Moving Abroad to Save or Earn Money – Where to go

Moving abroad
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Upon graduating from University, it can be quite difficult to immediately find an employment position that has a high enough salary to rent a flat in the big cities. For this reason, many recent graduates have begun to explore options that are outside of Canada to see where they can save the most money while getting ahead in their career and life goals. Depending on the individual’s education and skills, it is possible that they will acquire incredible employment opportunities and life experiences while saving money by moving abroad. If you are considering where in the world to reside that has the best saving potential and quality of life, consider the conversation below:

Where to Make a Higher Salary While Saving the Most Money

There are many markets that offer quite high salaries and a comparatively lower cost of living. When trying to get the best of both worlds, consider finding employment in the following countries:


For teachers and executives from the United States and the United Kingdom, the UAE has a 0% taxation rate on salaries acquired there. UAE has also signed several Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAA), which can be beneficial to Canadians residing there as well. These legislative regulations, combined with the high salary, makes it possible to explore neighboring countries will saving a substantial amount of capital. The average salary for expats in Dubai, for example, is between AED 24,000 to AED 32,000 per month, which is range between 8,585 to 11,400 CAD per month. For teachers that live in UAE for between two and five years can save to invest in real estate depending on whether they are working there alone or with a spouse.


Qatar has a similar taxation treaty to UAE, which makes it another appealing destination for Canadians to relocate. Additionally, the overall cost of living is slightly lower in Qatar compared to UAE, which makes it possible to save more capital while working there. For example, the average rent in Qatar is 2,000 CAD per month and the cost of food/day-to-day expenses are less. In the Education sector, there are many opportunities for Native English Speakers to make a high salary ranging from 3,100 CAD to 4,800 CAD, have accommodation paid for while simultaneously having large amounts of paid vacation. Some of the contracts even include rent paid for during the duration of the employment contract.


China is a country that has a low cost of living and a low taxation rate on salaries. For example, the average rent in China can range from $657 CAD to $1300 CAD in most city centres. The taxation rate can even be as low as $52 CAD per month on a salary of $6500 CAD. In addition, China has a substantially lower cost of living than countries such as UAE or Qatar, thus, if individuals are able to find an employment position within China that pays in Canadian standards, but with a location in a first or second tier city in China, the savings opportunities are absolutely incredible. Foreigners typically will need $1300 CAD per month for food, at most, $1300 CAD for rent, and have a salary $6500 CAD and up depending on qualifications and experience.


Vietnam is one of the most affordable countries to live in while enjoying Southeast Asia. On average, expat couples can live on under $2,600 CAD per month. There are many French companies with ties to French Canada that have offices in Ho Chi Minh City that provide for exceptional savings opportunities. In addition, the teaching market is surging in Vietnam and in recent years, has been able to pay salaries that are beginning to compete with China, South Korea, and Japan. As the salaries catch up in Vietnam, the low cost of living will make it an incredible place to save capital while living and working abroad.

South Korea

South Korea offers competitive employment packages with a low cost of living. Having rents as low as 775 CAD per month that are many times covered by employers as a part of the employment contract. Particularly in the Education, Technology, and Research & Development Sectors, South Korea is an excellent place to live for several years while saving a considerable amount of capital to put towards lucrative investment projects since salaries can range between 2600 CAD to 5200 CAD per month depending on your industry.

Countries that Are Affordable to Live in with an Online Job

With the surge of the online employment freelancing options, it is possible to make money in USD, CAD, EUR or GBP and then live in a place with a lower cost of living. When looking for affordable places to consider online teaching opportunities or freelance opportunities have a look at the countries below:


For those that are craving an easy lifestyle with reliable access to Internet employment, Mexico is an excellent choice. Places such as Playa del Carmen have options to live for under $2000 CAD per month per couple. Finding an online teaching job or freelance opportunity can create an ideal affordable cultural lifestyle in Mexico.


Cities such as Ljubljana, Slovenia offer an incredible cost of living for those with online employment along with a reliable Internet connection. Couples would be able to live in Ljubljana for under $1,500 CAD per month. The location in the European Union also makes engaging cultural trips possible while residing in Ljubljana.


Thailand is an incredible place to live near picturesque beaches while growing one’s nest egg online. By selecting a more rural beach city, it is possible for a couple to live in Thailand for under 1,000 CAD per month, which provides incredible savings opportunities. Another great option while living in a place such as Thailand is to combine online employment opportunities with in person employment opportunities. By doing so, it is possible to net 3900 CAD after paying rent in Thailand.

Sending Your Salary Back Home

When moving abroad, one might need to send money home. Many expats who live abroad send money to their loved ones on a monthly basis or just need to make occasional payments every once in a while. Using your bank is the most common way to transfer money internationally, however, it probably not the best way to do it if you wish to save money. Banks can charge you more than $40 in fees and up to 5% markup on the currencies exchange rate – That could be a lot of money. A better way to send abroad or receive money from overseas is by using an international money transfer provider. A money transfer company will charge you a low fixed fee, if at all, and will offer you much better rates than banks.

Concluding Remarks on the Subject

Due to the wide array of opportunities available on the Internet and in global expat employment markets, there is room for recent Canadian graduates to exercise some fiscal creativity to simultaneously be able to see more of the world at a younger age while being financially smart. This sort of thinking in the wake of the global financial crisis is an excellent way to not only get ahead, but to enjoy life and meet interesting people while doing so. Those that take these opportunities end up with incredible careers, friendships, savings, and life experiences that they would not have had access to otherwise.

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5 years ago

This is an awesome guide!

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