Which countries are the most economical to live in? A guide for the British expat.
As the cost of living in the UK continues to rise and inflation surges, many people are feeling the pinch in their wallets. With interest rates on the rise, up a quarter of one per cent today, which will be a boost to savers, but a kick in the teeth to those on a variable mortgage, and with no end in sight to the economic uncertainty, it's no wonder that some are considering packing up and moving overseas in search of a more affordable life.
Here are a few reasons why leaving the UK for cheaper pastures may be a good idea:
Lower cost of living: Moving overseas to a country with a lower living cost can mean your money goes further. This means you can enjoy a higher standard of living than you would in the UK, even on a lower income.
Better quality of life: Many countries overseas offer a better quality of life than the UK, with lower stress levels, better weather, and a more relaxed pace of life. For those tired of the daily grind of living in the UK, moving overseas can be a great way to rediscover the joy of life.
More opportunities: Depending on where you choose to move, you may find more opportunities available to you than in the UK. This could mean better job prospects, a more vibrant cultural scene, or simply more chances to meet new people and experience new things.
The UK ranks a disappointing 23rd overall in a breakdown of happiness, health, employment and quality of life. In this article, we explore three economical countries and the pros and cons of living there.
Poland is an excellent choice if you’re looking to further your career. In the last financial quarter, this vibrant country saw an impressive 71.8% employment rate, meaning plenty of opportunities are available if you’ll need to find a new job.
The general cost of living varies depending on where you lay your roots. Rural areas away from the major cities are really affordable, with low rent payments and plenty of reasonably priced everyday essentials. This wonderful country is also full of friendly, welcoming locals who are often happy to lend a helping hand or some advice.
Unfortunately, Poland is known for its rather bleak winters and average temperatures year-round, so it’s not the best place if you’re looking for some sun.
Portugal is a beautiful country, encompassing warm weather, gorgeous beaches and diverse cities while providing an excellent quality of life. It also has the cheapest cost of living within Western Europe, making it a perfect choice for expats.
You’ll save significant money living almost anywhere in Portugal, but avoid Lisbon where possible. As with all cities, the cost of living is much higher the closer you get to city life. Not to worry, though, the more rural areas of Portugal have plenty to offer, such as stunning landscapes and friendly local communities.
The only real downside to setting up your new home in Portugal is that prices are expected to rise shortly. This is due to the sharp increase in people emigrating, so if you’re considering it, start planning sooner rather than later.
Vietnam is an outstanding option for those looking for something a little further afield. With one of the world's lowest living costs, this is the ideal destination for those keen to cut costs as much as possible.
Fortunately, that isn’t the only selling point. This diverse country is a popular destination among young travellers, as it has such a vibrant culture completely different from what we know in the UK. Vietnam offers a fascinating history and delicious and affordable food alongside gorgeous beaches.
The main obstacle for those considering Vietnam is often the language barrier, as the language can be tricky for us Brits to learn. However, if you’re willing to invest some time into learning the basics, this amazing country can provide you with a whole new perspective on life.
Getting a job abroad can be challenging, though, for several reasons, regardless of whether you are planning to leave the UK or not. Here are some potential challenges you may face:
Visa requirements: Many countries require a work visa or permit for non-citizens to work there. Depending on the country, obtaining a work visa can be a lengthy and complicated process, and there may be specific criteria you need to meet.
Language barrier: If you don't speak the language of the country you want to work in, finding a job that doesn't require fluency in the local language can be challenging. Even if you are fluent, there may be cultural differences that can make the job search challenging.
Different job markets: Job markets can vary widely between countries, and what's in demand in one place may not be in another. This can make finding a job that matches your skills and experience challenging.
Cost of living: The cost of living can vary significantly between countries, and it's essential to research this before you decide to move abroad. Even if you can find a job, the salary may not be enough to cover your expenses.
Social support network: Moving to a new country can be lonely, and building a social support network can take time. This can be especially difficult if you don't speak the local language fluently.
In summary, getting a job abroad can be challenging regardless of your reasons for leaving the UK. It's essential to carefully research your options and understand the potential challenges before making a decision to move abroad. Still, the prospect of potentially cheaper housing and food is a draw, as may also be the prospect of living in warmer and more exciting countries! Where's my passport...