He treats his international account like a savings account. He puts money in before he heads over and whatever he doesn’t spend, he leaves for the next time. He travels from the US to the UK multiple times a year, so this is one of the best options. It is all about convenience for Bob and his work travel.
I never thought about the convenience of having an international banking account in the country that you travel to often, but it makes sense, especially if you are dealing with a work arrangement. When you don’t have to worry about getting your finances straight when traveling back and forth, then you can focus on the task at hand. This is why I enjoy talking to people and learning about how they handle their money. I don’t think about these types of things and now I will think about this whenever I travel or work internationally, which is an option for me if I wanted it.
Currency Photo via Flickr
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