How to Cope When Working Internationally

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.

international currencyBanking Internationally

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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About the Author Grayson Bell

I'm a business owner, blogger, father, and husband. I used credit cards too much and found myself in over $75,000 in debt ($50,000 in just credit cards). I paid it off, started this blog, and my financial life has changed. I now talk about fighting debt and growing wealth here. I run a WordPress support company, along with another blog, Eyes on the Dollar, which is another great personal finance blog.

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Leave a Comment:

eemusings says April 6

That makes a lot of sense, actually, having a bank account in your destination country. As for auto-paying rent, etc, that’s pretty much standard where I live, so that’s one thing not to to worry about when out of town.

    Grayson says April 8

    Many people use auto-pay for their rent or mortgage, but I still don’t do it. I like to have control over where my money is going and I have had too many issues with auto-pay on mortgage payments.

Darwin's Money says April 6

I work for an international firm but I’m based in the US. I get a little annoyed with all the early morning phone calls I have to do to catch europe and asia-pacific, but having a job over there must really stink. Since we’re a US-based firm, they have to call in at night-time their time all the time for meetings. Not sure I’d want to do that for life.

    Grayson says April 8

    I know what you are talking about there Darwin. I have been on far too many calls that were either very early or very late. Nothing fun about them.

Jose says April 7

One bank to consider if you travel internationally a lot is HSBC, I’ve seen them in quite a few countries. I know they seem to be everywhere I’ve been too in the Caribbean.

    Grayson says April 8

    I have seen quite a few of those around as well. I don’t know if I would use them because I had an account with them once and they were terrible with customer service.

Brick By Brick Investing | Marvin says April 7

I’ve had a Lloyds account and couldn’t be happier. I actually believe anyone with any sort of wealth should have an offshore account in order to diversify their assets.

    Grayson says April 8

    Thanks for letting me know Marvin. I also agree that it is a great way to diversify your assets and will most likely be doing it soon.

Canadianbudgetbinder says April 7

I still have my UK bank accounts for when we go back home and travel around and it will come in handy for us. We won’t have to exchange our Canadian money when we go so that is good. I also have my credit cards as well. I still use the account for many things that help ease buying transactions I might not be able to do so easily from Canada. I also use it to send cheques to the kids so they can buy gifts for Birthdays and holidays.

    Grayson says April 8

    I am sure that makes it much easier for you Mr. CBB. Thanks for adding your feedback, as I am sure that will help many thinking about this.

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