5 finance tips if you just moved to France.
Recently moved to France? It is sure to be an exciting but challenging time, with many practical tasks to solve. These may include getting used to your new place of work or study, sorting out utility bills where you live, and deciding the most cost-effective and convenient way to send money back home to family and friends.
On the topic of money, this is the perfect time to make sure your financial future in France is bright. To help you, we’ve compiled this list of practical tips that can help you lay the foundations for a comfortable new life in France.
Tip 1 – Open a local bank account
If you really want to feel properly settled in a new country, opening a local bank account is a great first step. You will need to present some documents to do this and banks in France may ask to see any of the following:
Official photograph identification (such as a valid passport)
Proof of your residence or address in France (such as a recent utility bill)
Proof of employee or student status (such as a student ID)
Proof of your income (such as an employment contract)
your residence permit
Of course, deciding which bank is right for you is an important consideration. There are many options in France, with big names like BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Banque Populaire. It’s important to do some research to find out exactly what services they provide and what fees they may charge. Fortunately, much of this information should be available on their websites, though you can always ask at a branch to be sure.
Tip 2: Understand how taxes work
Few people are excited about the prospect of learning about taxes, but it is vital to be aware of how things work in a new country. There are mainly two types of taxes to consider:
social security contributions
France has a “pay-for-earnings” tax system, which means that your employer automatically deducts your tax and social security payments from your salary or wages.
The amount you are expected to pay in income taxes and social security will depend on your income. A certain amount of what you earn will be tax-free. After that, you’ll pay a percentage based on your income level. Tax-free allocation and various tax brackets and percentage rates are subject to change; therefore, check with an official source to see what the current amounts are. That way, you will be clear about what percentage of income tax is due and you won’t be caught off guard later on.
Tip 3: plan your budget
Moving to a new country isn’t cheap, but you also need to consider what your new and on going costs of living will be. France boasts a high quality of life, which is one of the reasons it attracts people from all over the world; however, depending on where you’ve moved, daily living can be much more expensive than you’re used to.
Therefore, it is advisable to take a moment to prepare a monthly budget. This will help you manage your spending and ensure you don’t run out of money. This budget plan should include the following:
your monthly rent
your energy bills
Your mobile phone and Internet broadband bills at home
The French television license (if you own television)
your grocery bills
Your transportation costs (for example, gas or subway tickets)
Your estimated expenses for entertainment and socializing.
Tip 4: Stay on top of the exchange rate
If, like many people who move abroad, your goal is to send money back to your home country to support your loved ones, it’s important to be aware of the exchange rate . The relationship between the euro and the currency of your home country can change all the time, due to economic and political developments. This means that sending, say, €100 will equate to different amounts at home , depending on exactly when you make the transfer. You can easily look up the current exchange rate online to see if it’s a good time to send.
Tip 5 – Find an affordable and cost-effective way to send money home
It could be the case that you simply want to send inexpensive gifts to your loved ones for special occasions or that you intend to provide essential and on going support to those who depend on you for their living and educational expenses. Either way, you don’t want to pay high fees or be subject to unfair exchange rates when making international money transfers.