9 unexpected costs you’ll face when moving overseas

Expat life
17 Nov 2022
8 mins read
Written by Team Instarem

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and move overseas, huh? Congratulations!

Living in a foreign country is an amazing experience that will broaden your horizons in so many ways. But before you get ahead of yourself, there are a few things you need to know. Namely, all the unexpected costs you’ll be faced with when moving abroad. Trust us, there will be plenty.

In this blog post, we will list down all the unexpected costs when moving overseas. So, before you make the big move, be sure to read this post!

A temporary place to stay

There’s always the emotional toll of saying goodbye to friends and family, starting anew in an unfamiliar place, and generally feeling like a fish out of water.

To make matters worse, there’s also the issue of finding somewhere to stay when you first arrive in your new city.

If you’re lucky, you might have friends or family who can put you up for a few nights. But if not, you’ll need to find some other arrangement- and that can be expensive. Hotels can be an option, but they can quickly eat into your budget if you’re not careful.

One way to save money is to look for short-term rentals with Airbnb. These can be cheaper than hotels, and you might even get your own kitchen and living space. Just make sure to do your research!

Another option is to stay in a hostel. Hostels are often much cheaper than hotels, and you can meet other travellers from all over the world. However, they may not be suitable if you’re looking for a quiet place to rest after a long flight.


There are many hidden costs associated with renting a home. In addition to the monthly rent, you may also be required to pay a security deposit, which is typically equal to one or two months’ rent. This is meant to cover any damages that may occur during your tenancy.

You will also be responsible for utilities, such as electricity, gas, and water, as well as cable and internet service. Additionally, you may be required to purchase renter’s insurance, and you may also be charged a cleaning fee when you move out. Finally, if you may need a local guarantor, you may be required to pay a guarantor fee.

Car rental

When you first move to a new city, it can be tempting to think that you don’t need a car. After all, there are plenty of public transportation options and you can always use ride-hailing apps or taxis when you need to get around, right?

Wrong. While it’s true that you can get by without a car in most cities, it’s much easier if you have your own set of wheels.

In actual fact, having a car is really important during your first month in a new country.

For one thing, you’ll need a car if you want to do any shopping for large items or move any of your belongings into your new place. And while it’s possible to ship items or have them delivered, it’s often cheaper and quicker to just load them up in the car and take care of it yourself.

The bottom line is having a car will give you much more flexibility than relying on public transportation or rideshares.

But hey, don’t forget that aside from the cost of the car rental itself, you may also need to pay more for your car insurance when you have a foreign license and also money to top up on gas.


Own a pet? Be prepared to open your wallet a little wider.

Moving overseas with your pet can be a tricky proposition.

Not only do you need to worry about things like vaccinations and health certificates, but you also need to take into account things like pet fees, port charges, and transshipment costs.

To make things even more complicated, these fees can vary depending on your departure and arrival ports, the size of your pet, and the number of pets you have.

And your pet may have to go through quarantine upon arrival in your new country, which means you’ll need to make arrangements for their care and feeding during that time.

Unfortunately, this entire process can be stressful for both pets and their owners.


If you thought moving was stressful, just wait until you try moving overseas with kids in tow. In addition to the usual concerns about housing and work, you also have to worry about things like getting your kids settled into a new school and finding childcare.

And let’s not even get started on the cost.

You have to pay for more flights, get a bigger car, and pay more for your daily expenses, and visas.

And if you have young children, you may need to hire a nanny or au pair to help with childcare.


Most people just assume that they can ship their belongings overseas with no problems. But the truth is, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.

Your items could get damaged in transit, or your shipping could get delayed and you’ll be stuck paying for storage fees.

All of this can add up to some serious extra costs.

So, before you just assume that shipping your stuff is the best option, make sure to do your research and get some quotes. You may find that it’s cheaper and easier to just sell your belongings and buy new things when you get to your new country.


It can be really tempting to just settle down in a place and call it home, especially if you’ve decluttered what you need and found a comfortable place to stay. However, sometimes a house is just a roof over your head without any furniture.

In Europe, for example, it’s quite common for rented houses to come without any furniture or appliances. That means you’ll have to spend a good chunk of money outfitting your new place with all the basics.

The easiest way to save costs is to buy second-hand furniture from expats who are leaving or from Facebook marketplace or groups. If you do go this route, be sure to inspect the furniture and appliances thoroughly before bringing them into your home.

Flying back home

As anyone who’s ever had to travel for a family visit knows, it’s not always cheap. You have to factor in the cost of getting there and back, as well as any accommodation and food costs while you’re there.

And if you’re unlucky enough to have relatives spread out all over the country, those costs can really add up.

Then there are the times when you have to travel at short notice for a wedding or a funeral. Suddenly your carefully budgeted trip turns into an expensive last-minute dash.

So next time someone tells you they’re going home to see their family, spare a thought for their wallet – it’s taking a beating.

Research for cheap and quick ways of moving your money

One of the most stressful aspects of moving to a new country is figuring out how to get your money there. Such transactions can involve hidden costs and telegraphic transfer (TT) fees which can burn a hole in your pocket.

To add to anxiety sometimes your money gets stuck at a certain stage in the process. This can cause a lot of anxiety, especially if you’re trying to figure out how to pay your first month’s rent.

That’s why you should consider using Instarem to facilitate fast and easy international money transfers with low fees and competitive FX rates.

Instarem helps you send money abroad to over 50 countries. If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to send money to your new expat country, Instarem is the perfect solution.

With our simple platform, you can make a transfer in just a few clicks. Plus, we offer competitive rates and low fees so you can get the most out of your money.

Download the app or sign up on the web and see how easy it is to send money with Instarem.

Moving abroad can be pretty tough on your wallet… at least in the beginning

Everything can feel expensive for the first few weeks, and it can be hard to find ways to save money.

And if you are lucky enough, some companies will cover moving expenses for their employees, so be sure to ask your employer if they offer this benefit.

All in all, be smart about your spending. Don’t go out and buy everything new–see if you can find gently used items for a fraction of the cost.

Moving abroad can be expensive, but with a little bit of planning, you can make it work!

About Instarem

Instarem stands at the forefront of international money transfer services, facilitating fast and secure transactions for both individuals and businesses. Our platform offers competitive exchange rates for popular currency pairs like USD to INR, SGD to INR, and AUD to INR. If you're looking to send money to India or transfer funds to any of 60+ global destinations, Instarem makes it easy for you. We are dedicated to simplifying cross-border payments, providing cutting-edge technology that support individuals and businesses alike in overcoming traditional fiscal barriers normally associated with banks. As a trusted and regulated brand under the umbrella of the Fintech Unicorn Nium Pte. Ltd., and its international subsidiaries, Instarem is your go-to for reliable global financial exchanges. Learn more about Instarem.