British expats battling with price increases
The cost of living is on the rise for professionals moving overseas, according to new research.
In a survey of more than 900 British expats, it was found that, on average, there has been an 11 per cent increase in costs compared to last year.
The Post Office Expat Payments Index also observed a ten per cent increase in household expenditure, motoring and meals.
Countries hardest hit by the eurozone crisis have been reporting the biggest increases in costs, with the price of eating out in Spain rising by 15 per cent, the cost of food up by 20 per cent in Cyprus and household bills up by ten per cent in Portugal.
Property prices, meanwhile, have either stayed the same or fallen across the globe, with 72 per cent of respondents finding this to be the case.
Michael Gibbon, head of Post Office International Payments, said that with rising prices and falling property values overseas, he wasn’t surprised that confidence among expats had dipped.
It was also revealed that many expats are losing out due to unnecessary charges when transferring cash abroad via UK banks.
The index found that collectively, expats are forking out £217 million in transaction charges, which can actually be achieved for free.
“Many expats are sending hard-earned cash down the plughole simply by paying charges to transfer funds via their bank,” expanded Mr Gibbon.
“Depending on which bank they use and how much they transfer, they could lose hundreds of pounds every year that could help offset the higher prices for food, motoring and household necessities.”
He advised that in light of the fact that sterling is experiencing a four-year high against the euro, it could be cost-effective to transfer smaller amounts on a frequent basis.
This will allow British expats an opportunity to take advantage of the current exchange rate, an advantage which is missed out on if funds are transferred in large amounts “once in a while”.
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