A guide to managing your family finances when living abroad

Living abroad? Keep track of family finances.


Managing your family's finances can be difficult at any time, but when you are living abroad it can be even more complicated. If you have gone to work in the United Kingdom with the intention of providing financial support to your spouse or your family back in France, it is important to do it properly.


Establish a budget

Creating a budget is a necessary step in managing your money, no matter where you are. If you live in France and your spouse and your family are abroad, you might be thinking of preparing two separate budgets. However, even if you lead separate lives, you must manage together. A common budget will help you optimize your money while connecting you across the distance.

Your budget must take into account the following:

• Income

• Recurring expenses

• Savings for future projects

• Emergency funds

All these elements must consider your own needs in France as well as those of your family abroad. Remember that you will help your family more if you also control your own financial situation.


Helping your family save for: long-term projects

Putting money aside to meet the needs of the family is an essential part of financial planning. This concerns two types of needs: existing needs and future needs.

Education is a good example that falls into both categories. For example, you may have to provide financial support to help pay for tuition. If not, you can save for your youngest children to go to university when they are old enough.

Each scenario brings different difficulties. If you're saving for existing expenses, you must decide the amount and the frequency. Monthly, rather than annual payments may be easier to manage, so you are not tempted to dip into your savings to cover other expenses. Whatever the frequency, try to put a little aside as soon as you can, to guard against any future financial difficulties.

If you are saving for a future project, you must consider a few things before determining the amount of monthly payments: your monthly income and your expenses, how much you should set aside for emergencies, and how long you will be contributing to the savings. If your child is likely to go to university in 5 years, for example, your planning will different than if they will be entering in 15 years.


Saving for emergencies

When you provide financial support for your family, it is tempting to put all your money toward this and toward achieving other long-term projects. However, it is essential that you and your family plan a budget for emergencies, both for them abroad and for you in France.

It is always advisable to keep a certain flexibility just to cover incidental expenses that always end up costing more than they should. In addition to this, on pay day set aside a sum of money to deal with any unexpected expenses. It is good to dedicate a savings account to this. This means the amount set aside will increase over time, ensuring greater protection in case of large unforeseen expenses.


Choice of method for sending money abroad

In some countries, you can use wu.com to send money directly to a mobile wallet*, so your receiver will only need to check their mobile device. As always, there are no hidden fees. See the list of providers that offer mobile wallets.


Money transfer at Western Union agent location

Then choose how you send money to your family. It is better to test different methods to see which works best for you. However, you will likely find that online money transfer offers the best solution in flexibility, ease of use, reliability, convenience, and value.

For example, in an emergency you can use it to send money within minutes*. This means you can offer assistance quickly in a crisis. You can also use the online money transfer services for your regular payments, either directly to your family's bank account or in cash.

You can find more information on how online money transfer services can help you and your family to manage your finances at Western Union.

If you need to send money now, try sending money online with wu.com. You just need to register for free and you can enjoy our extensive money transfer services.




* Funds may be delayed or services unavailable based on certain transaction conditions, including amount sent, destination country, currency availability, regulatory issues, identification requirements, Agent location hours, differences in time zones, or selection of delayed options. Additional Restrictions may apply. See terms for details.