Belfast Telegraph

How to save money as an expat in France

France. The beautiful landscapes, colourful villages, the romanticism in the air. The smell of the freshly baked baguettes every morning and the sparkle of Bordeaux wine as the sun slips behind the horizon. Elegant palaces, rich history and charming bistros around every corner.

No wonder you wouldn’t want to leave.

A dazzling range of housing and the promise of reliable rental income have lured thousands of foreigners to invest in property in the country. Some have restored traditional châteaux to their former glory while others have made their mark on more modern developments.

Turn the FX pain into gain

It’s easy to get swept away by the sweet smell of the wine and cheese or the charms of the town’s when you’re hunting for a property. However, at some point, practical considerations will creep in – like how you’re going to transfer your hard-earned money to France to seal the deal on your dream home.

The world of foreign currency can be a strange and confusing place. If you’re making overseas transfers for the first time, it’s easy to get a bad deal or lose a lot of money without realising it – until it’s too late.

You might not know that, if you use your local or high street bank, you could lose thousands in transfer fees and unfavourable exchange rates.

Whether you’re securing a holiday home, making an investment or embarking on a big move, you’ll be better off with an experienced currency transfer specialists. Companies like Currencies Direct have been helping people transfer funds abroad quickly, simply and cost-effectively for more than 18 years.

Using a specialist means getting a better exchange rate, and usually a lot less in fees and hidden charges. In fact, you could save up to 5% by choosing one instead of a high street bank.

Savings speak louder

If you bought a property today for €250,000 and transfer the funds with your bank, it would’ve cost you an average of £209,753 (that at the average bank’s exchange rate of €1.19, plus transfer fees).

However, the same transaction with a foreign exchange specialist would’ve cost you £203,252 (by eliminating transfer fees and receiving fees from the picture, and using a much friendly rate of €1.23).

By knowing your options and choosing a foreign exchange specialist instead of your bank you could’ve saved £6,501. That might be enough for a new kitchen in the holiday home. Or even a pool.

Now, that’s something worth considering.

Rates correct on 01/06/14

Let’s make it regular

Whether you’re thinking of living in France permanently or popping over to a holiday home, you may find yourself making regular transfers from the UK – perhaps paying a mortgage, transferring your pension or paying yourself living costs. Look for a regular transfer service –which is ideal for these types of weekly, monthly or quarterly payments. It’s usually Direct Debit driven, and the savings on transfer fees is considerable. Currencies Direct does not charge any transfer fees on this type of transfer.

Once you’ve decided on the transfer amount (which must be between £150 and £5,000), they’ll set up a Direct Debit for you. It can be weekly, monthly, quarterly or yearly. Leaving you free to sit back and enjoy the view – wherever you are.

Peace of mind

When looking for an exchange provider, you want to get the best rates and great service. You want someone to talk to you, to understand what’s important to you and what you want to achieve.

But most importantly, you want to make sure your funds are in safe hands. After all, it’s your money we’re talking about.

Industry trajectory and credibility are fundamental when choosing the right currency exchange provider company for you.

Look for a company that’s established, with a good credit score and is Authorised by the FCA for the provision of payment services – this basically means the FCA heavily regulate them, and the quality of service will be higher.

Simple as 1, 2, 3.

Currency specialists love talking about foreign currency. And they should know that most people don’t. It’s likely that you just want to move your money and get on with life.

Look for a specialist that offers straightforward guidance to help you get what you want. You shouldn’t be baffled you with jargon or hit you with any costs, and any money you transfer should be sent quickly.

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